The festival that describes itself as “part celebration, part exorcism, all party” is returning on October 4 and will be bringing some of the world’s most provocative music, art and ideas to Melbourne.

Melbourne prides itself on being crowned the world’s most liveable city – a title the Victorian city has earned seven times. This year’s lineup for Melbourne Festival is no deviation from the city’s attractive lifestyle and friendly people, with a diverse and thought-provoking selection of artists, exhibitions and performances spanning across nineteen days in October.

Artistic Director, Jonathan Holloway has said of the event’s organisation: “We have searched the world for the most courageous, visionary and ambitious artists: artists who are actively taking on the biggest subjects with flair, excitement and drive. We have drawn together as many of them as possible to create a blockbuster that attempts to remind us all what humankind is capable of.”

Tanderrum will kickstart the celebrations in Federation Square with a ceremony of the five clans of the Kulin Nation to pay respects to Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people. This is a free event and will start at 6:30PM on October 4 – more info can be found here.

The centrepiece of 2017’s Melbourne Festival is American actor Taylor Mac’s monolithic A 24-Decade History of Popular Music which charters the musical history of the United States, highlighting some of the most prolific rebellions, revolutions and tragedies since 1776. Mac’s masterpiece is divided into four chapters, each spanning six hours with the assistance a marching band, a choir and over one hundred local and international acrobats, burlesque artists and performers. Taylor Mac’s behemoth act is a story told through a fantastically radical queer lens with plenty of stilettos, glitter and eyeliner. Mac’s first performance is on October 11 – more info can be found here.

Taylor Mac in his own masterpiece, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Image: Supplied)

The Voyage of Time is a journey through our planet’s history, a work by director Terrence Malick after three decades of creation. Narrated by Cate Blanchett and accompanied by the live, majestic sounds of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, this long-anticipated epic documentary trails through the collision of galaxies, takes us on a journey back to discover the wonders of life’s beginnings from the primordial soup and transports us to the beginnings of humanity. Tickets will be selling out soon, so be sure to get in quick – more info can be found here.

Ella Thompson is everywhere in Melbourne’s music scene – singing and composing for funk duo GL, fronting 9-piece alt-pop band Dorsal Fins and previously singing for funk and soul band, The Bamboos. This time, Ella is fronting a new collaboration called Like Running Water which intertwines Thompson’s own dreamy vocals with the dance and electronic tones of Sui Zhen and the stunning talents of pianist Clio Renner alongside a string and woodwind quartet. Like Running Water is a multi-sensory performance that deconstructs pop and explores themes of the cyclical, strong and fluid nature of water. More info can be found here.

Left to right: Pianist Clio Renner, Ella Thompson and Sui Zhen (Image: Supplied)

Melbourne Festival is becoming a hallmark of the city’s creativity and innovation and should not be missed – more info on events, times and tickets can be found of Melbourne Festival’s site.