culture, Reviews, What's On


Following a string of successful past events, I was excited to attend the Melbourne Museum’s monthly live music event, Nocturnal.This month, as is fitting for the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Nocturnalput on an all jazz setlist.

Entering the spacious atrium, my friends and I found the occasion to be in full-swing. Melodic echoes of beat boxing and vocal reproductions rang out as we wove through the colourful crowd. As with the previous events, there was a whimsical array of lights projected onto the ceiling and bouncing off every shined surface.

What impressed me wasn’t merely the talent of the acts but also their adaptability. The entrance of the Melbourne Museum is (undeniably) a peculiar space for live music, with its mezzanine floor, and glassy, modern architecture. However, the performers and sound crew seemed to have made a deliberate effort to play to the venue, and they pulled it off spectacularly. There were no acoustic knockbacks or audio mishaps, but instead a chorus of perfected sound and colour bringing another unique set of experiences to life.

One moment the room was drowned in a web of reverberating notes, the next sturdy brass beats took centre stage. The bounce shook a great deal of people into dance. My friends found that a good indicator of the musical quality was that even the bouncers seemed to want to break loose and dance, swaying as they stood on guard.

Still, it was the little moments that made the event the most memorable: Tanya George giving the audience a spontaneous improv lesson, the eye-catching pop-up displays, and the zany artefacts (like an old, portable record player that could fit in your pocket!)

As previously, the cherry-on-top was the nightlife atmosphere. Experiencing exhibits with some mulled-wine or a cocktail in hand added a new and wonderful dimension to them. Learning what all that drink I just had was doing inside me while stroking a wall with a thousand rubber tendrils was quite surreal in the surprisingly fun Gut Feelingsexhibit.

And, without losing momentum, Nocturnalwill be bringing more unique events. If you’re looking for an occasion that blends together two stellar attractions into one unmissable experience, make sure to catch one of Melbourne Museum’s upcoming Nocturnal events:

  • Nocturnal: Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2019. (Friday, 5thJuly)

Celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with exhibitions showcasing their past and performances displaying their present.

  • Nocturnal does White Night. (Friday, 23rdAugust)

For the first time ever Nocturnal will be running on White Night, combining two eye-dazzling events.

  • Revolutions: Records and Rebels. (Until the 25th of August).

If you want even more information for your mind to chew on you can also go to the incredible Revolutions exhibit. It’s run during regular opening hours and in addition to Nocturnalevents.


When: 5thJuly and 23rdAugust

Where: Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton

More information: Here