The Melbourne Festival 2013 lineup has been announced, with tonight’s official program launch revealing a richly diverse contemporary music selection for the annual arts festival; an eclectic mix of local and international artists playing unique shows around the Melbourne CBD.

Running from the 11th to 27th of October this year, Melbourne Festival’s music program is nothing if not comprehensive, put together by Melbourne Festival’s Creative Director Josephine Ridge and Declan Forde (co-creator of Harvest Festival).

Heading the big international names headed in from overseas are performances from prolific indie veterans Yo La Tengo, cult-sized ensemble The Polyphonic Spree, soul soldier Cody ChesnuTT, UK noiseniks Fuck Buttons, Icelandic multi-instrumentalist Ólafur Arnalds, former Beta Band frontman Steve Mason, and the harp-toting artist who spilled the beans on his lineup inclusion early, Active Child, who will be supported by Sydney’s Oliver Tank.

There’s also married folksters The Handsome Family, in a show with Ireland’s Foy Vance (not to be confused with Vance Joy); Celt legends Clannad, Chilean musician Quique Neira, and psychedelic Brooklynites Prince Rama supported by local dance connoisseurs No Zu.

There’s plenty of Australian selections to enjoy as well, with shows from celebrated Indigenous singer Gurrumul, a performance of Into The Bloodstream from Archie Roach, rousing rockers British India, a DJ set from Dexter of The Avalanches, the folk-pop sounds of Husky, the future-funk of Hiatus Kaiyote, a live set from Flight Facilities, and ‘An Evening With Caitlin Rose and Henry Wagons’. 

Other program highlights include a performance form the Cinematic Orchestra with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Malian husband-and-wife duo Amadou & Mariam performing in darkness for their show ‘Eclipse’, a celebration of ska music featuring Australia’s The Caribs, Strange Tenants (Jamaica), and the Ska Vendors (UK), and a premiere screening of The Boy Castaways, the fantasy musical starring Washington, Tim Rogers, and Paul Capsis.

The three Aussie performers will also take part in a live showcase called ‘Songs of Wreck and Ruin’, performing rock favourites by Iggy Pop, The Reels, Daniel Johnston and more featured in Michael Kantor’s genre-defying film.

Many of the city’s most iconic live music venues will play a central feature of the Melbourne Festival, with performances hosted at The Arts Centre, Melbourne Recital Hall, Fed Square, The Forum, Hamer Hall, the Palais, and Sidney Myer Music Bowl, which is hosting Gurrumul’s one-of-a-kind performance with the Philharmonia Orchestra.

There’s also the introduction of the Foxtel Festival Hub, a pop-up venue located under Princes Bridge on the banks of the Yarra, that will host many of the contemporary music selections from the Polyphonic Spree, to Hiatus Kaiyote, The Avalanches’ Dexter, and many, many more.

Its a dense and diverse music program, with tickets for all shows going on sale Friday 16th August, with prices starting from $25, with more info available at the Melbourne Festival 2013 website.

Melbourne Festival 2013 Lineup

Active Child
Amadou & Mariam
Archie Roach
British India
Caitlin Rose & Henry Wagons
The Caribs
The Cinematic Orchestra
Cody ChesnuTT
Dexter (The Avalanches)
Flight Facilities
Fuck Buttons
The Handsome Family
Hiatus Kaiyote
No Zu
Ólafur Arnalds (Iceland)
Oliver Tank
The Polyphonic Spree
Prince Rama
Quique Neira (Chile)
Ska Vendors (UK)
Songs of Wreck and Ruin – feat. Washington, Tim Rogers, and Paul Capsis
Steve Mason (UK)
Strange Tenants (Jamaica)
Werk of THISISPOPBABY (Ireland)
Yo La Tengo

Melbourne Festival 2013

11th – 27th October, 2013
Tickets go onsale on Friday 16 August at 9am – prices start at $25.
Full details at:

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