The 2022 Moon Lantern Festival is ready for people to ‘open their hearts’

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The 2022 Moon Lantern Festival is ready for people to ‘open their hearts’

Moon Lantern Festival
Ausecuma Beats
Words by Ben Lamb
In partnership with Moon Lantern Festival

Village Festival Creative Producer Tim Sneddon and Wagner Shintani from BANH Inc (Collingwood Neighbourhood House) give us the low down on what’s up with the Moon Lantern Festival in 2022.

The Moon Lantern festival brings a huge range of music, food, theatre and fashion to North Richmond.

There’ll be music from the All Abilities Choir, Ausecuma Beats, Kee’ahn, and Gordon Koang among many more, a Fashion House that allows attendees to make their own DIY garments, a fashion show, a performance from Fog Theatre, who are made up of actors with disabilities, and even a DJ set from Lloyd Briggs from PBS, who will be spinning some killer RnB, soul and jazz tunes. This is only the tip of the iceberg, you can dive into the rest of the program here.

What you need to know

  • Moon Lantern Festival is taking place April 8 – 10.
  • It’s happening at the corner of Lennox St & Highett St in Richmond.
  • Tickets are free, all are welcome.

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

The Moon Lantern Festival has been a staple of the North Richmond scene for just under three decades and has never failed to put on an amazing show. 2022 marks the first time the festival is extending its wide array of music and arts across three days, thanks to help from new management and assistance from the state government.

The story behind this year’s Moon Lantern festival is irreverently joyous. Explaining the brains behind the festival in the early days, Tim shares: “Karen Hovenga, who’s the president of the Belgium Avenue Neighbourhood House, was walking through this oval on the North Richmond estate and just sort of thought to herself ‘I want to have a festival here.

“Karen reached out to The Village, as we focus on community and emerging artists and multi art festivals,” he continues. “This got us engaged to co-produce the Moon Lantern Festival which is already an existing and significant festival for the community.”

The festival also enjoys a partnership with the Collingwood Neighbourhood House, and Wagner Shintani helps liaise between community performers on the program.

“It’s been a really good partnership, because a lot of the work that we do at Belgium Avenue Neighbourhood House and Collingwood Neighbourhood House is about finding the talents and all these resources that are within the community, and empowering this community to use their art,” Wagner adds.

An interesting inclusion to the 2022 Moon Lantern festival program is cooking, with a number of different personalities sharing their take on the world of food.

“Cooking is one of our main community development priorities in any of its forms. So, it’s been a really good process of working together with The Village because I think our ethos’ are aligned with each other,” Wagner continues.

The world of cooking allows passionate Melbournians from different backgrounds to come and speak about the food that’s so important to their cultures. At the Moon Lantern Festival, they even demonstrate how to cook it.

“At all our festivals, we have music and theatre,” Tim says. “But we’ve also got The World Kitchen, which is an actual performance stage where multicultural home-cooks come in and cook food with an MC. They’re talking about their food and their memories and what it means culturally, or what it means in their family.

“Then we sort of gather around the stage, and then we’ll get to share the food. So it’s sort of like a 24-hour live cooking show, which is really great in terms of engaging people in the community who maybe wouldn’t feel confident enough to perform.

If anyone reading this isn’t too sure about what the Moon Lantern Festival is all about, Wagner notes the best type of attitude to enjoy the festivities.

“Just come with an open mind,” he concludes. “I’m excited, it is a truly multicultural community, and I think that’s something that is spoken over and over in Melbourne, but it’s not really about just going to Chinatown, or going to certain neighbourhoods.

“I like people to just open their hearts and eyes to experience a true multicultural community.” 

Come an experience what Melbourne’s all about at the Moon Lantern festival. It’s happening from April 8 to April 10, check out more info here.