Eight unmissable events at Leaps and Bounds Festival (and why you’ll love them)
30.05.2022

Eight unmissable events at Leaps and Bounds Festival (and why you’ll love them)

Leaps and Bounds
Credit: Cookin' On 3 Burners
Words by Tyler Jenke

It might come as something of a shock to realise we’re already halfway through the year, but thankfully, the 2022 edition of Melbourne’s Leaps and Bounds Music Festival is just around the corner to ease any existential crises we might be facing.

Returning to its rightful mid-year slot for the first time since a notable global pandemic, Leaps and Bounds is set to take over the City of Yarra from June 24 until July 24, with a lineup that’s been described by organisers as a “music-lover’s dream”.

Lighting up 35 different venues across Fitzroy, Fitzroy North, Collingwood, Abbotsford, and Richmond over its ten day runtime, this year’s edition of Leaps and Bounds is arguably set to be one of the most exciting and hotly-anticipated for quite some time. However, with such a dizzyingly diverse list of events on offer through June and July, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you, outlining some of our top suggestions below in order to help get your event shortlist in fighting form.

What you need to know

  • Leaps and Bounds Fetsival is taking over the City of Yarra from 24 June to 24 July this year
  • As a venue-focused festival, it will celebrate the home grown talent in music venues and outlets
  • There’s a huge variety of nostalgic, multicultural, and contemporary events in 2022

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

Leaps and Bounds Festival announces jam-packed 2022 program

A Night with Uncle Jack Charles

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  • Collingwood Town Hall

A veritable polymath in every sense of the word, there’s no denying the wealth of joy and inspiration that Uncle Jack Charles brings to the table. A continuation of his nationally-renowned A Night with Uncle Jack events, Leaps and Bounds brings the actor, musician, Aboriginal elder, and activist to the Collingwood Town Hall for a truly unmissable evening of truth, love, laughter, and legendary storytelling

The event is happening from 7.00pm July 9. Tickets cost $20-30. 

Fitzroyalty

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  • Abbotsford Convent

A chance to relive the iconic musicians who graced the stages of beloved Fitroy venues The Evelyn, The Night Cat, Rainbow Hotel, and Bar Open, Fitzroyalty sees Mary Mihelakos programming a genre-defying evening of the soul, funk, blues, and hip-hop legends of Brunswick Street. Featuring beloved names such as Spoonful, Cookin’ on 3 Burners, The Band Who Knew Too Much, The Brown Hornet, Rebecca Barnard, and much more, it’s an evening of blissful nostalgia for veteran music lovers, and a veritable musical education for newcomers.

The event is happening from 3.00pm July 2. Tickets cost $10-25.

Afrosphere

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  • Abbotsford Convent

Having previously teamed up to stage a massively successful collaboration in Burnley Park over summer, this July sees the City of Yarra again teaming up with the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, this time to present Afrosphere. Taking over the Abbotsford Convent for a masterful evening of Afro Jazz and beats, this sensational event sees the likes of The Experience (fronted by rapper, poet, and founder, ZII, to continue his father’s philosophy of sharing culture following these difficult past years) and Ausecuma Beats (a nine-strong ensemble which aims to musically explore the transplantation of cultural heritage through the eyes of contemporary Melbourne) coming together for an explosive combination of sound, story, and song.

The event is happening from 8.00pm July 1. Tickets cost $20-35.

Blackout Experience

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  • Abbotsford Convent

Taking place as part of the Victorian Government’s On the Road Again initiative, the Blackout Experience returns for its third edition, with Melbourne cultural taste-makers and BIPOC music label Yo CiTY presenting a tribute to the great MCs of our time. Featuring the likes of spoken word artist Grace Vanilau, Filipino-German rapper Arnt Mae, Motswana poet and rapper Tumi The Be, and one half of So.Crates, the California-born MC Cazeaux O.S.L.O., the Blackout Experience sees past and present colliding, with the future being woven by many voices on one lone mic.

The event is happening from 8.00pm June 30. Tickets cost $20-35.

Bad Apples House Party

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  • Collingwood Town Hall

When Shepparton musician Briggs launched his Bad Apples record label, he might not have foreseen the sort of reach and influence that it would have in just a matter of years. Now, more than seven years since its founding, the Bad Apples House Party brings together some of the finest artists on its roster as part of its goal to foster and celebrate Blak excellence.

Fusing genres while embracing the importance of personal stories and experiences, this year sees the likes of Malyangapa, Barkindji woman BARKAA showcasing why she’s one of the country’s most acclaimed rappers, Gomeroi man Kobie Dee proving his worth as one of the country’s most exciting hip-hop artists, and punk rockers Chasing Ghosts, whose Homelands EP sees frontman (and proud Goori man) Jimmy Kyle discussing heartfelt, yet often uncomfortable topics through their powerful music.

The event is happening from 7.00pm June 24. Tickets cost $30-40. 

RocKwiz Live!

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  • Collingwood Town Hall

For close to two decades, RocKwiz has stood tall as both an opportunity for the music-minded among us to get one over on our less-talented mates, but also as an enduring and beloved fixture of the Australian music scene. Now, RocKwiz Live! returns to Leaps and Bounds, just in time for NAIDOC Week’s Get up! Stand up! Show up! celebrations. With Julia Zemiro and Brian Nankervis’s iconic hosting styles complemented by both special guests and the RocKwiz OrKestra, this not-to-be missed event will serve as a stellar showcase of local artists, while also highlighting the unique Australian musical voice of our First People.

The event is happening from 7.00pm July 8. Tickets cost $50-70.

Rockhopper Records Music-Mart

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  • Collingwood Town Hall

No Melbourne music event would be complete without a celebration of its emerging artists. That’s where Rockhopper Records comes into it, offering live sets from the city’s best up-and-coming pop artists, including Eilish Gilligan, Nat Vazer, Yi-Lynn, Stella Farnan, and Audition Tape.  Meanwhile, market stalls from Flecks Angels, Beads By Char, SÃO Homewares, Everyday Lines, 895 Studio, and Rockhopper Records will serve up local food, homewares, jewellery, art, and streetwear, allowing you to truly experience what Melbourne’s creative sector is all about.

The event is happening from 1.00pm June 26. Tickets cost $10. 

Flightless and Friends

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  • Collingwood Town Hall

 You’d be hard-pressed to find an indie label that has a greater international following than the likes of Flightless Records. Home to releases and artists as varied as King Gizz, ORB, The Murlocs, and CIVIC, it makes sense for the likes of Flightless to sing the praises of the bands who make up their powerful roster.

Now, they’re doing just that, with the Collingwood Town Hall hosting a label showcase featuring the likes of “Melbourne’s most anonymous band” and supergroup Galah playing their only show for 2022, the resonant familial duo of Mug, surrealist avant-garders Eggy, and the ever-powerful The Slingers. Needless to say, if you like your tunes raw and raucous, you know where you’ll feel at home at Leaps and Bounds.

The event is happening from 7.00pm June 26. Tickets cost $10.

Check out the entire Leaps and Bounds 2022 festival program and find out more info here.

This article was made in partnership with Leaps and Bounds Festival.