The sun is out and the weather is getting warmer. People are walking up and down the streets of Melbourne with a smile – a grin, even – on their faces. Christmas ads are showing on TV and the usual songs seem catchier than usual. You can feel something is different. What exactly is going on?
To the delight of almost everyone in the state, Melbourne is coming out of lockdown – for real this time. Its citizens are vaxxed, relaxed, and ready to embrace the magic of an open city. The team here at The Jasper Picture Company are super excited, not just because we can finally go back to the pub after work on Friday but because our friends in the Arts sector are finally able to get their livelihoods back. It’s no secret that the arts sector has struggled, being held to highly restrictive regulations compared to the more modest restrictions faced by sport, for example. Transitioning that work online is difficult and it shouldn’t be underestimated how well some performers and artists have done to gain an audience through the virtual world. So at long last and without further ado, here are the most exciting opportunities to come out of Melbourne’s reopening.
Local inside shows:
It’s incredible just how much comes from sharing a room. The intimacy and comfort integral to many works of art is tricky to recreate online, and for some simply impossible. That’s why we’re so excited to be re-entering the theatres and halls and cinemas that are custom-built for performing. The buzz of a live audience gives shows an extra boost and something for performers to play off. We’re hoping that like us, many Melburnians will have missed the exhilaration of live shows and will be rushing to check out what shows are available. Plays, musicals, gigs, stand up – there are bucket-loads of opportunities to check out in Melbourne. Annual events such as the International Comedy Festival and International Film Festival are key events in our city’s calendar that make use of these indoor spaces. Frankly, we’ve never been more excited even to swing by the local comedy club, where we’ve missed sharing a drink, a laugh and a way to support Melbourne’s arts scene.
We recommend: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Performed at the Princess Theatre, it’s a fantastic spectacle with brilliant effects and tight production. The fact that the show can finally continue after many interruptions makes it all the sweeter.
Shows in the sun
Warm sunny days out with friends, drinks flying from hands, the chaos of finding your friends… we miss it all. And with performers the world over shaking their cobwebs and touring internationally, there’s no shortage of acts lined up for the next two years. Separate from massive concerts, we have the gigs that accompany hospitality venues, where many local acts get their first taste of music as a career. Do your community a favour and check out the local guitar player on Saturday nights at the pub – you might get lucky and stumble onto a musical talent to keep an eye on. Regardless, enjoy the vibes they’ll bring to venues that have sorely missed them. After enough beers, we might even join in on this rendition of ‘Piano Man’.
We recommend: The Gorillaz. They’ve been loved since their debut album in 2000, and have built up a reputation as a great act to watch in person. The only downside is waiting until July 2022 before you can see them!
Food vans. Wristbands. Scores of people wandering around, taking in the scenery and the fun of their surroundings. Festivals are nature’s way of saying ‘you should relax and just enjoy yourself, with music, live acts, freebies and killer soul food’. Best of all, they scale for every occasion: huge party with drinks and music galore? Check. A family-friendly day out with the kids? Check. Place for jazz-lovers to gather and enjoy the craft? Check. From New Year’s Eve to Labour Day, the fun and frivolities that come with festivals are something we’ve missed for a long time. There’s something magnetic about being around a large group of people enjoying themselves. It’s the sort of thing that can’t be replicated by wandering around your house to find the best spot to listen to a speaker for half an hour, try as you might. The accompanying live acts and performers that come with festivals are a bonus, giving their craft a stage to shine and adding to the mood of an occasion. Or maybe you’re here especially for a performer. Either way, take a mental screenshot and treat yourself to something from those burger vans – they always hit the spot.
We recommend: Moomba. This free, family-friendly affair takes place over the March Labour Day weekend. With fireworks, water sports, heaps of live shows and great food and drink there’s something for everyone in this Melbourne special. Bonus points if you check out some of the musician’s Spotify accounts.
One last opportunity for the Arts sector is the possibilities given to young people and junior professionals. It’s been tough for everyone across the sector, but many talented performers will have graduated or finally decided to commit to their craft full-time, only to be completely unable to start. At even younger levels, we’re thinking of the kids who couldn’t try their school’s play or musical and couldn’t get the ‘showman bug’ to help them continue performing through their school lives. Being able to get young people back into areas where they can experiment, learn and have fun will be crucial to continuing the proud traditions of performing in this state. Who knows, maybe the next Margot Robbie or Chris Hemsworth are thinking of having a go at the year 10 play after all.
We recommend: Your local university performance – but if you’re stuck for ideas, we’d personally choose the work of Melbourne University Shakespeare Company.
Beyond that, maybe you want to spend your days on a set, creating a video which will launch your companies brand in this new lockdown free environment. In that case, give us a call! Whether you’re looking to promote your business or grow awareness about your cause, we’ve got the skills required to get the job done on time and within budget.