Brunswick Music Festival is a 15-day jamboree of folk, roots and world music. It’s the longest running urban music festival in Australia and hosts a mix of ticketed performances, workshops and free events. The festival launches Sunday 1st March on Sydney Road where punters can catch local bands and street performers, while enjoying a good old-fashioned street party. We’ve gone through the line up and selected five ticketed music acts that are well worth your cash.
1) The Jazz Party
This seven-piece jazz outfit takes over Brunswick Town Hall on Friday 6th March to host the Brunswick Festival Ballroom Party. Your ears will be rewarded with the sound of brass, blues and jazz, and the hall will be overtaken with dancing and general gallivanting. At only $15 a ticket – it’s a sure bet for a great Friday night. Here’s a taster:
Pikelet is a synth-meets-pop-meets-psychedelic band from Melbourne. Originally a solo act created by Evelyn Morris (now the band’s primary vocalist), Pikelet fattened out the band to include three further members. The band have played numerous Australian festivals and opened for acts like Ariel Pink, Sufjan Stevens and Goldfrapp. As part of the Brunswick Festival, Pikelet will be playing with Icelandic musician Soley – a beautiful multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. Catch both acts at Howler on Tuesday 10th March.
Described as a ‘desert-psych guitarist’ Bombino hails from Niger with guitar skills and music that earned his last album the debut spot of #1 on Billboard’s World Music album chart. The album, Nomad, was recorded with Grammy-Award-winning producer Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys). Bombino is currently touring Australia and is playing Howler on Wednesday 11th March.
4) Margaret Leng Tan
After gaining a scholarship to study at world-renowned music school, Juilliard, Margaret Leng Tan became the first woman to earn a Doctorate in Musical Arts at the school. Her fascination with the art of playing toy instruments (in particular the toy piano) has seen her circuit the globe for various tours and festivals, while featuring in numerous documentaries. You can watch the awe that is a wonderfully talented musician playing a miniature piano on Wednesday 11th March at the Mechanics Institute.
5) Archie Roach
Often referred to as one of the country’s greatest musical storytellers, Archie Roach has over three decades’ experience in the music industry. As well as being a key voice for Indigenous issues, he has performed his original music across the globe – headlining and opening tours for the likes of Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Paul Kelly. Archie will perform two shows across the weekend of the 14th and 15th March, performing with Radical Son who mixes the smoothest of vocals with soul and hip hop.
So, if you like street parties, live music, and are down for something iconically Melbourne, then make sure to head to the Brunswick Music Festival – you can check out the full music program of events on their website.