Rising Festival Announces 2023 Program Featuring Local & International Stars

14 March 2023 | 8:51 am | Mary Varvaris

A festival unlike anything else in Melbourne or even across the country.

(Source: Supplied)

More Rising Festival More Rising Festival

Melbourne’s RISING Festival, a 12-day event packed with music, food, arts and culture all under the moonlight, has announced its 2023 program.

After two years of cancellations, the first-ever run of RISING kicked off last June. It featured acts such as Sampa The Great, Moses Sumney, Tkay Maidza, Lucy Dacus, Harvey Sutherland and many more taking over the Forum Theatre as well as Melbourne venues like the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, the Corner Hotel, 170 Russell, and Max Watt’s.

This year’s festival is led by international troubadours Weyes Blood and Ethel Cain, both performing at the Forum on different nights - whose hypnotic voices couldn’t be more different. The other main stars are Paul Kelly at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Thundercat and Flying Lotus, also headlining different nights at the Forum, and Esa’s Afro-Synth Band ft. Kamazu and Mim Suleiman at Max Watt’s.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Elsewhere on the music program are rapper and producer Birdz and artist and cultural leader Fred Leone. The cousins by family and brothers in music are hosting an intimate show at Forum Upstairs and present Gira: a project the likes of which has not been seen before.

Gira perfectly pairs Birdz's sharp, poetic, rhythmic lyricisms fused with Aboriginal Creole language and Fred's soaring vocals in both Butchulla and English. Produced by Ngarrindjeri man and multi-platinum, ARIA-winning producer Trials, this collaboration of some of the country's most in-demand and talented Indigenous artists will have its world premiere at Forum II for RISING.

The festival also announces the inclusion of legendary UK punk outfit The Damned, who lead an incredible double bill with US doom metal supergroup Witch (featuring J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr, Kyle Thomas aka King Tuff, David Sweetapple of Teepee Records, and Aussie Graham Clise of Annihilation Time and ROT TV) supported by Melbourne experimental industrial duo Vacuum. In a word: heavy.

Revered Mutti Mutti songman and elder Uncle Kutcha Edwards will bring together an all-star crew for Waripa, a one-off celebration of Blak music, ceremony, tradition, and storytelling. The extraordinary line-up of First Peoples singers, songwriters and musicians from all over the country and Kulin Nation includes Bart Willoughby and Joe Geia (No Fixed Address), Mo’Ju, Shellie Morris, Emily Wurramura, Eleanor Dixon and Alice Skye, with many more to be announced.

RISING Festival will run from 7 to 18 June. Sign up here to access pre-sale tickets, which will be released at 12 pm today. General admission tickets go on sale on Friday, 17 March, at noon, and you can access those tickets and view the complete event program here.