Now or Never begins: Here’s how to spend the first few days of Melbourne’s major new festival

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Now or Never begins: Here’s how to spend the first few days of Melbourne’s major new festival

Now or Never Festival
Words by Staff Writer

A curated guide to doing the most in the first few days of Now or Never.

From today, Thursday 17 August, the City of Melbourne debuts its newest digital art and future thinking festival, Now or Never.

Transforming the city with large-scale outdoor sculptural installations and projections, an immersive 360° pop-up dome cinema and a slew of boundary-breaking performances that explore the realm where technology and art converge, Now or Never showcases Melbourne as a place to discover, learn and play.

Explore Melbourne’s latest arts and stage news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Running until 2 September, the blockbuster event brings together more than 300 local and internationally-renowned artists, composers, change makers and innovators – with a vibrant program featuring 18 Australian premieres and 20 festival exclusive commissions.

More than 200,000 people are expected to fill venues and precincts across the city for the 17-day festival, and enjoy more 70 leftfield music performances, immersive digital art installations and daytime talks.

The inaugural Now or Never program takes audiences on a journey to the intersection of art, ideas, sound and technology, addressing the central questions of our future in the context of the present moment.

Step into the world of tomorrow at the Art Trail

Open from Thursday 17 – Sunday 20 August, your first stop should be the luminous Art Trail igniting Victoria Harbour Promenade in Docklands, where a magnificent outdoor gallery of immersive digital art experiences awaits. Take a curator tour and also enjoy food truck fare and drinks from the on-site Moon Dog Brewery.

Party all night with Soju Gang + friends

After a wander through the Art Trail, head down to Max Watts tonight (Thursday 17 August) to help Now or Never launch into existence. This free, all-night affair has been curated by the ultimate party catalyst, Soju Gang, featuring a lineup of incredible First Nations DJs and artists. Register here to secure your spot on the guest list.

Ponder the future with Dr. David Suzuki

On Saturday 19 August, be sure to get a ticket to see Dr. David Suzuki on the enormous IMAX screen. Appearing live via video link from Canada, Dr. Suzuki will deliver a keynote address about the role of human intelligence in the future of Earth, followed by a Q&A.

Watch immersive VR games in action at Beyond The Screen

Later, head over to Melbourne Museum’s digital Learning Lab where you’ll find complex ideas and future thinking brought to life through the power of interactive VR gaming and projection.

Enter a portal of time and space at The Neversphere

Pass by the Melbourne Museum Plaza and you’ll notice something a little out of the ordinary – a giant, pop-up dome has appeared. Welcome to the Neversphere – our immersive 360° cinema where a diverse program of films ranging from educational to experimental are playing.

Experience sonic bliss with Kali Malone + MESS Synthesiser Orchestra

History meets the future in a spellbinding evening of music curated around Melbourne Town Hall’s majestic grand organ, featuring the trance-like sounds of Stockholm-based composer Kali Malone. Plus, an electric performance from MESS Synthesiser Orchestra led by composer collective STATHIS//DAVEY//KIM.

Now or Never takes place over Melbourne from Thursday 17 August to Saturday 2 September. For more information and to explore the full program, visit Now or Never.