Summer Sounds at Bunjil Place: An evening of funky live music in a Melbourne architectural landmark

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Summer Sounds at Bunjil Place: An evening of funky live music in a Melbourne architectural landmark

Summer Sounds
words by Joanne Brookfield

While Kath and Kim famously put Narre Warren on the map by frequenting Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, for many years there wasn’t much else to do out that way.

As part of the growth corridor in Melbourne’s southeast, plenty of rooftops have popped up but for those living under them, they didn’t have the same options when it came to live performance and cultural activities that inner-city folk have.

That was until Bunjil Place appeared. The $125 million entertainment precinct has allowed major festivals, such as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival, for example, to take comedy and cinema out to the suburbs, while also programming everything from theatre, dance, visual art, spoken word, music and more.

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An architectural marvel, the building was designed by Australian Architecture firm Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp and it has won several awards, including the International Design Awards’ 2017 Architecture of the Year, and their Gold Prize in both Institutional Category and Landmarks, Symbolic Structures, Memorials, Public Category (2017).

Most recently, Bunjil Place won the International Architecture Awards’ 2019 International Architecture Award and it is against this backdrop that Summer Sounds will be taking place on Saturday, February 25. 

Happening for the sixth year at Bunjil Place Plaza, their premier music event for the year is an evening of soulful, funky, upbeat live music showcasing the best in rising local talent.

To keep things really interesting, and visually spectacular, UKI will also be present. Looking like something out of Mad Max crossed with a David Attenborough documentary, UKI – or Utility Kinetic Insect – is a massive, insect-like interactive kinetic sculpture.

With an exposed metal exoskeleton (the Mad Max bit) and giant moving wings (the David Attenborough bit) UKI is partly composed of LED arrays, which are programmed to pulse and flash and illuminate in response to the environment it finds itself in.

So UKI will be synchronised to the music, creating a mesmerising light installation as the sun sets. Given the nature of its design, which includes 4WD wheels, this robotic creature also doubles as a mobile DJ stage.

Heading the line-up is Naarm/Melbourne based folktronic act Amaru Tribe. Known for a genre they’ve developed called Cumbia Oceanica, they combine traditional music from Latin America with contemporary electronic sounds, which has seen them score three nominations at theMusic Victoria Awards for Best Multicultural Act (2019, 2020, 2021).

Then, to close the show, headline act is Spoonbill. In demand internationally, as a festival headliner and touring musician, Spoonbill (AKA Jim Moynihan) is a prolific musician, industrial designer, songwriter, audio-engineer, sound designer and electronic music producer, so the night is guaranteed to be top-notch from start to finish.

If the trek out to Narre Warren feels too far, it’s actually only a 40 minute drive from the city and there’s plenty of parking, while for those on public transport, it’s a train trip and short bus ride that delivers you pretty much at the door. 

As a sweetener, the first 100 tickets sold receive a complimentary beverage, so get carpooling and mosey on down the M1 for some Summer Sounds.

Summer Sounds will take over Bunjil Place on February 25. Find out more by heading here.

This article was made in partnership with the City of Casey