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A Two-Day Food and Music Festival is Coming to Melbourne's Historic Pentridge Prison

Live tunes, market stalls and meals on wheels will help celebrate 20 years since the prison closed its doors.

Once, Ned Kelly and Mark "Chopper" Read called it home. Soon, a microbrewery, pub15-screen cinema and apartments will do just that instead. Yes, the times are certainly a-changin' at Coburg's Pentridge Prison, with 2017 marking 20 years since the site stopped its incarceration operations — and also marking the first time they're throwing a two-day festival.

What was formerly Victoria's longest running gaol will host an all-ages fest filled live music, market stalls and food trucks on April 8 and 9, in what is hoped will become a yearly event. Attendees keen to get a dose of the facility's past can break up the eating and tunes with hourly tours of the prison's B Division, exercise yards and solitary confinement cells.

Music-wise, the lineup features local acts such as Big Words, Cumbia Massive, Billy Davis and Funkalleros, while meals on wheels will be served up by Mr Burger, Beatbox Kitchen, Pasta Face, White Guy Cooks Thai and Billy Van Creamy, among others. Indeed, the fest has lured the likes of Zero 95 and Fancy Hanks to turn into food truck vendors for the event, treating visitors to their tasty fare beyond their usual four walls.

It wouldn't be an outdoor food festival without picnic rugs aplenty — with everyone in the vicinity encouraged to hang out on the grass in the Pentridge piazza — or a beer garden bringing some booze to the celebration. Best of all, the event is free. Unlike the site's residents from times gone by, you won't want to leave.

Pentridge Festival takes place at Pentridge Prison, Coburg on April 8 and 9. For more information, visit pentridgecoburg.com.au.

Published on March 11, 2017 by Sarah Ward

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