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Celebrating 20 Years of Fed Square

20th Anniversary
This is a past event
20th Anniversary

Dates

1 October 2022 - 31 October 2022
Daily
24 Hours

It’s our birthday! Come celebrate with a month of activity – featuring world-first commissions, exhibitions and giveaways – celebrating the history, architecture and stories of Melbourne’s gathering place.

Fed Square opened to the public on 26 October, 2002 – with a grand aspiration to create a central, public square in Melbourne, on the banks of our beloved Birrarung.

Since that date, our distinct design has courted controversy and global attention, we’ve been voted among the top 10 public squares in the world, and seen more than 100 million visitors gather, dine, protest and party on our sandstone cobblestones.

The significance of the site on which Fed Square is built is much longer than 20 years, so as we celebrate our ‘building birthday’, and our very recent recognition as one of the world’s youngest heritage-listed buildings, we look back and reflect upon the Indigenous history of the site as a gathering place for the people of the Kulin Nations – the oldest continuing culture in the world.

Come join with us to celebrate the past, present and future of Fed Square – with events, digital content to explore and opportunities to share your own Fed Square stories.

It’ll be a big party, we promise!

EVENTS:

A Rainbow of Tomorrows

9 October–20 November, daily | Koorie Heritage Trust

A Blak queer futurism art exhibition, A Rainbow of Tomorrows invites queer creative mob to carve out a space for respite from the heteropatriarchal settler-colony and explore individual and collective visions of utopia. A multidisciplinary exhibition of queer First Nations artists’ work, along with multiple activating events, A Rainbow of Tomorrows is a guest-curated project led by Stone Motherless Cold. Free entry.

Learn more
WE WILL SLAM YOU WITH OUR WINGS

11 Oct–31 October | The Atrium

Young women aged 8–16 command stances of power, framed within seven supersized screens, in this thought-provoking digital, operatic artwork by Joanna Dudley. Opening on The International Day of the Girl, this work forces us to reflect on the symbolism inherent in 19th century imperialist depictions of men in positions of power, as we see young women take their place – a choral collective of emergent power, a force to be reckoned with.

Tell me more
HEXADECA

15–23 October, 12pm–9pm | Swanston Street Forecourt

HEXADECA is a participatory music making playground installation that premiered at WOMADelaide 2022 to rave reviews and recently received a Merit Award from the Designers Australia Awards 2022. The work is a large-scale installation by Adelaide based creative studio Pulsing Heart, led by Joren Dawson and Gravity & Other Myths founder Jascha Boyce. The duo behind the company insist that everyone, young and old, go ahead and touch the art!

Tell me more
Sun Songs at Fed Square

From 19 October, sunrise and sunset | Main Square

As the sun rises and falls, we mark the beginning and end of the day with a moving, site-specific sonic artwork. Sun Songs at Fed Square is a newly commissioned artwork created by sonic artists David Franzke and Geoffrey Nees with lighting design by Ben Cobham (Blue Bottle).

Find out more
Garage Band

Saturday 22 October | Main Stage

ALWAYS LIVE and internationally acclaimed artist Joseph O’Farrell (JOF) team up to create a new show that gives up to 30 young garage bands the opportunity to perform live in the centre of Melbourne on our Main Stage. Come show your support and celebrate the next generation of musical talent.

Tell me more
A Score for Fed Square

26 October, 7.30pm-8pm | Main Stage

Join us on our 20th birthday for the world-premiere of Mia Salsjö’s new orchestral work, A Score for Fed Square – commissioned by Fed Square and the NGV to celebrate our award-winning, heritage-listed architecture, and performed by musicians from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Tell me more

DIGITAL CONTENT:

Deconstructing Fed Square: A Multimedia Showcase, with RMIT

11 Oct–31 October, 6pm | Big Screen

To celebrate our 20th Anniversary, RMIT Multimedia students have created new video works, based on the theme ‘Deconstructing Fed Square’. Come and see the new generation of digital artists and makers as they interpret the architecture, symbolism, people and culture of Melbourne’s gathering place.

Learn more
20 Years of Culture digital art exhibition

17 October | Online

We’ve partnered with Oshi Gallery to commission 20 new NFT artworks by renowned Australian artists, all inspired by Fed Square’s location, design, and historical and cultural significance. The digital exhibition will launch on 17 October, and we’ll be showcasing the works on our Big Screen throughout the month. For art-lovers and collectors, you will also be able to purchase one of these unique pieces of history!

Learn more
ABC’s Inside the Square (2003, 55min)

24, 25 + 26 October, 5pm | Big Screen; 1–31 October | Online

This ABC documentary chronicles the building of Fed Square, Australia’s most ambitious architectural project, to establish a brand-new public square in Melbourne. Featuring interviews with key figures involved in the project, such as Peter Davidson, Don Bates and many more, the film uncovers the enormous challenges faced by all the key players throughout the whole project, and what it takes to realise a vision of this magnitude.

Watch now
A Short Film with Don Bates

Online

Learn more about the thinking that went into our unusual design: the choice of materials, the fractal-based patterns and the vision for Melbourne’s gathering place, as you take a walk through our spaces – The Edge, The Atrium, the Main Square – with Fed Square’s original Co-Architect, Don Bates.

Watch now
Fed Square’s Defining Moments

Online

From hosting TV royalty (Oprah) to real royalty (the Queen), Fed Square has seen its fair share of Big Moments. As a place to protest and celebrate, gather and reflect, wine, dine and party – we share with you some of the most significant moments in our 20-year history as Melbourne’s public square, the city’s beating heart.

Watch Now
Mini Documentaries

Online

Uncover the giant maze that hides beneath the Square, appreciate the engineering marvels and architectural significance that makes us one of the youngest heritage listed sites in the world and discover our heritage and unusual history in this series of four mini-docs!

Learn More
Ask a Librarian: Fed Square

Online

A site of First People’s significance. A haunting morgue. A stinking fish market. Bustling rail yards. See our history and heritage brought to life in this collaborative piece using the State Library of Victoria’s and our own archival imagery to track the history and significance of our site and its surrounds.

Learn more
Fed Folk: Kate Brennan, Fed Square CEO, 2005-2013

Online

Kate Brennan was appointed as Fed Square’s CEO in July 2005 – fewer than three years after we opened. She had to grapple with a host of challenges, including being in charge of a brand-new public space that was yet to find its identity and significance in the heart of Melburnians.

Hi Kate!

PARTICIPATE:

Share your memories

27 September–25 October

Fed Square’s birthday is also ACMI’s birthday, and we’re collaborating with Australia’s famous museum of screen culture to giveaway an amazing prize pack to one lucky winner. All you have to do is tell us your favourite Fed Square or ACMI memories – key moments that shine for you. Seeing a mind-blowing exhibition, meeting a hero, protesting war, attending a premiere, celebrating a sporting victory, meeting your true love … Tell us your stories to go into the draw to win!

Share your memories
20 Days of Giveaways

7 October–26 October

In the lead-up to our birthday on 26 October, we’ve got some incredible daily giveaways you have the chance to win! And on top of that – a HUGE number of discounts and offers for you to enjoy in the Square, every day. Come and celebrate with us during October, share your photos with us tagging #20daysofgiveaways and @fed.square on Instagram, or submit your pics via The People’s Place, to be in the running to win a daily prize. We’ll announce the winners each day.

Let's win!