RISING 2024 wraps up with record-breaking attendance

RISING 2024 Melbourne

Melbourne’s leading winter festival of contemporary music, art, and performance, RISING 2024, has officially wrapped up this year’s program, marking its most triumphant year yet.

Over 16 nights, an impressive 680,000 festivalgoers came together throughout Melbourne’s CBD and beyond to celebrate the festival, featuring a diverse lineup of more than 120 events showcasing over 670 artists, including 265 local talents from Victoria and 370 from across Australia.

Iconic venues, public spaces, theaters, squares, alleyways, arcades, cathedrals, bridges, and waterways served as vibrant stages for the festival’s expansive program.

“We are absolutely blown away by the response to this year’s festival,” RISING co-artistic directors Gideon Obarzanek and Hannah Fox said.

“In so many ways, RISING in 2024 is the good festival news story that has been absent this year. In addition to the huge array of free offerings, we’ve achieved our strongest sales ever. In what has been a challenging environment for events across Australia, RISING audiences have voted with their feet, turning out in their hundreds of thousands and proving the huge appetite for differentiated arts events like this in Victoria.”



The festival’s free offerings were particularly well-received, with more than 455,000 attendees enjoying events at Fed Square and along the banks of the Birrarung River.

Highlights included The Blak Infinite at Federation Square, where crowds experienced an immersive showcase of Indigenous futures, cosmic connections, and political discourse curated by Kimberley Moulton (Yorta Yorta) and Kate ten Buuren (Taungurung).

Night Trade, a bustling festival hub nestled within Capitol Arcade and its surrounding lanes, attracted more than 34,000 visitors across the three weekends.

For one of the festival’s biggest highlights, more than a thousand performers from across Victoria gathered at St Paul’s Cathedral under the direction of global dance sensations SHOUSE for the world premiere of Communitas.

RISING has further cemented Melbourne’s reputation as a creative juggernaut, attracting more interstate and international attendees than ever before,” City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said.

RISING is yet another example of why Melbourne is the events capital of Australia, filling our streets with creativity, people, curiosity and delight.”

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