Inside the massive Chicago-inspired block party coming to Melbourne

Inside the massive Chicago-inspired block party coming to Melbourne

Words by Caleb Triscari

Featuring a lineup of The Hard Aches, DZ Deathrays, Ecca Vandal and more.

Melburnians love a good street party, so it’s no surprise that in May, Chicago brewery Goose Island will be hosting its first-ever Aussie block party. Run in partnership with Good Beer Week, the block party will be jam-packed with live music, food, drink, art and exclusive beer concoctions. Even though it’ll feature a true-blue lineup, elements of the event will honour ties to its Chicago origins.

For its inaugural Melbourne party in Geddes Lane, the brewery has brought together some of the country’s best local acts. Headlining the block party bill are Adelaide natives The Hard Aches. Rapper Ecca Vandal, Moaning Lisa and Bench Press will also be making an appearance on the Goose Island stage, in addition to DJ sets by The Bennies and DZ Deathrays. Complementing the live gigs will be art installations and custom merch by Melbourne artists Callum Preston and George Rose. Of course, it wouldn’t be a block party without a bite to eat, and Goose Island have enlisted the help of food trucks My Benny Burger and Snag Society to dish up the goods.

Goose Island has been hosting parties since 2012. For its inaugural event, US powerhouse St Vincent was the headlining act. Needless to say, her popularity has only grown over the last seven years, so Goose Island clearly know how to pick them. Previous lineups have included Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Vaccines, Matt and Kim, Twin Peaks and many more. Melbourne is one of many locations graced by a Goose Island block party, with past events organised in Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai and London.

The brewery kicked off its series of block parties partially to get directly involved with the Chicago community. As Goose Island’s head of marketing Andrew Vance, put it, the block party was an opportunity to deepen ties to the local Chicago scene.

“We’ve put on block parties out the back of our brewery in Chicago for seven years now and having launched Goose Island in Australia back in 2017, we thought the time was right to bring our famous block party to Melbourne and what better time than as part of Good Beer Week,” Vance said.

“Our block parties bring together and celebrate different aspects of Chicago urban street culture with local music, food and, of course, a full lineup of Goose brews, and we can’t wait to thank our Australian fans by bringing together some of Melbourne’s finest music acts, artists, street vendors, along with some of our limited edition beers for one day only.”

Like all good street parties, the beer will certainly be a-flowin’, with Goose Island flaunting its vast range of IPA and barrel-aged brews. The brewery will also be importing some limited-edition beers, shipped from Chicago exclusively for the event.

Goose Island’s inaugural block party goes down Saturday May 11. For tickets, head to the Good Beer Week website.