Late next month, if you happen to be in Melbournes CBD, dont be surprised to see people in strange costumes racing colourful gokarts through the streets.
Alice in Wonderland
ACMI, Federation Square. Open daily 10am-5pm. Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a popular children’s story since 1865, has been produced many times for screen, TV and stage. ACMI’s new exhibition takes you though more than a century of props, costumes, artwork and films. With a map in hand, journey through a maze of imaginative and surprising scenes. Sit at the Mad Hatter’s tea party, with empty plates turned into an audiovisual feast by digital projections. Entry $25, Concession $21, Member $20, Child $16, Family $65. For more details or bookings visit acmi.net.au.
Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery
141 Queen Street, Melbourne. Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. Based on Venerable Master Hsing Yun's Buddhist ideal, Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery encourages an appreciation of traditional and contemporary Asian philosophy and culture. View world-class exhibitions of Buddhist art, enjoy the diverse vegetarian menu, and refresh yourself with special blends of tea. Programs often include public demonstrations of tea-preparation, music performances on traditional instruments, or calligraphic painting. Phone 9642 2388 or visit www.fgsmelbourne.org.au.
Priscilla – Queen of the Desert
Regent Theatre, 191-197 Collins Street. Tuesday to Sunday, various times. Must close 5 May. The hilarious adventure of three friends who drive a battered old bus across the outback to Alice Springs is a glittering musical spectacle, featuring a dazzling array of more than 500 award-winning costumes, 200 head-dresses and a nonstop parade of dance-floor classics. For bookings and info phone 1300 11 10 11 or visit priscillathemusical.com.au.
City Eat & Drinks
Taste of Malaysia
Drill Hall, Multicultural Hub, 26 Therry Street, Melbourne. Sat 5 May 10am-3pm & Sun 6 May 10am-6pm. A showcase of Malaysian art, history, cuisine, culture, costume and performance, presented in the form of a Malaysian bazaar. Organised by the Malaysian Student’s Council of Australia. No entry fee, everyone welcome. For info please visit Facebook page TasteofMalaysiaMELB.
Supafish Floating Bar
Sandridge Public Landing & Berth, Southbank Promenade, Southbank. Every day 12 noon to 1am. LAST DAY FRIDAY 27 APRIL. Burgers, brunch, salads and tapas style snacks by Hotel Jesus. Drinks menu offers Corona beer, Lazy Yak ale, Bonamy's cider, wines and cocktails. Bookings not required. Group bookings available at limited times. Visit supafish.com.au for more details or just drop in.
Makers & Shakers Market
Coburg Town Hall, 90 Bell Street, Coburg. Sunday 29 April 10am to 3pm. Entry $2, under 12s free. Art and function combine in beautiful ways to create a wide variety of handmade goods. From soy candles to stylish fabrics, homewares, foods, lifestyle products, using ceramics, wool, wood and other materials. See the range at themakersandshakers.com/melbourne-april-2018.
South Melbourne Night Market
Coventry and Cecil Streets, South Melbourne. Every Thursday from 5.30pm, now in its 10th year. Balmy, summer city nights come to life with a feast of street food, market stalls and entertainment. Bring your friends and family and enjoy dinner and drinks, shopping and music under the stars. Quality food, excellent drinks, and live music and entertainment. Get the latest news at southmelbournenightmarket.com.au.
Kard in Concert
The Plenary, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Thursday 26 April. Korea’s internationally successful co-ed group are bringing their Wild KARD Tour to Australia! Debuting in July 2017, KARD has released many hit tracks such as Oh Nana, Rumor, Don’t Recall etc. Tickets are on sale through Ticketek.
Ball Pit Party
338 Queensberry St, North Melbourne. Friday 27 April 6pm to 12 midnight & Saturday 28 April 2pm-12 midnight. Dive into the ultimate adult play pen, a LED illuminated, glow-in-the-dark pit of 200,000 balls. Swim through the pit and watch the lights pulsate in time with music from a live DJ set. Ball Pit Tickets $40.26 for 2 hour slots to play and dance. Cash bar with fire cocktails. Bottomless Brunch $62.70, Saturday only, 10am-12pm and 12pm-2pm. For info and bookings go to www.universe.com/explore and Search “Melbourne”.
FM Karaoke Bar
146 Bourke Street, Melbourne. Open Sun-Thu 7pm-1am & Fri-Sat: 6pm-3am. Open karaoke and casual drinks in modern ground floor bar, and eight private karaoke rooms upstairs. Songs are updated daily in English, Korean, Chinese and Japanese. Great venue for a hen’s night or other special party. All payment types accepted. Phone 9663 0013 or visit www.fmkaraoke.com.au.
Bridge Road Gathering After Dark
Bridge Road, Richmond, Wed 2 May to Thurs 3 May. Tours begin at 6.30pm and 7.30pm. Six specialised gourmet tours of the area’s cultural diversity and rich food experiences, each with its very own experienced guide. Each tour visits four different geographical precincts - River, Town Hall, Burnley and Richmond Hill. Cuisines of Asia, Europe, Mexico, and drinks to match, for excellent value. Numbers are limited. Full details and ticketing information at bridgeroadgathering.com.au.
13th Indonesian Film Festival 2018
Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Federation Square. Thursday 26 April to Wednesday 2 May. Six films by accomplished contemporary Indonesian film-makers, addressing the theme “Spectrum of Narratives”. All films have English subtitles and will be followed by a Q&A session with the guest filmmakers. For information and bookings, please visit iffaustralia.com. Follow the conversation on the IFF Australia Facebook page.
Fair@Square Lifestyle Festival
Federation Square, Melbourne. Saturday 5 May 11am to 9pm. Moral Fairground is hosting the Fair@Square Ethical Lifestyle Festival for its ninth year at Federation Square. Live cooking shows, free sustainable lifestyle workshops, fashion programmes and talks, children's activities, music, shopping and more. Great opportunities for Mothers’ Day gift shopping. Free entry. All the details at moralfairground.com.au/fairsquare-ethical-lifestyle-festival-program-2018.
Japanese Kart Racing Comes to Melbourne
Late next month, if you happen to be in Melbourne's CBD, don't be surprised to see people in strange costumes racing colourful gokarts through the streets.
At least, that will be the case if the Mushroom Racing event goes ahead the same way it does in Japan. Closely resembling the Nintendo gokart racing game Mario Kart, this live version has become popular in Tokyo among locals and tourists alike. The activity is also offered in Yokohama, Osaka, and Okinawa.
Participants rent the gokarts and dress up in superhero or manga cosplay outfits, then travel the city streets in a rally, collecting points to win prizes. The carts are designed to carry one person each, and come with Bluetooth walkie-talkie devices and speakers, so drivers can chat to their friends and play their own soundtrack.
Drivers only need a Japanese or international driving license to drive a go-kart. The racers use actual roads and backstreets, so they can be an attraction even for local drivers and tourists who are not participating. Of course not everyone sees that as a good thing, especially Japanese drivers and police.
There have been a number of accidents, usually involving tourists. According to the Tokyo metropolitan police, out of 50 go-kart accidents between March 2017 and February this year, 86% involved foreigners, mostly from the US, followed by South Korea.
In December last year, complaints about the danger from cart racers led Japan's transport ministry to introduce safety rules for the go-karts, such as seat belts and taillights. After a Taiwanese driver was charged for a hit-and-run collision with a cyclist recently, there have been calls to ban the activity.
The organiser, a company called MariCAR, claims it has no connection with Nintendo or the popular Mario Kart game. However, MariCAR has faced lawsuits from Nintendo for possible breach of copyright.
The Mushroom Racing event will be held in Melbourne on Sunday 27 May, with a second scheduled for Tuesday 26 June. The location has not yet been revealed, but as the ticketing site says the game is “suitable for ages 16+”, it is most likely to be an off-street venue, such as a sports stadium.
Tickets cost $100 for 20 laps minimum, and include character costume hire, pick up and drop off, and a “Mushroom style burger” snack. There is also an After party with DJ, Games room activities “and more”. Prizes to be won include $1000 cash.
Tickets are “extremely limited”, so you need to be quick. Go to www.mushroomracing.com.