Fed Square is celebrating its 20th anniversary next month. Since opening on October 26, 2002, this destination has been a gathering place for Melburnians, and a key landmark filled with cultural institutions like ACMI. To celebrate this significant birthday, Fed Square will be filled with a rich program of free experiences to try out in October. Get ready for music, art, film and more.
Fed Square Turns 20
After spending its first twenty years as an iconic cultural landmark, Fed Square will become the gateway to the Melbourne Arts Precinct in the next chapter of its life. Right next to Flinders Street Station, Fed Square will be the first stop in an artistic trip to the city, and the gateway to other cultural institutions like Arts Centre Melbourne, NGV International and the soon-to-be-built The Fox: NGV Contemporary.
“It’s hard to imagine our city without Fed Square – a unique civic, cultural and distinctly Melbourne space,” said Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos. “With our $1.7 billion transformation of the Melbourne Arts Precinct underway, Fed Square is set to become an even more significant cultural gateway and a vital link between our arts and sporting districts, and the CBD. This 20th birthday program is a chance for everyone to be part of a vibrant and creative celebration of the ‘people’s square’.”
Here’s what’s on at Fed Square in October.
A Rainbow of Tomorrows
When: October 8 to November 20, 10am to 5pm
Where: Koorie Heritage Trust
This guest-curated project is a multidisciplinary exhibition featuring the work of queer First Nations artists. Expect film, sculpture, digital painting, drawings, textiles and photography. There will also be performances in the space, including drag and cabaret shows, spoken word and musical acts, a life-drawing session and a panel discussion.More info here.
We Will Slam You With Our Wings
When: October 11 to 31
Where: The Atrium
In line with International Day of the Girl, this operatic video installation by Joanna Dudley will take over Fed Square’s Atrium. On supersized screens, you’ll see 19th century imperialistic portraits. But, instead of powerful white men, you’ll see young girls between 8 and 16, commanding the screen. Together, they create an unstoppable army.More info here.
When: October 14 to 23, 12pm to 9pm
Where: Swanston Street Forecourt
This is a participatory music-making playground in partnership with Melbourne Fringe Festival. There’s sixteen spinner playground seats. When one person sits and spins, 1/16th of a musical score plays. When all 16 are filled, the tracks will align seamlessly to create a beautiful soundtrack.See more here.
’20 Years of Culture’ Digital Art Exhibition
When: Live from October 17
Where: Online via Oshi Gallery
In a first for Fed Square, this exhibition will feature limited-edition digital artworks from some of Australia’s best contemporary artists. Inspired by Fed Square, you’ll be able to purchase these creations on a blockchain marketplace, and collect a piece of history.More info here.
When: October 22, 5:30pm
Where: Main Square
Always Live and artist Joseph O’Farrell team up to create an event that’s fun for the whole family. See 30 young garage bands perform live. Part block party and part live music show, this performance will showcase the talents of the next generation of superstars.See more here.
A Score for Fed Square by Mia Salsjö
When: October 26, 7:30pm
Where: Main Square
Artist and composer Mia Salsjö has created a new musical score inspired by the unique architecture of Fed Square. Listen to her musical composition in a one-off performance by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, on the evening of Fed Square’s birthday.Find out more here.