Find unique Christmas gifts at the Big Design Market, celebrate body art culture at the Tattoo and Body Art Expo, support fair trade commerce at Fair@Square Festival or visit Federation Square this December for their exciting Christmas Program! Anthea Batsakis rolls out your weekend schedule.
The Big Design Market
Friday, December 5 – Sunday, December 7 (Fri: 10:00am – 9:00pm, Sat: 10:00am – 7:00pm, Sun: 10:00am – 5:00pm); The Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton
Australia’s best international designers will be showcasing their work in a retail environment in the Royal Exhibition Centre this weekend.
As the name suggests, this design market will be fully packed with 225 stalls ranging from fashion and accessories to homewares and stationary. Program highlights include the One Million Stars Installation, an indoor ceiling constellation of more than 10,000 hand-woven stars by artist Maryann Talia Pau, and a performance by the Victoria Opera Youth Chorus on Saturday.
With an entry fee of just $2, you can step inside this designer heaven. Free creative workshops will allow inspired visitors to create their own unique designs, and showbag kiosks will accompany the retailers for the whole three-day event.
If that doesn’t tempt you enough, food and drink will be widespread with a macaron lounge and speciality tea, Taco Truck, Beatbox Kitchen, All Day Donuts, and of course coffee from Campos Coffee as well as beer from Moo Brew and Fair Ferments.
Find out more about the market, including its program, on their official website.
The Australian Tattoo and Body Art Expo
Friday, December 5 – Sunday, December 7 (Fri – Sat: 12:00pm – 10:00pm, Sunday: 11:00am – 7:00pm); Melbourne Exhibition Centre; 2 Clarendon St, Southbank
Body art is fast becoming a social norm in Australia, so it’s no wonder that Melbourne’s Tattoo and Body Art Expo is considered to be the largest in the world, with last year’s event attracting more than 10,000 visitors!
Both local and international artists will be visiting, along with a diverse range of retail vendors, exciting live entertainment and a special guest appearance by pin-up model Sabina Kelley. The international artists showcasing their talent include Randy Engelhard (Germany), Jon Mesa (New York), and Horiel Shinshu (Japan).
If body ink isn’t your thing, a plethora of unique entertainment will also be running throughout the expo’s three-day residency. A pin-up pageant, burlesque performances, tattoo contests, live performances and (non-permanent) face painting are just some of what you can expect from this mammoth expo.
Book in advance or pay at the door for one-day entry ($25 online/$30 at door), weekend pass ($45 online/$50 at door) or three-day pass ($65 online/$65 at door).
To find out more about the event, visit the Expo’s official website.
Saturday, December 6 – Sunday, December 7 (11:00am – 6:00pm); Federation Square, Melbourne
Australia’s largest fair trade and ethical festival will be occupying Federation Square this weekend as it returns for its sixth year.
With a huge variety of retailers and stalls, this festival promotes ethical and sustainable consuming. It is an event designed to spark morally responsible attitudes towards shopping experiences and conveniently, it arrives during the Christmas shopping season!
So chat to the fair traders and partake in the free activities for all ages. Find ethically produced products that range from fashion and food to an assortment of alternative giftware. Fair food cooking demonstrations will also be held throughout the market, promoting conscious eating. Live entertainment includes Fair Fashion Shows on both Saturday and Sunday, live music from Davy Simony, Jaron Natoli and Sophie Koh – among various other acts throughout the weekend.
Head to Moral Fairground’s website to check out more information!
Spirit of the Square
Monday, December 1 – Thursday, December 25 (various times); Federation Square, Melbourne
Throughout December, Federation Square will be transformed into a Christmas space with their elaborate Christmas program – Spirit of the Square.
This program includes an array of events and entertainments. SIBLING – a Melbourne based designer – has created the interactive installation Whiteout, which features large white snow-like spheres that emulate the snowy imagery often seen in cinema. The renowned illustrator Jeffrey Phillips will also hold a residency in Federation Square, where you can watch him draw his distinctive ‘street sketches’ live.
But the entertainment doesn’t stop there! Big Screen Gaming will test your gaming skills and is curated by Melbourne-based collective Freeplay Independent Games Festival. The games include Push Me Pull You and Hokra, among many others. Furthermore, there will be acoustic live performances every Thursday evening, whereas festive films will light up Federation Square’s big screen every Monday.
So don’t miss an opportunity to check out Federation Square this month for Spirit of the Square!
To find out more on what the one-month event has to offer, visit Federation Square’s official Website.