Arts Centre Melbourne opens up

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Arts Centre Melbourne will begin to open their facilities in the Southbank arts precinct with café Protagonist and Weekend Markets from 12 December.

The re-introduction of offerings on the forecourt and surrounding areas are in accordance with regulations and reflect a focus on outdoor as well as food and beverage.

Along with the activation of Protagonist and Weekend Markets, Arts Centre Melbourne are delivering a handful of social projects including David Greybeard in support of the Jane Goodall Foundation, Urban Blooms, a city wide floral installation and will also be a part of the Me & UooUoo an art installation in January, in partnership for the Royal Children’s Hospital 150th anniversary.

The soft opening of Arts Centre Melbourne is a monumental occasion and will mark the first time the public have been able to visit the heart of the arts since lockdown regulations were announced in March.

“It’s so exciting to have people returning to our arts precinct and an important step as we follow the roadmap to re-opening. It’s been a tough period of time for so many and we can’t wait to see happy faces enjoying the offerings that will steadily become available,” said CEO Claire Spencer AM.

Award-winning café Protagonist will be debuting a new menu and open every day of the week. Local artisans will also return to showcase their unique, handmade goods ranging from arts and crafts to freshly made delicacies for the Weekend Markets which has been expanded from Sundays to also include Saturday’s.

“Coffee, already one our single biggest sellers will continue to be a hero product. We will showcase specialty blended and roasted coffee for Protagonist by Genovese and it will be accompanied by all the usual suspects with some brand new ones,” said Arts Centre Melbourne’s Director of Customer Innovation, Frank Bischoff.

“The culinary team reviewed the entirety of our food offering and have introduced new ingredients with a whole new summer inspired flavour palette.”

Arts Centre Melbourne are wholeheartedly focused on growing a vibrant place for Victorians to enjoy whilst also ensuring the spaces created are regulated and operate under complete safety.

Other spaces including The Barre and Australian Music Vault have anticipated opening time frames of January, when attendance density limits are expected to ease significantly to provide a more rounded, impactful experience. The re-opening of the theatres buildings will be staggered and made available to the public with ongoing consultation with the Victorian Government and Department of Health and Human Services.

“We are dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming space alongside all cultural, hospitality and retail offerings across the arts precinct. This is an important step for everyone as we work back into a sense of normality in visiting our wonderful city and enjoying all the fantastic things it has to offer,” added Spencer.

“Every step that we take will ensure that being COVID-Safe is at the centre of what we do and we will be transparent on the things we are doing to make our places and spaces safe for all.”

For more information on our opening events and the steps we’re taking to safely open click here.


Arts Centre Melbourne announced it had postponed welcoming visitors back to its venues in accordance with the most recent Victorian Government guidelines on COVID-19. The ghost lights will stay on a little longer as Arts Centre Melbourne focuses on finding new ways to engage with audiences, including the digital online hub – Together With You . For more information including; bookings for free and ticketed events, Arts Centre Melbourne’s health and safety policies, as well as additional digital content and experiences visit artscentremelbourne.com.au

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