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Beat's Guide to Darebin Music Feast 2018

Darebin Music Feast kicks off this Thursday, for a massive 11 days of live music, panel discussions, workshops and more.

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As well as showcasing some of the best local minds and musicians, this year’s program aims to push back against the inequality and lack of diversity often underpinning the music industry, and reflect the truly mixed community of Darebin. With such a rich and interesting lineup, we’ve picked out a few key events well worth checking out.

Opening Night Party: Her Sound, Her Story and Sonic / Ascent

What would a festival be without a good ol’ opening night party to get the ball rolling? This year’s is split into two parts, kicking off with a thought-provoking screening of Her Sound, Her Story. Produced by Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore and Michelle Grace Hunter, the documentary explores personal experiences and stories from over 45 female artists, across six decades of industry experience.

If you feel like a boogie after the screening, then stick around for Sonic / Ascent, where artists like Jesswar, Girl Zone and Alice Skye will be providing the tunes for a night of music, art and community spirit. It goes down at the Darebin Arts Centre on Thursday October 18.

Darebin Music Feast Songwriters’ Award Grand Final

The Darebin Songwriters competition has been running for over 15 years now, and is pretty highly regarded in Melbourne’s musical community. The top ten finalists get the chance to perform their entry track as part of the event, but only one lucky winner will walk away with $2000 cash and – more importantly – studio time. Hosted by local musician Neda Rahmani at Northcote Town Hall, the event is free and open to all ages. There’ll also be performances from previous winners Rich Davies and Charm of Finches, so head along on Thursday October 25 and support your local musos.

Sudo Girls Talk!

There’s plenty of South Sudanese women who play music, write poetry and partake in creative fields, but how many of them are you familiar with?

This Darebin Feast edition of Sudo Girls Talk! is a chance to get educated, featuring an all-female lineup of South Sudanese musicians, spoken word artists and poets. Taking place at Northcote Town Hall on Friday October 26, this is a chance to broaden your creative tastes, and recognise the artistry of women in the South Sudanese Australian community.

Jirrmujina Liyan

Continuing with the themes of diversity and representation is Jirrmujina Liyan, meaning ‘songs for spirit’. The night is made up of a diverse mix of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal artists, all proudly celebrating their craft, and it’s place in their heritage.

Yorta Yorta musician DRMNGNOW and Pyemairrenner artist Kalyani (of Willow Beats) are just some of the names on the bill, both set to give powerful and captivating performances. Head to Northcote Town Hall on Saturday October 27 for the show, with free entry for under 18’s, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

Feast Films  

Feast Films is a newcomer to this year’s program, screening flicks that celebrate amazing women doing amazing things in music. As well as opening night documentary, Her Sound, Her Story, there’ll be five other films on show over the festival’s eleven day period, with differing session times. Some, like Sini Anderson’s The Punk Singer, are documentaries about women in the scene, while others, such as Geremy Jasper’s Patti Cake$, are light-hearted stories about making it big. Check out the full list of films and session times on the festival website.

Sonic aGender: Clip Flicks

This one’s for everyone who used to love a little bit of Saturday morning Rage. Curated by Janelle Johnstone as part of Sonic aGender, you’re invited to the Thornbury Picture House on Saturday October 20, to soak up a selection of film clips from over the years.

After the screenings, artists and musicians like Angie Hart, Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore and Cerise Howard will lead a discussion about the process of transforming songs into visual works, as well as a mini-history lesson into the cultural stereotypes we often see in them.

Sonic aGender: Shake The Tree

Rounding out the weekend of Sonic aGender events is this family friendly day of entertainment on Sunday October 21, at the Thornbury Bowls Club. It’s kind of set out like a school carnival, with a sausage sizzle, meat tray raffle, cake stall and kids bowling session on the agenda.

Entertainment is tailored to the littlies, with The Pink Tiles, Sugar Fed Leopards and Ally Boom Boom & The Cool Bananas bound to keep the kids happy and under control while you unwind with a bev from the bar. It’s free for anyone under 18, but adults will need to grab a ticket online.

Darebin Closing Party

Sunday October 28 is a wrap on this year’s Music Feast, and it’s going to go off with a bang. Kicking off at 2pm, there’ll be 18 acts spread out across three stages in Northcote, so you’ll be able to do some venue-hopping pretty easily.

The lineup includes some pretty big local names, like ‘Ripe’ singer Banoffee, and four-piece RVG, as well as a myriad of other artists, including Clypso, Tanya George and Jaala. Entry for the whole day is free, and the venues are wheelchair accessible and kid-friendly, so no one has to miss out.

Darebin Live

As well as the big festival events, Darebin is going to be buzzing with live music every night for the 11-day period. The open access program is a celebration of the local gig scene, which includes a bevvy of musos across a whole range of genres, playing at various participating venues.

A large majority of the acts are home-grown, but this is more about showcasing the diversity of live music in Darebin, so there’s artists from all over the place. Head to the website to trawl through the massive program, and pick some shows to mark in your calendar.

Darebin Music Feast kicks off Thursday October 18 until Sunday October 28. The full program can be found on the Darebin Music Feast website, as well as tickets for all events.