Mudfest Regeneration from August 21-288 August 2019
The University’s biennial student-run arts festival Mudfest will run August 21-28.
Presented by the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) Creative Arts department, this year’s line- up revolves around the theme of ‘Regeneration’ and includes almost 60 original student artworks and a lengthy schedule of events taking place in the Ida Bar.
“We have everything from circus, to a comedy café, to an interdisciplinary work drawing inspiration from Medusa,” Co-Artistic Director and Creative Arts officer Ellie Hamill said.
Major events include the ‘Late Late Night in the Ida Bar’ on August 23 featuring a moving image screening, a comedy variety night, an immersive performance experience and a techno DJ set. Creative writing anthology Above Water is also launching on August 26.
Since its commencement in 1990, Mudfest has established itself as the “largest student run festival in the southern hemisphere”. The event has grown to showcase art in many senses, including visual and performing art, music, film and other interdisciplinary work.
Hamill said the Mudfest team were inspired by the “dire need for growth and change within the frightening realities of our world” when choosing the theme ‘Regeneration’.
“Our festival is contemplating the idea that regeneration is necessary in times of need … and that we must change and evolve to ultimately thrive, as individuals, in communities and as a global society,” she said.
The team didn’t want to “limit” the artists in any way and the theme is rather a “springboard” to leap off of, she said.
While Mudfest nurtures and encourages student art, sustainability and accessibility in the arts has also been a major focus in recent years. Wellbeing was also important in the planning of this year’s festival. Hamill said that almost everyone involved in the festival has had access to creative mentorship as well as workshops on managing stress and looking after mental health.
“[Mudfest] is an environment where anything goes and all creative disciplines and ideas can be explored within the amazing support systems we have,” said Hamill.