Provoking and inspiring, Melbourne International Arts Festival seeks to connect art forms, people and ideas. At the heart of Melbourne's culture of creativity, we curate unique experiences that bring people together and break new ground in culture and the arts.

Melbourne International Arts Festival is one of Australia's leading international arts festivals and has an outstanding reputation for presenting unique international and Australian events in the fields of dance, theatre, music, visual arts, multimedia, free and outdoor events over 17 days each October.

First staged in 1986 under the direction of composer Gian Carlo Menotti it became the third in the Spoleto Festival series—joining Spoleto, Italy, and Charleston, United States. Known as Spoleto Melbourne – Festival of the Three Worlds, the Festival changed its name to the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts in 1990. The Festival has carried many names since that time and is now known as Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Artistic Director 2016—2019

Jonathan Holloway

Artistic Directors 2020—2024

Hannah Fox and Gideon Obarzanek

Festival Dates

2019: Wed 2—Sun 20 October
2020: Opening August 2020. Subscribe for updates →