News: RISING 2023 program is unveiled

Kutcha Edwards Waripa

Melbourne’s RISING 2023 program invites audiences to reflect, reckon, rave, and revel in night time culture as it is revealed today.

A festival that you do in the city that does it best — art, culture, food and music under moonlight:
RISING today unveils its expansive 2023 program of 185 events featuring more than 400 artists including
35 commissions and 12 world premieres, set to ignite the heart of Melbourne from 7 — 18 June.
Over 12 nights of powerful theatre, exhilarating dance, music that traverses the globe, large scale
installation, public performance, free and low cost experiences, and outdoor works of mass
participation, RISING will invite audiences to join a 10,000 strong kazoo orchestra, to slice up
the ice, and to reflect, reckon, rave and revel in Melbourne’s night time buzz.

Spilling out across the city’s streets, carparks, churches, theaters, train stations, town squares, and on
the banks of the Birrarung, RISING returns this winter to take the city as its stage, bringing the best
premiere art and performance from around the world and across Australia.

“RISING is a mass celebration of Melbourne’s unique culture in the heart of the city.” said RISING co artistic directors Hannah Fox and Gideon Obarzanek. “The 2023 program is a rallying call to get
involved, experience the new and be a part of a festival that couldn’t happen anywhere else.”

The music will be sprawling over three of Melbourne’s iconic music venues, The Forum Theatre, Melbourne Recital Centre and Max Watt’s, RISING presents a genre bending and truly international program of the most innovative acts from across the globe, spanning the USA, UK, India, Japan, South and West Africa, Canada, New Zealand and here in Australia, as well as leading edge hometown talent.

  • Thundercat (aka Stephen Bruner)
  • Weyes Blood
  • Uncle Kutcha Edwards with an all-star crew for Waripa including Bart Willoughby and Joe Geia (No Fixed Address), Mo’Ju, Shellie Morris, Emily Wurramura, Eleanor Dixon and Alice Skye.
  • UK legends The Damned
  • Cornelius, Japan’s madcap composer and guitar innovator
  • RVG lead an epic triple header with Danish punk rockers Iceage, and reformed Melbourne rock outfit Batrider
  • Hailed by NME as “RNB’s new avant-garde star”, American singer-songwriter, rapper, soul and jazz performer Liv.e joined by Nigerian-born London-based rapper song writer and rapper Obongjayar.
  • US singer-songwriter Ethel Cain
  • Rapper and producer Birdz and artist and cultural leader Fred Leone together in Gira
  • Los-Angeles based artist Ruth Radele who fronted the cult electronic band Chromatics
  • Yazmin Lacey, UK-based singer-songwriter blends soul, jazz and R’nB
  • Ichiko Aoba
  • Yolngu songman Daniel Yipininy Wilfred and Korean vocalist Sunny Kim
  • Paul Kelly and full band
  • South African music powerhouse Esa’s Afro Synth Band
  • Liquid Architecture
  • BLACK MASS curated by BLK ICE aka local artists Paul Gorrie, of DJ PGZ fame, and Ihab S Balla
  • London-based modern synth master, electronic producer, and musician Loraine James
  • Sublime, spoken-word set to nineties house-inflected bangers and strung-out electronica, Real Lies are with vocalist Kev Kharas and musical mastermind Patrick King
  • Johannesburg collective Desire Marea’s music is eclectic and avant-garde
  • RISING will close with a bang, NTS — the renowned global music platform and radio station will take over Max Watt’s in an all-night closing party. 

RISING: 7 – 18 June 2023
Presale tickets for RISING subscribers from 12pm Tuesday 14 March. General tickets on sale 12pm Friday 17 March. Subscribe for presale

Shintaro Sakamoto
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