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Melbourne Festival Art and Architecture Trail

Time flies and plans for the FIFTEENTH Melbourne Festival are well underway and very soon it will be time for the 2019 Trail. The banners and bunting are ready to go up and we are all on standby. 

We are now looking forward to the next Melbourne Festival Art & Architecture Trail on 14th & 15th September 2019!

During the Art & Architecture Trail visiting professional artists are hosted in rooms made available in private houses and some beautiful gardens which are not usually open to the public. The Art and Architecture Trail consists of easy-walking loops around the central streets of Melbourne. The Trail can be started at any point, but each adult will need a Trail wristband and a Trail Guide to enter the buildings, Trail entry costs just £5 per person. The Trail Guide consists of a map of Melbourne with Festival sites marked. The Trail wristband is a pass to get into all the houses and halls free of charge.

All of the work on the Trail is original, for sale and the artists and makers all accompany their work and many demonstrate their skills. There will be paintings, photography, pottery, sculpture and jewellery – in fact something for every taste and pocket. Each year we feature a mix of new artists and lots of old favourites. Each year more and more artists apply to exhibit so there is always a surprise around the corner for regular visitors. This year we anticipate a huge number of entries from some amazingly talented artists which will make it a very hard job to select who can be fitted in and who can’t.

Most of the houses on the Trail are of historic significance and architectural information is contained in the Trail Guide for each venue. Hopefully having visited the Trail visitors will be tempted to return to take another look at some of these heritage sites. The public streets are all wheelchair-friendly, but some of the buildings, particularly the smaller private homes are unfortunately not accessible for wheelchair users or less agile visitors. A special Easy Access Trail is marked on the Trail Guide for visitors with restricted mobility so that visitors can decide which venues they are physically able to access. Guide Dogs are welcome throughout the Trail but visitors who are visually impaired may need help as many buildings have uneven surfaces or small steps. 

One of the charms of the Trail is that many of the artists are in private homes, visitors follow the Trail at their own risk and we cannot accept liability for accidents or loss of property.

Families are specially catered for with a special, safe area for young children with plenty to amuse them and Art Exhibitions showing work from the local schools and playgroups. Last year families joined our Teddy Bears Picnic to sing and dance and came to story time and helped The Tiger Who Came to Tea celebrate its 50th Birthday!

The Melbourne Festival Emerging Artists Award Exhibition is very popular with visitors. The Emerging Artists Award for artists under 25 was launched at the 2014 Festival. The shortlisted artists exhibited on the Trail and the £500 Emerging Artists Award was presented on Saturday 15th September to artist Rachel Alexandre in 2018.

Back by popular demand on the Trail this year are the Food Festival and Food Court. Food is also available at the Art Cafe, which is located at Melbourne Assembly Rooms, along with Melbourne’s great cafes, restaurants and pubs and the popup church and charity tea shops!

The Busk Stops are now so popular we have THREE Music Marquees outside the Senior Citizen Centre, Food Fayre and Assembly Rooms there is live music from 12-5 on Saturday and 12-4 on Sunday – it’s great to see so many families and young people enjoying themselves.

Finally the classic cars draw lots of jealous looks each year and the car procession is very popular. This year you will find the classic cars in the idyllic setting of the Carriage Circle at Melbourne Hall with thousands of people coming to see the cars, admire the view and visit the artists in Melbourne Hall Billiard Room.

Parking is free on Castle Lane Industrial Estate and in Melbourne village centre. It is very busy in the centre and we suggest parking a little way out of the centre – nowhere within the boundaries of Melbourne is more than 10 minutes from the Trail!