The Container Festival opens on Friday

The MUST (Monash Uni Student Theatre) Container Festival runs from 1 to 16 August night at Monash University in Clayton. Following the success of the inaugural 2013 festival, the a multi-venue, multi-artform event returns and guest writer Tennessee Mynott-Rudland (intern to the event’s Artistic Director, Yvonne Virsik) tells AussieThearte all about it.

The Container Festival,  Philosorapters
The Container Festival, Philosorapters


The Container Festival is is back and promises to be bigger and bolshier!

Endless arts festivals are just one of the perks of living in Melbourne. Just as NEON closes, Melbourne is treated to another festival for independent works with MUST’s The Container Festival.

The Container Festival, Tease
The Container Festival, Tease

Last year’s festival was a huge success with over 200 performance from 240 emerging and established artists.

Original works are created for and performed in shipping containers that are placed around the university, inside the buzzing festival HUB, in a new tiny venue called miniMUST and in a swish new cabaret venue. Expect new music, dance, theatre, visual art, games, interactive performances, poetry, puppetry, burlesque, exhibitions and anything – because nothing is out when in comes to The Container Festival.

The Container Festival is free for artists to participate in and very affordable for audiences to attend. There are lots of free events, a Festival Pass that gives entry to every festival event is $55, a day passes is $15 or tickets for individual shows range from $2 to $8.

It’s very exciting to see an arts event engaging the university and the local community in such an interactive and welcoming way.

The way that artists themselves engage with the festival is another exciting aspect. The festival fosters innovation and exploration, allowing artists to develop their skills, try new things, and showcase or experiment with new works.

The Container Festival, The Skeleton Women
The Container Festival, The Skeleton Women

I think it’s fantastic about because it’s a platform for all performance styles; be it music, theatre, dance or anything. Artists are challenging themselves to create in small spaces, for intimate audiences. It’s something that really draws audience members in too; experiencing art in such an intimate way is so invigorating.

Festival offerings include: Melbourne indie band Papa G and the Starcats, a neo burlesque chair dancer, cabaret darling Mama Alto, The PhilosoRAPtors, one-on-one story-telling experiences,10-Minute Dance Parties, digital art extravaganzas, a 4.5 hour durational piece,  a stand-up comedy variety gala, and Gale Force Wins, a deliciously wicked interactive game show.

The Container Festival, Gale Force Win
The Container Festival, Gale Force Win

The festival launches in the MUST Hub space on Friday 1 August from 6pm ‘til late with free entry. Featuring an impressive line-up of festival artists, guests will get a sneak preview of the diverse work on offer, meet the artists, and enjoy a sensational party!

And remember that Clayton campus is only a 20-minute drive from the city and there’s parking or public transport will drop you at the door.

The Container Festival
Monash University, Clayton
1–16 August

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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