Rising: The Wilds

Follow the enchanting path of blue moon inspired lanterns along Kings Domain to find Rising’s epicentre, The Wilds. A place of visual experimentation, open fire, a choir singing ABBA’s Dancing Queen and ice skating. Oh, and mustn’t forget the procession performers, Discordia, clad in hot pink tulle meandering through the throngs striking up congregation at random.

The set-up is, of course, wild. Unruly, untamed, organic large-scale sculptures are strategically placed throughout the Sidney Myer Music Bowl site lighting up a cold Melbourne winter night. They create a stunning myriad of colour and creativity. Add to this steaming hot chocolate, pulsing electronic music and unusual props such as a piano garden, and it’s easy to see why the crowds have been tempted to this neo-Garden of Eden.

Drawing elements from early rave culture and psychedelic trance chill-out rooms, The Wilds also showcases innovative performances usually reserved for Fringe Festivals and delectable, gourmet market-style food offerings. Curated providers include Smith & Daughters, The San Telmo Group, 1800 Lasagne and The Nighthouse.

The ice-rink in the middle, known as Rinky Dink, is filled with laughing kids, teenagers and skating veterans. Its aural backdrop is nocturnal choir, Night Chorus, a sensational group of over 50 singers wearing cool alien-esque upcycled vests over their stock standard classical black outfits. The choir seems and sounds surreal – there’s kids going wild on the skate rink, trippy visuals above and then the heavenly sounds of perfect harmonies singing reconstructed hits such as Lauper’s Time after Time. This awesome fusion of old and new, traditional and contemporary and static with dynamic is Rising’s signature. This is the one-of-a-kind of experience only associated with a Rising event.

The Wilds, feels like Alice’s wonderland but with a good map and a hipster vibe. There are all sorts of people here, mostly, it seems from Melbourne (expect that to change over the coming years as the festival grows and its reputation soars). Rising and The Wilds, will, in time, be a great complement (read rival) to Sydney’s multi-million-dollar winter festival, Vivid.

A credit to the organisers’ persistence and curatorial excellence,  The Wilds first incarnation is a delightful feast for the senses. Tickets can be bought at www.rising.melbourne, but hurry, it all ends Sunday June 19th.

Tickets: $12 – $22 entry

Location: Sidney Myer Music Bowl

For more information go to: www.rising.melbourne