Big West Festival – radical and spectacular

Footscray Street Art PrizeBig West Festival is a leading biennial ten-day contemporary arts festival in Melbourne’s inner western suburbs from late November with the theme, construction, space and territory – celebrating the unique political energy of a late-industrial community, new arrivals and parallel-gentrified worlds.

Presenting cutting edge, multi-cultural and multi-form art works with, for and by the people of Melbourne’s western suburbs, the Big West Festival program celebrates a strong local identity and resonates on a national scale.

Established in 1997 to address issues of geographic, cultural and social isolation of residents in the western region of Melbourne, 2013 is the ninth Big West Festival and is curated by incoming artistic director, Marcia Ferguson.

“Since joining Big West Festival in May 2012, I have felt compelled by the fierce vitality of this community in Melbourne’s west,” says Marcia Ferguson.

“I’ve had literally hundreds of conversations with local community members and artists and created an artistic program around the theme of construction, space and territory – inspired by radical changes to skyline of the west!”

Big West Festival 2013 is the culmination of two years of artistic development with local residents in Melbourne’s western suburbs and this year’s program includes 67 events at 42 venues including 17 performance events of which 7 are part of the newest performance initiative, 19 Big Band Theory music events, 15 participatory and interactive events, 13 visual art events, 1 film and 2 forum events.

The Festival will feature three free large-scale outside events: the Opening Night Party at Footscray Community Arts Centre, Braybrook’s Big Day Out: Walk and Ride Day at Braybrook Community Garden, and the People’s Day Street Party at Little Saigon Market. Festival Hubs will also be established at the Footscray Community Arts Centre and The Substation in Newport.

The 2013 Big West Festival runs from Friday 22 November to Sunday 1 December. For more information and full programme, visit: for details.

Image: Footscray Street Art Prize