The Melbourne International Comedy Festival comes to town!

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival will celebrate its 29th year in 2015 and is one of the three largest comedy festivals in the world, alongside Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival.

An annual event, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival literally takes over Australia’s comedy capital, Melbourne, each autumn with an enormous program of stand-up comedy, cabaret, theatre, street performance, film, television, radio and visual arts.

The Festival was launched in 1987 by Barry Humphries and Peter Cook. Twenty-eight festivals later, with attendances of over 630,000, it has grown to be Australia’s largest cultural event – selling more tickets than any other Australian Festival. With an average ticket price of just $27, the Comedy Festival is not only a hugely popular event but an extremely accessible one. When the Melbourne Town Hall precinct is converted into a giant comedy hub, there is something for every comedy lover, from the very best local and international comedy acts in venues of all shapes and sizes.

Grab a bite to eat or meet your friends for drinks before you see your comedy festival show at Southgate. Southgate Restaurants can get you fed and on your way with special Pre-Theatre menus or pop into our licenced Riverside food court for quick bite with plenty of options to suit any tastes.

The Melbourne International Comedy festival runs from the 25 March – 19 April 2015. Find out more about the Melbourne International Comedy Festival here.

Southgate welcomes Aunty Donna

As part of our continued support of Melbourne’s artists, Southgate welcomes their newest residents sketch comedy sensations Aunty Donna. 

Aunty Donna is made up of six members, all of which are involved in creating the group’s live performances and filmed material.  Aunty Donna boasts one of the fastest growing channels on YouTube and this year will be their 4th Melbourne International Comedy Festival, coming off the back of a successful 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival debut.

Aunty Donna have taken up residence in Huey’s old kitchen to cook up their latest offering for the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Sanpellegrino 2014 Café Society Photography Exhibition

Southgate is pleased to announce we will yet again be showing the winning entries in the Sanpellegrino 2014 Café Society Photography Competition on our Podium Level from 2 March until 31 March 2015!

Photographing a particular character/s at the student’s allocated café was the focus for Sanpellegrino 2014 Café Society Photography Competition. Students from RMIT School of Media and Communications again plied their skills and techniques interpreting this year’s brief:

“Individual personalities greatly contribute to the look and feel of any space, often creating as lasting an impression on diners as the décor or cuisine. Capture the way in which a particular character/s at your café reflects its unique café society culture.”

And the winner isBen McIntyre who photographed Wall Two 80 located at 280 Carlisle St, Balaclava.

Celebrating 15 years, the competition brings together final year RMIT photography students and Melbourne’s coolest cafes, from the quirky to the classic.

This year the judges included Jason Smith Director and CEO Heidi Museum of Modern Art, Earl Carter Photographer, The Age Epicure chief restaurant critic Larissa Dubecki and Sanpellegrino Senior Brand manager, Manuela Capponi.

Manuela commented, “Over the years of this competition we have seen quite a progression in photography styles and techniques, with the influence of digital technologies.  But also in the style of cafes, which have become more refined, creative, quirky with the upmost attention to detail.”

The competition winners were announced on Monday 6 October at a cocktail party at Hellenic Republic Brunswick.

This year’s Placegetters:

 1st Prize: Ben McIntyre – Wall Two 80 280 Carlisle St, Balaclava

2nd Prize: Jacinta Lewis – The Bond Store 1 Riverside Quay, Southbank

3rd Prize:  Alexander Stoeckel – The Pound 5/566 Chapel St, South Yarra

Technical Prize: Eliza Harrison – Café Latte 521 Malvern Rd, Hawksburn

Prizes provided by Sanpellegrino for the winning entries:

First Prize:                             $1,500   Cash plus a gift box of Sanpellegrino products

Second Prize:                       $500      Cash plus a gift box of Sanpellegrino products

Third Prize:                           $250      Cash plus a gift box of Sanpellegrino products

Technical Prize:                   $250      Cash plus a gift box of Sanpellegrino products

Post awards, the winning entries can be seen at an exhibition held at Southgate in March 2015 and on the Sanpellegrino website The exhibition can also been seen at various high profile events including Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.

To celebrate the 15th year, Sanpellegrino will produce a 2015 Diary & Calendar.



Totem Exhibition at Southgate

Get up-close to the stunning costumes from TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil in this rare public exhibition direct from the Big Top!

The exhibition showcases the wonderful work of Australia’s own Kym Barrett, the TOTEM costume designer best known for her designs for film including Romeo + Juliet, the Matrix series and the upcoming Jupiter Ascending.

Costumes on display on the Mid-Level Mezzanine, March 5 – March 25.

TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil is playing under the Big Top at Flemington Racecourse until March 29.


Southgate comes alive with SummerSalt

SummerSalt Outdoor Arts Festival

Every weekend

23 January – 21 February 2015

From 23 January-21 February, Southgate’s promenade will come alive with music, dance, circus, theatre and art. The precinct is an integral part of the new SummerSalt Outdoor Arts Festival, featuring unique and creative collaborations by Melbourne’s leading arts organisations.

The SummerSalt program features an eclectic range of free events on the banks of the Yarra River in the Southgate precinct. Festival goers can experience interactive theatre, puppetry, storytelling and giant art installations along the promenade.

The riverside program showcases engaging and thought-provoking works from vibrant independent artists, and is set to entertain tens of thousands of visitors this summer. Born in a Taxi, one of Melbourne’s most highly regarded physical theatre ensembles present three physical and interactive shows at the Southgate pedestrian bridge. Ragtime gangsters from the days of black and white movies, a giant whale whose stomach you can enter to uncover the mysteries of the deep, and an interactive life size chess board with a bossy queen, cunning pawn and silly knight to dish out the rules of a fairy tale game.

SummerSalt at Southgate also features Melbourne Fringe 2014 People’s Choice Award winner Long Answers to Simple Questions (Games), by Tom Davis. Showcasing the elite skills of artists who have worked with Circus Oz, Circa and Cirque du Soleil, the physical performance explores, with humour and kindness, the importance of relationships and community through grief and loss.

Many promenade shows are characterised by their immersive nature, where audiences are given an opportunity to interact with performers. Dancefarm Gameshow sees ‘Mr Hotwheel’ ask audience members to spin the wheel in order to manipulate the dancers through a game of chance. Puppeteer Lana Schwarcz invites viewers to peer into the world’s smallest theatre and enjoy a one-minute puppetry show of The Curator, who needs your help to find the missing piece in his exhibition.

Southgate Summersalt Program


Pocket Fool


aMoment Caravan



Escape to the infinite

Escape to the Infinite


Melbourne Ballet

Curious Game

Curious Game

long answers

Long Answers


Coco Loco

the curator

Minute Exhibit


Uptown Brown

born in a taxi

Something Fishy


Chloe Chignell - Circulations



SummerSalt Festival!

SummerSalt – the outdoor arts festival you’ll flip for!  Over five extraordinary summer weekends, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is turned on its head. Music, dance, circus, theatre and art burst into life and spill out onto the streets of Southbank.

This inventive program of events is a unique and creative collaboration of Melbourne’s leading arts organisations including Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Arts Centre Melbourne, Australian Centre for Contemporary Arts, Chunky Move, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Theatre Company, National Gallery of Victoria, The Australian Ballet and Victorian College of the Arts amongst many others.  There’s something for everyone!

During the day, families can explore fun, free and low cost events such as interactive theatre, puppetry, storytelling, giant art installations and hands-on workshops.

In the evenings, Southbank will come alive with exciting outdoor concerts, street-art, theatre and cinema until late!

So, don your shorts or summer frock, throw on your hat and slip slop slap. Come be a part of SummerSalt Outdoor Arts Festival 2015. You’ll never see the neighbourhood in the same light again.

Check out the full program here!

Gastrology reviews Hophaus Southgate

Gastrology attended the launch of reinvented European bier hall ‘HOPHAUS’ at Southgate last week.

Along with the impending opening of new Southgate Italian wine and tapas restaurant ARTUSI, Red Emperor’s new location and chef Lin Chan (Flower Drum), and Bluetrain’s critically acclaimed new upper level fit out, HOPHAUS affirms Southgate’s position as a landmark Melbourne dining and socialising destination.

Read the full review here

Hophaus NOW OPEN!

We are excited to announce Hophaus is now open on the mid level at Southgate!

With an impressive selection of German, Austrian, Belgian and Czech Brews on offer, Hophaus is a unique drinking house, somewhere to taste and learn about the famous German beer styles that have influenced the drinking habits of generations across the globe.

The menu features classic Bavarian favourites such as Pork Knuckle, Bratwurst, Wiener Schnitzel and more. All with a contemporary Melbourne flair and an open kitchen showcasing low and slow cooking methods over the coal fired pit and rotisserie.

Open every day 11am till late!

Progressive Dinners becomes Southgate Moveable Feasts!

This year Southgate’s Progressive Dinners have been given a makeover and will now be known as Southgate Moveable Feasts!

Its time to celebrate winter dining with friends at a Sunday lazy lunch progressive and the classic Monday night progressive dinner. Choose from a three course dinner or lunch for $60 or $85 at three different restaurants. This year we are excited to bring you 14 Southgate restaurants including newcomers Artusi, Amarok Bar & Restaurant, the new Bluetrain and Hophaus!

Southgate Moveable Feasts are on sale now! Book now to secure your tickets.

HOPHAUS to open at Southgate!

DEXUS Property Group and Red Rock Leisure officially announce the launch of HOPHAUS, in Southgate restaurant and shopping precinct’s iconic space previously occupied by Bluetrain (now on Southgate’s upper level).

A contemporary twist on the great Bavarian Beer Halls, HOPHAUS is the latest addition to Red Rock Leisure’s stable of social pubs and Southgate’s restaurant precinct, drawing inspiration from the history and tradition of the world’s original “craft breweries” that celebrates the Germanic approach to brewing, one of both art and science. With unparalleled views along the Yarra housing up to 350 patrons, HOPHAUS is set to become an exciting new destination for Melbourne social gatherings.

Scott Travers, DEXUS Regional General Manager Office & Industrial says, “We are proud to announce the opening of HOPHAUS at Southgate this year, which will add a unique new beer hall experience to Southgate. Along with the impending opening of new Southgate Italian wine and tapas restaurant ARTUSI, Red Emperor’s new location and chef Lin Chan (Flower Drum), and Bluetrain’s critically acclaimed new upper level fit out, HOPHAUS affirms Southgate’s position as a landmark Melbourne dining and socialising destination.”

HOPHAUS owner, Paul O’Brien says, “We wanted to create a truly one-of-a-kind experience in this iconic location, an experience that delights and surprises yet also feels familiar and hospitable.”

HOPHAUS will house over 30 draught taps around its huge central bar.  With an impressive selection of German, Austrian, Belgian and Czech Brews on offer, HOPHAUS will be a unique drinking house, somewhere to taste and learn about the famous German beer styles that have influenced the drinking habits of generations across the globe.

HOPHAUS’ architectural design has been created by the multi award-winning Maddison Architects founded by Peter Maddison of Grand Designs Australia.

Peter Maddison says, “We have taken great delight in crafting a unique interior for this project, which is based on research of European beer halls, and then re-inventing them, so that the materials and finishes are familiar, yet somehow different.  This can be seen in for example, the polychrome glazed brickwork (over 6,000 in total) that feature throughout the venue.”

Feature beers will change regularly and some of Germany’s and Europe’s oldest and most loved brews will be available on tap, including beers from the famed Weihenstephan (the world’s oldest brewery), Paulaner, Franziskaner and Bitburger breweries.

HOPHAUS will also feature a selection of German, Austrian and Alsace wines by the glass along with New World wines that celebrate the region’s famed varieties: Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gruner Veltliner and more.

The menu at HOPHAUS will feature classic Bavarian favourites with a contemporary Melbourne flair with a big focus on communal shared dining. The open kitchen will showcase low and slow cooking methods over the coal fired pit and rotisserie.

Executive Chef, Marc Brown promises the food will be exciting and fresh, using age-old European cooking styles that bring out the natural flavours of great Victorian produce.

“Uncomplicated, nothing too fussy or overly sauced, just good honest food that will keep you coming back for more,” says Marc Brown.

The kitchen will be open for lunch and dinner, while a bar menu will complement an afternoon or late night brew.

Hophaus is anticipated to open in late May 2014. For more information subscribe to the Southgate eNewsletter.