News / Music

Street party to return with a vengeance

Music festival’s feature event will feature six open air stages

Photo: Brunswick Music Festival

Brunswick Voice

FOR the first time in three years, Sydney Road will be taken over by thousands of revellers on March 5 as the famous street party returns to herald the start of the 2023 Brunswick Music Festival.

Last held in 2020, the party will include six open air stages of live music and more than 40 acts, while the street itself will be filled with roving performers and dozens of stalls showcasing the strip’s wide variety of food and drink.

The street party will be launched at midday on March 5 and the road will be closed from Brunswick Road to Victoria Street until the early evening.

The street party was last held less than a fortnight before the first COVID restrictions were introduced in March 2020, and was cancelled the following two years for health reasons.

It coincides with the start of the Brunswick Music Festival, which will run until March 13.

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The six stages for the street party will feature everything from world music to hip hop to post-punk.

Merri-bek Mayor Angelical Panopoulos will open the party at the Engakeng-end Stage in Dawson Street, which will later in the day see performances by June Jones, Palm Springs and Pinch Points before closing with three-piece Cable Ties.

The Kulin-bulok Stage in Albert Street will be curated by the Port Fairy Folk Festival, with Afro-jazz band The Black Jesus Experience rounding off the day.

Community performers will be catered for with a stage on Wilson Avenue.

Sydney Road venues, including the Brunswick Ballroom, The Retreat Hotel and Bergy Seltzer will also host acts on the day.

The Black Jesus Experience on stage.
The Black Jesus Experience. Photo: Bram Lammers

The full program for the Brunswick Music Festival was released on Wednesday.  

A focus will be Estonian House in Melville Road, which will feature international acts Mdou Moctar from Niger and Crumb from the US, along with local favourites Camp Cope and Civic.

The popular Venues 3056 program will return with an emphasis on Melbourne-based acts.

Gilpin Park, which was the festival’s main venue in 2021 and 2022, will only host one event this year, a free, family-friendly concert of First Nations artists to conclude the festival on March 13, called Music for the Mob.