Art & Design


Gertrude Street Projection Festival

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It’s that frosty time of year – but never fear! The Gertrude Street Projection Festival will soon be lighting up Melbourne’s bleak winter nights.

Now in its eighth year, our favourite little gentrified thoroughfare will host 39 projection sites, shining with the creative talents of over fifty artists.

Festival director Kym Ortenburg took some time out from preparations to chat to Milk Bar Mag.

“This year’s theme is transience,” she tells us, “and I think it really reflects how the street has changed.”

If you ask anyone who’s been in the area for a while, they’ll paint a considerably less pretty picture of the now café and boutique riddled strip.

“Gertrude Street used to be a really down and dirty street,” Kym continues. “There were lots of fights and drugs, but now we’ve got quite a glamorous street.”

She and fellow founder Monique McNamara even coined the term “gertrudification” to describe the transformation, with their festival playing a crucial part.

So what can we expect from this year’s nights of lights? There’ll be elaborate displays on The Builders Arms and The Gertrude Hotel (“our signature sites”), the latter of which being interactive. “It’s a bit of a surprise,” Kim says coyly, “but it involves snow, and moving objects around using your smartphone.”

Smaller displays will sparkle in the laneways and shop windows, while excitingly, a flying projector drone will be zooming around overhead. All lights aside, Ladro will be giving away free popcorn and The Catfish will be buzzing as this year’s festival hub.

Opening night will kick off at the Fitzroy Beer Garden, boasting delights such as a bicycle-powered carousel in the Manfax Paint & Hardware store carpark, and a documentary screening about boxer Lionel Rose – aptly playing in boxing gym of the Maysar building.

You can catch Kym and the cool crowd of Melbourne’s inner-north on opening night in what’s destined to be one heck of a street(light) party.

Gertrude Street Projection Festival
18-27 July
Find out more at


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