The Magnetic Fields, Alexis Taylor and Lambchop lead Melbourne Festival 2017

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A range of international and local performances make up the diverse 2017 Melbourne Festival program.

The Melbourne Festival returns to the Victorian capital this October, lighting up the city with a range of diverse, weird and wonderful productions across the spectrum of arts, theatre and music.

The full musical program features a range of intriguing shows that sees some revered artists perform in ways we’ve never seen them before.


To coincide with his 50th birthday last year, The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt released 50 Song Memoir, a collection of songs written for each year of his life. As part of Melbourne Festival, he’ll perform the record in its entirety over two nights, with a full stage show directed by José Zayas and featuring over 50 musical and decorative artefacts.

Hot Chip frontman Alexis Taylor brings his solo show to Australia, performing new compositions as well as tracks from throughout his career. His new album Piano is a stripped back, intimate affair and these shows will be as well, with the artist playing four nights at the Melbourne Recital Centre’s tiny Salon room.


Kurt Wagner brings his beloved Lambchop back to Australia for the first time since the release of their acclaimed latest album FLOTUS, which is another unpredictable departure from just about anything we’ve come to expect from the band in the past. From country to electro to soul, Wagner and his Lambchop collaborators do everything with class, that will suit the theatre setting beautifully.


Tree Of Codes is a contemporary ballet piece, soundtracked by a stark score by Jamie xx, Black Rider: The Casting Of The Magic Bullets is a William S. Burroughs/Tom Waits co-write, performed for the first time in Australia at the Malthouse Theatre and A 24-Decade History of Popular Music is a four-part, 24-hour-long extravaganza from New York performance artist Taylor Mac.

There are also a stack of exciting Australian shows, which celebrate the talent and diversity of our local artists, on the program.

Joelistics (TZU) and James Mangohig’s (Sietta) collaborative piece In Between Two brings their diverse backgrounds to the stage for a night of great music and storytelling.

Like Running Water sees Ella Thompson, Clio Renner and Sui Zhen join forces to become an exciting new supergroup. Expect a deconstruction of pop music, replete with string and woodwind arrangements, and stunning visuals from visual artists Prue Stent and Honey Long.

More Up A Tree brings together the brilliant Jim White (Dirty Three), Portuguese dancer Claudia De Serpa Soares and American multimedia artist Eve Sussman for a fascinating sounding show that features the audience as the third participant.

Our Place Our Home will once again showcase musicians from Australia’s refugee and Indigenous backgrounds in a big concert performance.

This is just scratching the surface of what the Melbourne Festival has in store for 2017. For further info, including all the details on dates and tickets, hit the Melbourne Festival website.