Saturday November 9 – Sunday November 10.
Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford. Entry via the main gate on St Heliers Street.
Expect an eclectic mix of artists at Open Spaces, including three-piece indie-dance outfit Haiku Hands whose genre bending sound incorporates hip hop, pop, dance and electronica. Other notable artists include DRMNGNOW, Elle Shimada, Pookie, Parvyn, Danika Smith, HAYCH, N’fa Jones and a stellar lineup of female-identifying DJs including Colette, Aucan Alias, Adriana, Imaxx, Mamacita Bonnita and Emelyne.
Make sure you bring
A picnic blanket and people to enjoy the day with.
Abbotsford Convent’s flagship program Open Spaces Festival is the biggest weekend of the year for the site and stands as a celebration of the Convent’s people and spaces. Abbotsford Convent occupies 6.8 hectares and, for over 100 years, provided shelter, food, education and work for tens of thousands of women and children who experienced poverty, neglect and social disadvantage. Today, it’s Australia’s largest multi-arts precinct. You can find over 100 studios, two galleries, cafes, a classical music radio station, a Steiner school and greenery to walk around in onsite.
Open Spaces is an all-ages arts and music event, ideal for young kids, grandparents and anyone in between. Enjoy a relaxing weekend sprawled on the grass in the Convent’s beautiful gardens surrounded by its stunning heritage architecture. There’ll be art, children’s programs, creative workshops and demonstrations, roving performances, markets and food trucks, all on top of the amazing lineup of diverse music artists.
Food and drink
Plenty of food truck options will be serving grub over the weekend, including Taco Truck, Billy van Creamy, Ghost Kitchen and Mabu Mabu. There’s also regular onsite eateries, such as Cam’s, Lentil As Anything, Convent Bakery and Kappaya. Two pop-up bars will also be open, so you can sip on a G&T while you soak it all in.
There’s a whole bunch of talented people performing and showcasing art installations for the festival, including Ngioka Bunda-Heath – the first Indigenous woman to graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance). You can also see Narrm-Melbourne based artist Maddison Kitching who will be exhibiting his artwork which integrates ideas about Australian national identity. Leisa Shelton, Jake Potter, Mary Peacock, Rick Matear and other artists will also be there.
What if I need a bit of R&R?
The Convent’s WellBeing group will be available when you need a break from the action. You can get a massage, join a yoga or meditation session, plus there are one-on-one consultations. The Convent has a committed team of more than 20 highly qualified practitioners who will be there to support your spiritual, emotional and mental health.
Get involved with arts and craft activities at the Convent’s workshops and open studios, including Ink & Spindle which is proudly carbon neutral. They use water-based, organic inks, recycled paper and sustainable base cloths. They are also partnered with carbon neutral’s Plant-A-Tree program, helping to restore local native flora and fauna.
Tickets are $5 per person, per day at the gate, with free entry for children under five and Companion Card holders.
Find out more about Open Spaces at abbotsfordconvent.com.au.