A new wave of local contemporary artists and acclaimed international acts will present at Due West Arts Festival, running 15-24 November, celebrating Melbourne’s west as a hotspot for art, culture and entertainment.

Produced by Footscray Community Arts Centre and now in its second year, the program offers 40+ immersive events across 14 indoor and outdoor sites in the west. People of all ages can experience performances, parties and installations that amplify the unique voice, sound and music of the region and its people.

The west is home to some of Victoria’s oldest suburbs including Footscray, Yarraville and Seddon. It is also one of the fastest growing areas in the country, and has a higher predicted rate of population growth than any other Melbourne metropolitan region.

These dynamics run through the festival’s program, with works that examine shifting identities, reconcile the past with the present, and pay homage to iconic sites in Footscray and surrounds.

In Footscray by Night (A Second Call), karaoke videos will be screened in Nicholson Street Mall in tribute to the Little Saigon market – a hallmark of the Vietnamese community that burned down in 2016, leaving questions of gentrification and reclamation of space in its wake.

Guided by Footscray’s traders and its newest young arrivals, Behind the Counter will tour the shopkeeper’s domain and enter hidden realms beyond the facade. Through performances and installations, the latest work by the Alfred Solomon’s Project is an inter-generational, theatrical meditation on the timelessness of place.

In a century-old factory emblematic of the west’s pioneering industrial heritage, West Rave will transform the historical Kinnears Ropeworks site into a party venue for the very first time. Presented by Cool Room, the collective continues their push for diversity in electronic music, and creates safe spaces for marginalised peoples to dance, particularly LGBTQI+, women, people of colour and people with disabilities.

Due West Arts Festival will run 15-24 November at various locations across Melbourne’s west.

Events are free and ticketed.

Further information: duewestartsfestival.com.au.

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