A huge festival celebrating Mediterranean dance, food, music and art is coming to Melbourne

A huge festival celebrating Mediterranean dance, food, music and art is coming to Melbourne

Tarantula Garganica

Taking place across five days in March, Taranta Festival’s eclectic program will envelop the inner-city suburbs.

Returning for its second year, Taranta Festival will make its way to Melbourne once again to celebrate Mediterranean and Italian culture through five days of music, dance, visual arts, food and parties.

Taking its name from the traditional Italian dance thought to cure tarantism – a psychological illness causing an uncontrollable impulse to dance, prevalent in southern Italy between the 15th and 17th century, which was thought to be brought on by the bite of a tarantula – the festival is embedded with culture and tradition.

Featuring over 15 events, Taranta Festival will take over venues such as Darebin Arts Centre, Meat Market, and Brunetti with a range of immersive performances and experiences.

Headlining the live music program are international acts Enza Pagliara & Dario Muci and Tarantula Garganica alongside local talent Santa Taranta and Arte Kanela. It doesn’t end there, either, with the huge lineup also featuring The Rustica Project, Delyrium, Banda Bellini, and loads more.

It wouldn’t be a true Mediterranean celebration without food, and there is no shortage of culinary experiences on this year’s lineup.

On Friday March 13, you’ll have two chances to dine with artists from the festival’s program. At 9am, you can join some of Taranta’s musical acts at Brunetti, one of Melbourne most famous Italian bars, for coffee and breakfast. Then, at 11:30am, headliners Tarantula Garganica invite hungry festival-goers to lunch at IPugliesi.

The following day will see Darebin Arts Centre host a traditional Pugliese lunch, showcasing great food and music from the Puglia region and bound to transport your tastebuds to the region famed for its olive oil.

The centrepiece of Taranta 2020 is the Festival Gala Concert, featuring performances by Arte Kanela, Enza Pagliara & Dario Muci with Santa Taranta and Tarantula Garganica, happening at Meat Market from 6:30pm on Friday March 13.

There are also a range of workshops, exhibitions and much more to see and do across the festival. Think of it as the perfect way to experience the tastes, sounds and culture of the Mediterranean region without having to board a plane.

Taranta Festival is happening from Wednesday March 11 until Sunday March 15 across various venues. For tickets and all the details, head to the festival website