Melbourne’s Rising Festival shares 2023 program: Thundercat, Weyes Blood, Kutcha Edwards, Ethel Cain and more

General tickets to the winter arts and culture festival go on sale this Friday

Melbourne’s Rising Festival has unveiled its 2023 music program, featuring Thundercat, Weyes Blood, Kutcha Edwards, Ethel Cain and many more.

The arts and culture festival takes place this year from June 7 to 18, with music events taking over The Forum Theatre, Melbourne Recital Centre and Max Watt’s. Pre-sale tickets for Rising subscribers go on sale tomorrow (March 14) at noon, while general tickets go on sale on Friday (March 17) at noon.

Big international names coming to Melbourne for Rising this year include bassist Thundercat, singer-songwriter Weyes Blood, rising cult favourite Ethel Cain, ex-Chromatics vocalist Ruth Radelet, and Japanese folk artist Ichiko Aoba. Double-bills include UK goth icons The Damned plus US doom metal supergroup Witch; avant garde R&B artist Liv.e with Nigerian-born, London-based rapper and songwriter Obongjayar; and Japan’s Cornelius and Shintaro Sakamoto.


Uncle Kutcha Edwards – the Mutti Mutti songman whose performance was a highlight of NME’s experience at Mona Foma 2023 – will lead ‘Waripa’, a celebration of Blak music featuring the likes of Mo’Ju, Emily Wurramara, Alice Skye, Bart Willoughby and Joe Geia, and many more.

RVG, who are readying their new album ‘Brain Worms’, will lead a triple-bill with Danish rockers Iceage, and the Melbourne rock band Batrider, who will be playing their first show in over a decade. Birdz and Fred Leone will give their Trials-produced project Girra its world premiere at Rising, while Paul Kelly will perform his compilation ‘Drinking’ live for the first time with a full band in two Melbourne Recital Centre shows.

For the ‘Hear My Eyes’ series, which commissions artists to compose and perform new scores for old films, Rising has tapped rapper Teether and producer Big Yawn to rescore the Safdie brothers’ Robert Pattinson-starring crime thriller Good Time.

Head to Rising’s website for the full program of 185 events by over 400 artists.

In its delayed debut last year due to the pandemic, Rising featured the likes of Kelly Lee Owens, Sampa the Great, Andy Shauf, Tkay Maidza, Harvey Sutherland and many more. “The festival is in its first year, which means that it has time yet to grow and find its identity,” NME wrote in a four-star review. “But the 2022 edition was a nevertheless thoroughly warming way to start a cold, rainy winter in the city.”

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