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An insider's guide to Next Wave Festival

Welcome! I’m Georgie Meagher, Artistic Director of Next Wave, a national organisation based in Melbourne, dedicated to the new generation of Australian art. We run learning programs and the biennial Next Wave Festival, which is coming up very soon, from 5 to 22 May 2016.
This year’s program features 37 new projects across Melbourne by some of Australia’s boldest and brightest new artists. If you’re not sure where to start, never fear – I’m here to help! Here are some insider tips to help you make the most of both Next Wave Festival and the incredible city it is happening in.

Sisters Akousmatica by Julia Drouhin and Pip Stafford (image: Keelan O’Hehir)


Grab a coffee and kick things off with the leisurely Sisters Akousmatica walking tour on Sunday 8 May. It starts at 11am at Signal and forms a procession through the city, where curators Julia Drouhin and Pip Stafford invite you to listen via the airwaves (3CR on 855am) to seven acclaimed female sound artists who will perform at intervals throughout the day, creating a city-scale radio orchestra.

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Shadows on the Hill by Dan McCabe (image: Dan McCabe)

Or, pull up a camp-chair and have a cuppa and a chat about the future of the Australian landscape and our place within it, with Western Australian artist Dan McCabe for Shadows on the Hill. He’ll be at Testing Grounds on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 May, and at ACCA on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May. Can’t see him? He’s undercover, camping out around Melbourne in a tent cleverly disguised as a white ’90s station wagon.

Decolonist by Katie West (image: Katie West)


Drop into West Space between Tuesday and Saturday throughout the Festival to discover visual art exhibitions The Fraud Complex, curated by Johnson+Thwaites, and Decolonist by Katie West. Or book into one of Ben Landau’s Algorithmic Misfits performance/walking tours, where you’re invited to untangle fact, fiction and the bewildering world of data privacy with algorithm nerds, freedom fighters and obsessed academics.

Mummy Dearest by Annaliese Constable (image: Emily Spencer and Danny Adams)


Catch a dance or theatre performance (or two!) at North Melbourne’s Arts House between Tuesday and Sunday throughout the Festival, including Mummy Dearest by Annaliese Constable; and be sure to visit Errol Street while you’re there to discover One Million Views – a series of video portraits of some of Australia’s biggest YouTube stars, by artists Xanthe Dobbie and Tiyan Baker, displayed in shopfronts.
Or, settle in at ACMI for A-97, a videographic opera by composer Daniel Jenatsch that explores one of history’s greatest crimes: the shocking revelation that you have been tricked, and that the year 1997 never ended.

Next Wave Festival at The Toff in Town (image: Fiona Hamilton)

Wee Hours

Enjoy a well-earned drink at the Festival Club at the Toff in Town, open until late every night of the Festival. It’s the place to eat, drink, dance and rub shoulders with artists during Next Wave Festival.
But the night’s not over yet! Starting at 1pm on Friday 20 May, artist Nat Randall will present her 24-hour durational work The Second Woman at ACMI, where 100 different men will re-enact a scene inspired by the cult film Opening Night opposite leading-lady Nat, over and over and over again. If wild 3am performance art experiments take your fancy, this is the show for you!
There’s plenty more to see and do during Next Wave Festival – visit our website to find out more. See you at the Festival!

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The Second Woman by Nat Randall (image: Kate Blackmore)