Melbourne Music Week ~ SWELL LIVE

Creepy abandoned hospitals make perfect performance art spaces, and Melburnians, we have a big one right under our noses. The basement of the old Royal Women’s Hospital, mothballed on the corner of Grattan and Swanston Streets, makes a perfectly dank, snug and spectral setting for Melbourne Music Week’s 2015 Flagship Venue. Today, WildnFree joined the tour with Swell LIVE director Janeene Willis to check it out. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • Hang out with a bunch of Care Bears, Poohs and Teletubbies in the Plush Toy Room. Dance like a kid to fun pop performances with stories to tell, just like the toys.
  • Revel in the synergy between poetry and songwriting in the Poetry Room.  Curated by Australian Poetry, get inspired by local poet performing words every night. In between readings, swing on some headphones to hear poetic performances from the night before.
  • Party like its 1958 in the old school Boiler Room. Surrounded by big ol’ pipes, you’ll feel a little like you’re shovelling coal below deck on the Titanic.  Hosting 15 minute dance parties five times a night with Deep Soulful Sweats, get into the groove along with the giant white light filled beach balls massing about the room.
  • Local artist and Cyclops founder Mary Grigoris presents the Cyclops Room, featuring a looping 5 part video series. Each artist selected represents a shade of the Cyclops experience.
  • Experience chills in The Janitor’s Room, a tiny space hosting live projections from the Boiler Room, which Janeene Willis definitely believes is haunted by something, or someone.
  • Tell your secrets to the priests in the Confessional Toilets. Coming out of performances last year, punters were incredibly expressive, challenged and wired. This space creates a way to capture this energy, with Go Pro cameras and priests on hand to help record people’s thoughts and feelings about the installations. Drinks recommended beforehand for maximum viewer entertainment value.
  • Streamers stream down from the ceiling of the aptly named Streamer Room. The General Assembly‘s Matt Wicking, who also played a hand in designing the space, performed two haunting folk tunes in the spooky half-light, peeking around streamers as he sang.

That’s just a little written preview Melburnian lovers of WildnFree. From 13-20 November, get yourself lost in the ‘choose your own adventure’ Swell- style journey through the basement. Excellent levels of creepiness guaranteed.

For all extra Melbourne Music Week info, check out the website.

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