If there’s one thing I love about Melbourne (there’s about a million) it’s how we can be transported to the other side of the world, without going very far at all.

On the weekend of July 14th Bastille Day Melbourne will host a celebration showcasing the best of French culture – historical journey’s, music, art, food, wine and so much more.

Held is Melbourne’s historical Meat Market – the weekend long event will be an unmissable festival, with daytime activities for the whole family, and an evening ‘Le Bal’ which is set to be a celebratory sensation featuring some of the most phenomenal DJ’s from France.

So how did this beautiful festival come to be? I sat down with the team to find out how it all comes together and what we can expect.

What a beautiful and exciting celebration – how did the idea of the festival come about?

The Bastille Day festivities are still so prominent in France and are one of the few events that still bring so many people together in a non-religious and non-political way. It’s an important reflection of French history and culture, and remains relevant to our society today.

Of course we were going to celebrate it here, and it allows us to feel closer to France even though we’re halfway across the world.

Our Melbourne festival was created four years ago to unite all the French associations in Victoria who were originally doing their thing separately. It made sense to have the one big event, allowing us to reach more people and expand our program!

What can guests expect?

Francophiles of all ages can enagage with our intense and authentic program: there’s something for everyone, so bring your friends, bring your family.

Expect a lot going on! The Meat Market’s historic venue will be transformed into a slice of French summer and you’ll be immersed into the best French culture has to offer.

What are some of the highlights you are most excited about?

Le Bal! Saturday night we are throwing a party so come enjoy a lively night of delicious food and drink, with some incredible DJs we have flown in from France and New Caledonia exclusively for this Australian premiere, setting the groove with their ElectroSwing mixes.

Think Parisian flashy nights meets Melbourne’s underground music scene.

We’re also really looking forward to our Sur le Mur art exhibition, gathering three talented French street artists living in Melbourne, who each have contributed to Melbourne’s growing appreciation for the contemporary genre. Guests can come gawk at their pieces champgane glass in hand, and even meet these special girls during live painting sessions.

It wouldn’t be a French festival without amazing food and wine – can you tell us a little about who you have teamed up with and what we can look forward to? What are some of the masterclasses?

Evidently food and wine is the centrepiece for anything French!

Our amazing sponsors include Président Cheese, Champagne Philippe Fourrier and Luv-a-Duck: all incredible high-end quality French products. What’s more, Le Marché will be stalls and stalls of your favourite French food, with the best in the business, from Gontran Cherrier patisseries, snails, crêpes, macarons, raclette cheese, chocolate, mulled wine…

There is a variety of engaging and fun masterclasses, and you should book your tickets now! Presented by passionate professionals, these go into styling, perfuming, and even fencing!

There’s your classic wine and cheese tasting, as well as specialist Bordeaux wines, rum and Champagne. In a partnership with the worldwide phenomenon Dans Le Noir, guests can experience dining in the dark!

You must be so excited about the Le Bal – what can guests look forward to?

The Bastille Day Bal is probably the most iconic part of Bastille Day festivities in France, so it’s been really fantastic to bring that to life. It’s about including everybody and coming together: double the impact here as we are bringing together both Australian and French cultures.

We’re so lucky to live in a city that allows these kinds of relationships to thrive.

We’re flying in some DJs who have built up a renowned live presence touring Europe, Smokey Joe & The Kid and IncontroL, and we’re very excited to see them bring that same energy on our own stage.

Their music samples old swing music and revamps them with a modern beat and urban textures, just like our Festival mixing old and new. We also have the hilarious Fanny Bouffante, an eccentric personality fresh off the 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, as our MC for the night. Drinks and food available.

Details:

$28 pp (group discounts available)

All information and booking is on www.bastilledaymelbourne.com

And follow our social media pages for updates and to see it all come to life