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The Weekender: July 6 – 8

Luke Henriques-Gomes

Thu Jul 05 2012

Melbourne Magic Festival

THIS weekend, you might try your hand at magic or go looking for gold. Or, celebrate Christmas in July even. Luke Henriques-Gomes has more. 

Fireworks at Docklands
Friday July 6 to July 22 – Docklands

Starting this weekend, the City of Melbourne is putting on a huge fireworks display each Friday throughout July. The display kicks off at 7pm and will be accompanied by a choreographed soundtrack. Best of all, it’s free. There will be vantage points around Docklands and Victoria Harbour but if you want a good spot get there early (it’s school holidays so there will be kids everywhere). If you do arrive before the fireworks start, roving entertainers will be wandering around from 6.30pm onwards.

Melbourne Magic Festival 2012
Until July 14 – Northcote Town Hall

The best thing about this year’s Melbourne Magic Festival is that as well as being dazzled by the magicians, there are also workshops where they’ll teach you their secrets. There are tons of acts and you can even check out budding young magicians at the Australian Junior Magic Championships. So if you’ve ever dreamed of being a magician (and let’s face it, who hasn’t) hop on the tram to Northcote and you’ll soon be sawing people in half with consummate ease. Tickets are available from  Melbourne Magic Festival’s website.

Christmas in July at Sovereign Hill
Until Sunday July 15 – Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

About 90 minutes outside of Melbourne, a trip to Sovereign Hill is like stepping back into the 1850’s. Back then, people from all over the world flocked to the goldfields to find their fortune. You can do the same at Sovereign Hill by panning for real gold in the river. Or just buy some from the gift shop. Go shopping in authentic 19th century craft and trade stores and take a photo with some of the many costumed ladies and gentleman. And to celebrate Christmas in July, you’ll also find lots of yuletide-themed activities. You might tuck into some Roast Turkey or Christmas pudding at the United States Hotel, learn to make gingerbread or take a trip to the theatre to see a reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.Visit the Sovereign Hill website for information on tickets and how to get there.

To celebrate NAIDOC Week, Indigenous Australian's will showcase their talents at Federation Square. Photo: NAIDOC/Amanda Joy Tronc

NAIDOC Week Concert
Saturday July 7 – Federation Square

This week the nation has recognised the contribution of the first Australians, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. To celebrate, a free concert is being held at Federation Square, showcasing the talents of the indigenous community. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is incredibly vibrant and makes this country quite unique. It’s also an important part of experiencing Australia. The concert kicks off at 11.30am so if you’re in the city on Saturday, be sure to check it out.


Stonefield at Ding Dong Lounge
Saturday July 7 – Ding Dong Lounge

The Findlay sisters might be young (their bassist Holly is 14) but they rock as hard as most bands twice their age. Hyped to the hilt by Triple J, if you haven’t yet heard Stonefield and their 70’s indebted hard rock (think Led Zeppelin), you soon will. These days, it seems classic rock is watching middle-aged men strutting around your local pub, or beating your top score on Guitar Hero. Stonefield shows it doesn’t it have be. If you call yourself a rock fan, you can get tickets via oztix. And do check out their current single ‘Bad Reality’ in the video above.