Julia Jacklin, Kee’ahn, Sweet Whirl announced for Melbourne festival RISING

The 12-day festival kicks off in late May

Melbourne arts festival RISING has revealed its inaugural program, containing 133 projects and events spread over 12 days.

Musicians taking part in this year’s event include Julia Jacklin, Kee’ahn, The Necks, The Goon Sax, Luluc, Gregor, Sweet Whirl, Bananagun and Marlon Williams, among others. The music lineup was curated by Woody McDonald, known for his work with Golden Plains and Meredith Music Festival.

Elsewhere throughout the program, Australian artist Patricia Piccinini will produce a multi-sensory project in the ballroom hidden in Flinders Street Station. Additionally, Chinatown will be decked out with contemporary art installations and a 200-metre-long glowing eel will be installed across the banks of the Yarra River at The Birrarung.


RISING takes place between May 26 and June 6. The festival was announced as a replacement for the Melbourne International Arts Festival and White Night. Tickets for the festival go on sale this Wednesday (March 31).

The festival is spearheaded by co-artistic directors Gideon Obarzanek and Hannah Fox, who said the program aims to “represent the collective creative energy of Melbourne and the culture and artists it’s famous for”.

“The vision for RISING is centred on the idea that culture is a human right. This means really embedding art, music and ceremony in public spaces and creating opportunities for participation,” Fox said in a statement.

“RISING is a festival of unrepeatable, site-specific performance and large-scale public art, new collaborations in theatre and dance, and novel line ups in live music all connected by food, wine and fun.

“With over 130 projects in the program from a naked disco for one to an installation floating on the river for many thousands, we invite all of the many communities of Melbourne to come together again after too long apart.”


In the lead-up to RISING, a handful of musicians such as Amyl and the Sniffers and Kee’ahn have released covers as part of the festival’s Singles Club series.