Six weeks into Spring and festival vibes are in full blown motion here in Melbourne. Each weekend brings sunshine and another excuse to lap up the rays while sipping on a cold beer, usually infused with some sweet fruit in true city hipster form, and this week was even harder to avoid since all the action was on our doorstep in North Melbourne. The annual Spring Fling crawled up Errol Street and along Victoria filled with plenty of the usual street festival suspects including crafts, local art, food vendors and vintage clothing but this was Melbourne so of course that couldn’t be it, it had to live up to its bustling reputation and go further.
We passed a small stage and our attention was caught by two young girls from St Aloysius College who stepped up to the microphone, announcing they’d be singing a cover of Sia – Elastic Heart. The first notes flowed out and it didn’t take long for a crowd to form. They performed Lay Me Down by Sam Smith after and you could tell everyone would quite happily have stayed there all afternoon and listened to more but the stage must be shared and next up was a little magic!
We watched the show and then wandered on up some of the laneways, stopping at the suitcase rummage so I could ponder over the chances of me fitting into a petite size 8 woman’s unwanted clothes, it was at that point I lost James but he soon returned ice-cream in hand! There were stalls selling the usual arts, crafts and gifts and one encouraging passers by to contribute some wool to the ‘ball of friendship.’ The Cultural Forest stage with dance performances and group yoga sessions was surrounded by food stalls serving gelato, duck spit and more and we spotted a station handing out the programme with vouchers so naturally, we nosied towards it to find a drinks voucher [result] and set off to find the goods.
Led towards stage number 1, Sound Forest Stage, we came across a mobile hairdressing caravan, a food stall named ‘two men and a lemon’ and a petting zoo with the biggest goose I’d ever seen charging around. We spotted the sign for Soleil Lychee Infused Beer and made our way inside an enclosed mini beer garden, not too dissimilar to the petting zoo set up just yards away, that offered blankets to sit on so we set up a spot with a beer and enjoyed the heat while local artists took to the stage one after the other.
There was even more on offer for families, friends and general summer worshippers including a dog show, comical plate spinning act and a band of 4 young boys with long hair who resembled Hanson, only they played much cooler music and drummed on upside down plastic bins. It was a great way to spend a chilled Sunday in Melbourne and if it’s a snippet of what there is to experience in the city this summer we are looking forward to more!