RISING Art Festival: Victoria’s Newest Major Event

RISING, Melbourne’s biggest arts festival is back. And this time around, bigger and better! The festival reawakens the city on the first night of winter with a 12- day extravaganza of immersive art, live music, food, and culture.

It’s just a few years in the making. Yet, this newest festival in Victoria’s cultural calendar brings together more than 225 events. Most happenings are specific to Melbourne. Nevertheless, it incorporates both local and international artists for performances that will inspire and challenge in equal measure.

The RISING festival offers something for every taste and age—from daring works and unique food events to free family events. And that doesn’t even count the incredible lineup of DJs spinning on top of everything else going on around them.

About The RISING 

The RISING is Victoria’s newest major event. The festival was announced in May 2020, but it wasn’t until 2021 that it was inaugurated. RISING takes the place of Melbourne International Arts Festival and White Night, which had their final run in 2019. (en.wikipedia.org)

The 2020 and 2021 festivals were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, organizers have high hopes this time around. The 2022 event, for instance, is expected to host 225 events featuring works from more than 800 local and international artists.

Co-artistic directors Gideon Obarzanek and Hannah Fox lead the event.

Venues

RISING is a city-wide event with multiple venues. With tons of shows across town and new acts coming in every day, it can be difficult to know which events to prioritize. Here are some of the best venues in Melbourne to catch a show at this year’s festival.

VenueLocation
Arts Centre Melbourne)Forecourt & Playhouse, 100 St Kilda Road, Southbank
ACMIACMI Cinema 2 & Gandel Lab, 2 Swanston St
State Library VictoriaLa Trobe Reading Room328 Swanston St
Melbourne Town Hall90-130 Swanston St
Federation SquareSwanston St & Flinders St
Melbourne Museum11 Nicholson St, Carlton
NGV (National Gallery of Victoria)Great Hall 180 St Kilda Road
Melbourne Recital CentreElisabeth Murdoch Hall13 Sturt St, Southbank
The Capitol – RMIT121 Swanston St
Birrarung MarrLower Terrace

There is also a venue map to help you navigate the festival. The map includes specific events and locations. 

Program Details: How To Explore

The RISING festival can be quite tricky to get your head around. Here’s how to explore the program and find what you’re looking for.

Filter the program by artform (performing arts and visual art), accessibility, and experience. Choose from different art forms, including dance, music, and theatre. Accessibility options include wheelchair access, assisted listening, Auslan translation, and more. Experience types include exhibitions, food, outdoor, free, and family-friendly.

Ticketing Information

Pricing & Authorized Sellers

Ticket pricing changes at any time without notice, and RISING charges a fee of up to $4 per transaction. There are other authorized ticket sellers besides RISING. These are

  • ACMI
  • Arts House
  • Arts Centre Melbourne
  • Melbourne Museum
  • The National Theatre Melbourne
  •  Melbourne Recital Centre
  • Ticketek
  • OzTix,
  • Ulumbarra Theatre Bendigo
  • The Malthouse

How To Book

Here’s how you can book your tickets and make sure you get there on time!

Online (Official RISING Website)

You can book online through the RISING website. Simply select the event you wish to attend and follow the prompts.

Phone

You can book your tickets by giving them a call. But you can try emailing if they’re experiencing an influx of calls. They’ll be happy to help you with all your ticketing needs.

In-Person

The easiest way to book your tickets is in person at the box office (Federation Square, just opposite Flinders Street Station). This way, you can avoid any fees, and you’re guaranteed to get the tickets you want. To do this, simply head to the box office on the day of the event and purchase your tickets.

Plan Your Visit

If you’re planning on coming to the Melbourne RISING Festival, there are a few things you need to consider. 

First, find somewhere to stay. There are plenty of accommodation options in the city. So whether you’re looking for a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs. 

Secondly, think about how you’ll get around. The festival is spread out across Melbourne CBD and urban neighborhoods, which means it can be difficult to cover with just one mode of transport. 

Transportation Options

Public transport

RISING aims to provide a sustainable festival. So, if safe and viable, choose public transport.

Public transport provides the cheapest way to get to the RISING festival. Buses, trains, and trams will all be running on their regular schedules. 

However, ensure you check the times and routes before you travel, so you don’t miss your stop! We also recommend that you allow plenty of time for connections in case of delays and any potential crowds.

The best advice is to try and avoid traveling at peak hours when possible, as this may lead to longer waiting times at bus stops or train stations. 

The tram is the best for getting around the city of three public transport options. And if you’re lucky, you can catch the First Peoples Art Tram. Also, the tram is free in Melbourne CBD. Other Melbourne free tram zones are Queen Victoria market to Docklands, Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, and Spring Street.

Other Options: Rideshare, Taxi, & Chauffeur service

There are plenty other options for getting to and from the Melbourne RISING Festival. 

If you’re looking for a cheap ride with a guaranteed seat, try Rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft. However, you might incur surge pricing in peak hours.

A taxi will be a more expensive option but will provide you with door-to-door service that is always reliable. Also, taxis don’t have surge pricing. However, you might have to wait longer in peak hours when demand exceeds supply.

Chauffeur service is your best bet. Not only will you be able to avoid the hassle of public transport, but you can also rest assured that you’ll be able to get to and from the festival in comfort. Plus, with a chauffeur service, you won’t have to worry about finding parking.

Whatever method you choose, ensure you plan ahead, so everything goes smoothly. Check out what times they run and how much it costs beforehand, so there are no surprises at the end of the day.

Accommodation

With so many people in town, accommodation can be hard to come by. So if you’re planning to visit for the festival, be sure to book your accommodation early. 

Accommodation varies greatly depending on budget and location, but plenty of options are available across the inner and outer suburbs. All types of hotels are represented at this time, with plenty of motels, apartments, and luxury establishments. 

Hotels often offer special rates at this time to attract guests, and there are always last-minute specials available too. Just keep an eye out for these when booking online or over the phone.

To make it easier for you, we’ve created a list of some of our favorite hotels to stay at during the festival. All hotels are within walkable distance from the many RISING’s events.

Lancemore Crossley St

This refurbished boutique hotel will appeal to the most discerning guest. Located at  51 Little Bourke Street, Lancemore Crossley hotel offers its guests 113 art-filled accommodation rooms. Each room is unique, complex, and richly layered for that old-school glamor.

The hotel neighbors the Theatre District, China Town, and top-notch restaurants, including Gingerboy and Pellegrini.

Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands

Marriott Docklands Hotel offers a 5-star experience. This premium resort-style hotel is at 15 Waterfront Way, Docklands.

The hotel offers a sweeping view of the city and its waters. The curvaceous facade makes it hard to miss, and the revered dining is sure to satisfy every taste bud. 

Plus, Victoria’s world-class wineries and natural springs are a short drive from the hotel!

Next Hotel Melbourne

Next Hotel at 103 Little Collins Street offers a reimagined hotel experience. It’s more like a sophisticated sanctuary where you can stay, play, and do more.

The hotel exudes refined aesthetics with elegant, understated rooms & suites. There are 225 rooms and suites to choose from.

You can have a good time at the classic mini-bar, which serves aged bottled spirits and cocktails. Or you can recharge and reconnect in the club room, which features a fitness center and personal trainers. Also, the hotel is a walking distance of the captivating sounds and sights of China Town.

Quincy Hotel Melbourne

Colorful with cozy features, this hotel at 509 Flinders Lane brings the essence of South East Asia to Melbourne. The 241-room hotel offers plush beds and rooms ranging from standard to Hosier Club Suites. 

Amenities include fast Wi-Fi, Samsung 55” TV, and a mini-bar.

Conclusion

Join the RISING festival and be part of the group that will electrify Melbourne this winter. With hundreds of shows to choose from, there’s something for everyone. And with so many great hotels in the city, you’ll surely find the perfect place to stay. 

So why wait? Book your tickets and accommodation, and get ready to enjoy the music, art, and culture that make the RISING so great.

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