Media releases

Docklands fires up for biggest ever Firelight Festival

9 June 2023

Docklands will heat up with a weekend of free entertainment – featuring a mesmerising light installation, giant inflatable neon mushrooms, a groovy salsa band and roving fire performers for City of Melbourne’s Firelight Festival.

The annual winter celebration will showcase the talent of more than 125 artists and performers across three nights from Friday 30 June to Sunday 2 July.

In its biggest edition yet, the festival is tipped to attract more than 105,000 people to the Docklands precinct and inject $8.2 million into the local economy.

It’s part of Council’s record $28.2 million investment for events, festivals and experiences in the draft Budget 2023–24 – cementing Melbourne’s place as the nation’s events capital.

Free to enter, this year’s Firelight Festival features a packed line-up of family-friendly fun, including:

  • An interactive light and music installation, transforming Docklands’ Central Park with a sea of super-sized flowers – emitting light, colour and sound
  • A giant inflatable mushroom troop on Victoria Promenade, beaming with vibrant neon lights
  • A 5-metre-tall futuristic archangel puppet shining with thousands of LED lights roaming along Harbour Esplanade
  • A laser and light activation illuminating the night sky, creating a majestic web of lights spanning Victoria Harbour
  • Pop-up entertainment from more than 125 artists, including fire eaters and twirlers, roving brass bands, Bollywood performers and hip hop dancers
  • Live music acts, including an epic set from Melbourne DJ Mz Rizk, a lively salsa band, West African drummers and an 11-piece Columbian dance and music crew

The Docklands waterfront will be lined with 40 fire pits and drums, 35 flame jets, two fire sculptures and Firelight arches – a cosy backdrop to a spectacular night of free entertainment.

More than 30 food vendors will offer up warming winter feeds, including wood fired pizza, spiced mulled wine, hot chocolates and roasted marshmallows.

For the second year, Firelight Festival will be a carbon neutral certified event.

Festivalgoers are encouraged to plan their journey to the festival in advance – with planned disruptions impacting local train, tram and road networks.

For more information, visit Firelight Festival.

The City of Melbourne thanks its event partners Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands and Victoria Harbour by Lendlease.

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp

“We’re delivering our biggest and brightest Firelight Festival, with a record $1.6 million investment set to attract tens of thousands of people to Docklands and support more than 400 jobs.”

“We’re bringing together some of Melbourne’s top performers to showcase their talent and flair, providing a dazzling line-up of fiery eats and free entertainment across three nights.”

“More than 100,000 people flocked to Firelight Festival in 2022, creating an $8 million boost to the local economy.”

“Winter is a magical and marvellous time in Melbourne, and our free events calendar is one the many ways we’re encouraging Melburnians and visitors to join in on the fun.”

Quotes attributable to City Activation portfolio lead Councillor Roshena Campbell

“Since Firelight Festival launched in 2017, attendance has increased by almost 40 per cent – showing events continue to be a strong drawcard for visitors.”

“We’re proud to deliver Firelight once again – driving waves of visitors to Docklands and supporting hundreds of local business owners.”

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