The best festivals and events on in Melbourne this May

The best festivals and events on in Melbourne this May
The best festivals and events on in Melbourne this May

What can we say about May? After a hectic summer filled with camping festivals, street parties, park raves and backyard shows, May’s all about relaxing into the slower autumn pace and embracing the cosier things in life.

The schedule this month is dominated with film festivals –  May seems to be a big movie month. From gritty documentaries to goofy animations, there’s something for everyone, so swing by one of Melbourne’s favourite cinemas, grab a big bucket of popcorn and settle into the comfy seats.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

If it’s music you’re after, don’t worry, there’s plenty of that as well. There’s even a brand new completely free music festival set to take over Moonee Valley. Finally, if you’re a die-hard potato fan and you’re not afraid of a little road trip, we’ve got the perfect event for you.

So without further delay, have at it. Here are our top choices for festivals and events on in Melbourne this May.

The best festivals in Melbourne this month

South African Film Festival

  • Various locations
  • May 2 to 30

Marking 30 years on from the fall of apartheid, the South African Film Festival brings some of the country’s cinematic masterpieces to picture halls across Melbourne.

30 years on from the fall of apartheid, the South African Film Festival program still cuts close-to-the-bone

Round Sound

  • The Round
  • May 3 to 31

Melbourne’s newest performing arts centre is hosting the inaugural Round Sound festival, featuring performances, industry workshops and networking opportunities for music lovers and industry pros alike. 

Round Sound: A month of music at The Round, Melbourne’s newest performing arts venue

Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival

  • Fed Square
  • May 3 to 5

Celebrate unity and belief at the Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival! Enjoy traditional ceremonies, cultural performances, arts, music, spiritual lectures and more in a vibrant atmosphere. 

Meditations, multicultural performances and fireworks: Melbourne’s beloved Buddha Day is back

Tilde Film Festival

  • Footscray
  • May 3 to 5

With a curated program of films by trans and gender-expansive storytellers, the Tilde Film Festival celebrates diversity and inclusivity in screen experiences. Join in for thought-provoking films and engaging conversations.

TILDE Film Festival celebrates 10 years this May, with a bold program exploring trans collectivism

The Great Trentham Spudfest

  • Trentham
  • May 4 to 5

Get ready for a spudtastic celebration at The Great Trentham Spudfest! Enjoy a potato-themed festival with food, wine, music, kids’ activities and historical insights. Explore the town of Trentham and indulge in all things spuds during this fun-filled weekend.

The Great Trentham Spudfest returns for two carb-loaded days

Melbourne International Animation Festival

  • South Melbourne
  • May 5 to 12

Experience a week-long celebration of animation at the Melbourne International Animation Festival. Featuring forums, exhibitions and over 400 films from around the world, this festival is a paradise for animation enthusiasts and industry professionals alike.

The Melbourne International Animation Festival returns next week with a huge program

Melbourne Writers Festival

  • Various locations
  • May 6 to 12

Readers, writers and everyone in between, prepare to expand your mind with talks and workshops by some of the world’s best writers. Hear from acclaimed writers including  Anne Patchett, Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Paul Lynch and more. 

Melbourne Writers Festival unveils one of its most captivating programs yet

Southside Festival

  • Frankston Arts Centre
  • May 10 to 19

Ignite your imagination at the Southside Festival! With world-class arts, performances, visual arts, comedy and family-friendly fun, this festival aims to inspire, engage and transform perceptions, making it a must-visit event in May.

Neon Fields and a Human Library: South Side Festival is brimming with exceptional events this May

HSBC German Film Festival

  • Various locations
  • May 10 to 29

Some of the world’s best contemporary German language will soon touch down in Melbourne, including coming-of-age drama Langue Étrangère, WWII period piece From Hilde, With Love and Leigzip-based romance Dark Satellites. 

Some of the greatest German films of all time are coming to Melbourne for HSBC German Film Festival

Australian Heritage Festival

  • Various locations
  • Until May 18

Discover the rich heritage of Australia at the Australian Heritage Festival, hosted by the National Trust of Australia. This festival offers a range of events, performances and experiences that showcase the country’s built, natural and cultural heritage.

Resonate Bowery Music Series

  • Bowery Theatre
  • May 17 to 31

Curated by PBS legend MzRizk, Resonate brings stellar contemporary music to Melbourne’s west, featuring Ziggy Ramo, Cool Out Sun, Immy Owusu, THNDO, the Halo Vocal Ensemble and more.

Valley Sounds

  • Moonee Valley
  • May 17 to 26

Valley Sounds brings music of all genres to bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants across the Moonee Valley. What’s more, it’s totally free (with registration) – all the more reason to swing by and see what’s on offer.

Gypsy jazz, flamenco, indie pop and Irish jams: Valley Sounds brings free live music to the Moonee Valley

Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow

  • Various locations
  • Throughout May

Featuring the best acts from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, this hilarious road trip brings world-class talent to audiences nationwide with a lineup of comedy royalty and fresh sensations.

‘The backbone of entertainment’: Comedy Festival wraps up massive 2024 as the roadshow begins

For more on Melbourne festivals and events, head here. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *