The elaborate multi-arts festival is getting creative for Spring's instalment.
Celebrating Melbourne’s diversity and multiculturalism in Autumn and Spring each year, Darebin City Council’s FUSE Festival’s upcoming Spring edition will look a little different this year as Melbourne faces an extended lockdown and ongoing restrictions regarding public space.
Designed to be wide-ranging and heterogeneous, accommodating a range of different access points for audiences and practitioners, the festival organisers have opted to take the beloved festival online to celebrate and support the local industry this September.
What you need to know
- FUSE Spring to go ahead as a digital event this September due to Melbourne’s extended lockdown
- FUSE Digital will continue to celebrate and support the local industry
- The festival is designed to support local artists, engage audiences, celebrate First Nations peoples and bring diversity to the forefront
Keep up with the latest festival news here.
While the event will not be able to hold in-person events as planned from Saturday, September 4 through to Sunday, September 19, FUSE Digital still promises to ignite audiences with a program of music and dance, visual arts, conversations, and workshops in a digital and online format, providing a fantastic new creative escape for Melburnians at home.
“FUSE recognises that artists and creative industries need to mourn the current global situation and the havoc it has wreaked on the arts,” festival organiers said.
“However, FUSE and Darebin City Council are committed to finding new and innovative ways to move beyond that moment of grief, and to forge new and positive connections with artists and audiences.
“We would like to convey that the decision to cancel in-person events was not taken lightly. However, now is the time to look after ourselves and each other as we work together across the community to promote good health, patience and compassion in order to mitigate the ongoing impact of the pandemic.”
Sticking by its launch date on Saturday 4th September, FUSE will kick off with Ganbu Gulin, a culturally inclusive event that celebrates and recognises First Nations peoples, and invites all residents, old and new, to be officially welcomed onto Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Country. Following a Welcome to Country by a Wurundjeri Traditional Owner, Ganbu Gulin (One Mob), the documentary will be available to view online for the duration of the festival. This powerful documentary is about how Darebin’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee led the Change the Date campaign in Darebin creating a powerful new ritual to Welcome all Darebin Citizens to Country.
Another highlight on the new digital festival program include the The Market Record, a solo audio journey using a smartphone or printed instructions. It involves an audio-guided trip to Preston Market’s Food Hall for your weekly shop. Locals can participate during Lockdown provided they are permitted to travel to the market and follow the latest health advice.
Taking place on Thursday 9th September online at 6pm, Spaced is a cry for solidarity between members of the disability community and those who identify as Deaf. Tackling all the forbidden subjects – religion, advocacy and curing disabilities. It asks questions like “does art makes you mentally ill?” or “do you have to be mentally ill to make art?” Featuring live performance, visual art, dance, and the printed word, Spaced brings together emerging and established artists with different experiences of disability. The event is Auslan interpreted and captioned.
A final highlight of the Spring program is the return of the Darebin Songwriters Award, an annual songwriting competition that seeks to recognise, showcase and promote the talents of local songwriters. While the search for Darebin’s most incredible songwriter may look a little different this year, the prizes and the strength of competition remain the same. In addition, they’ve extended the deadline to enter which means more time for you to craft your entry to make the maximum impact with the judges.
The winner of the award will receive an incredible prize package including $2,000 cash courtesy of City of Darebin, eight hours recording time with an engineer at HeadGap, EP Mastering by Crystal Mastering, a $500 Implant Media voucher for CD duplication services, and a $500 Echo Tone Guitars voucher, and will be showcased via FUSE’s website and socials.
The call-out is now open to songwriters who live, work or studies in Darebin. Entries now close Sunday 5 September, you can enter here.
For details of the FUSE Digital program, visit the website.