Night Trade

Night Trade at RISING is back with DJs, performances, psychic readings, food and drink stalls, art installations, and karaoke.
Andrew Zuccala and James Shackell
Published on May 24, 2024


Melbourne's annual winter festival RISING sprawls over a lot of the CBD, but the official hub is Night Trade. And this year, the free-to-enter art, food and music labyrinth is taking over the Capitol Arcade and surrounding alleyways from Saturday, June 1–Saturday, June 15.

It's where you go to get fed, plan your next move while grabbing some drinks, get a psychic reading, and gawk at incredible art installations, light shows and live performances.

Ian Laidlaw

One standout installation comes from UK artist Jeremy Deller, who has converted one of the laneway shops into an exhibition that's said to made for the goths and ravers. Expect to find a video grotto, spinning druids and other visual artworks within the small space.

Next door, you can feed your inner artist at RISING's Sip and Paint ($39 per person) where a different artist will help you sculpt, paint, create and drink the night away. On the calendar is Magic Steven, Sammaneh Poursh, Geoffrey Watson, Xanthe Dobbie, Ned Middleton and Tobias Richardson.

Elsewhere at RISING's Night Trade, party-loving healer Sue Thompson is holding psychic readings, LA artist John Kilduff is performing a live version of the cult public access TV show Let's Paint TV — a physical and mental breakdown of painting, cooking, singing and treadmill-based synth workouts — and DJs are playing a huge range of sets. There will even be a pop-up karaoke room where you can sing your favourite hits with a bunch of strangers.

Rising Melbourne

Those keen to pay for some live gigs can also hit up Night Trade's Stage Door, where the team are hosting a series of artists and parties. Each of these performances only cost $20, so it's an easy and cheap way to experience some of RISING's best bits.

When it comes to bevs, you can hit up the Night Trade lounge bar that's been given an 80s underwater ambient theme. Pair this with Momo Station's Nepalese dumplings; Kim Sing's dim sum and noodles; Union Kiosk's jaffles; Los Amantes' Mexican street food; or The Alley Edition's hot chips and snacks — perfect for a cold night out in the city.

Night Trade is always a must-visit at RISING, not only for these formally announced offerings, but because of all the surprise events and pop-up performances that will inevitably grace the space without any notice.

Ian Laidlaw

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