We’re just one week away from the dawn of RISING, Melbourne’s eclectic music festival. 

RISING Festival officially launched only last year, emerging out of the shadows of the Melbourne International Arts festival and White Night.

For just its second year, RISING recently unveiled an impressive lineup. From the relentlessly funky Thundercat to enchanting existential songwriter Weyes Blood, local rock favourites RVG to brooding Danish post-punks Iceage, there’s something to suit every musical taste.

For those late night revellers, though, there’s only one place to be during RISING: Max Watt’s.

The iconic CBD venue will be a heaving festival music hub from June 7th-18th, bringing night owls the finest experimental and innovative dance and electronic music from near and far.

Below, you can check out just some of the highlights of Max Watt’s RISING program:

Love Live Music?

Get the latest Live Music news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

Desire Marea – Thursday, June 8th

Whether they’re singing in English or Zulu, Desire Marea is a force of nature, taking on vital subjects like queerness, spirituality and blackness.

Formerly of South African collective FAKA, Marea’s solo music is varied and challenging, never settling into one restrictive genre.

They’ll be supported by Nigerian-born, Toronto-based experimental musician Debby Friday, who always brings the energy.

“Hit the floor in your full majesty,” Marea says, and a lot of people will likely accept their enticing invite next week.

YouTube VideoPlay

Real Lies – Thursday, June 15th

Real Lies are electronic duo Kev Kharas and Patrick King, who will be making their Australian debut a RISING.

The London-based pair have played their melodic anthems all over the world, including at Glastonbury, becoming festival favourites with their combination of wry lyricism and euphoric beats.

Real Lies released their second album, Lad Ash, last year, the long-awaited follow-up to their 2015 self-titled debut.

YouTube VideoPlay

Loraine James & Arushi Jain – Friday, June 16th

Another Australian debut and Victorian exclusive. James has made a name for herself with her innovative IDM sounds, but her music also contains plenty of flourishes of other genres.

The London musician worked with acclaimed producers from across the globe, all attracted to work with her thanks to her intelligent grooves.

“To watch James play is to witness song foundations get built on-the-go with simple tools—a keyboard, sample pads and a laptop—then twisted into kaleidoscopic new shapes,” as her show’s official description states.

James’ rise was slightly interrupted during the early moments of the COVID-19 pandemic, but her irrepressible talent couldn’t be constrained forever.

YouTube VideoPlay

NTS Closing Party – Saturday, June 17th

The big one. The iconic global online station finally launched their Oceania brand this year, marking the first time the music discovery platform had touched down in the Southern Hemisphere for almost a decade.

And now NTS is closing RISING’s Max Watt’s program with a great lineup of experimental and underground artists, including Japan’s EYE, Chinese/Australian composer Mindy Meng Wang, New York-based multidisciplinary artist Melati ESP and many more.

More information about RISING’s at Max Watt’s is available here

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine