Most activities are on hold as we all bunker down at home to do our bit to stop the spread of COVID-19, but there are new ways to stay social and connected at this time.
We can’t bring you our regular monthly wraps of what’s on around Australia, but we do have some good news for you…
Necessity has always been the mother of invention and the arts and events businesses are putting their creativity to good use and bringing you a whole host of virtual events you can join from home.
We will be updating this page as new virtual events are announced, so keep it bookmarked and check back regularly.
High Country chefs, winemakers, brewers and beauty therapists are sharing their expertise, tips and tricks with you at home.
You can join King Valley’s legendary Katrina & Fredo Pizzini of Pizzini Wines for a gnocchi cooking class and guided wine tasting, or book Bright Brewery’s Scott Brandon in for a tasting of the exclusive Barrel Series ales with the expert
guidance of head brewer, Reid Stratton.
Alternatively, if you’re missing Friday night drinks with the crew you book a cocktail making and guided gin tasting session with renowned chef and distiller Hamish Nugent of Bright’s Reed & Co/Remedy Gin fame. You can even book an at-home experience with The Spa Beechworth, which comes with an indulgent package of beautifully made oils, body scrub and soaks and even some bespoke tea boxed.
While we can’t hit the road with our #emptyeskies just yet, you can now get your hands on the best products from around the region by ordering from the website’s online store. Stock up on wine, beer, gin, honey, luxe granola, sauces, olives, locally roasted coffee and boutique wares from nearly 100 High Country businesses.
How do I attend? Visit the High Country at Home website, choose a class, book a date for your group, check the mailbox for your products and Zoom in with your mates when it’s time for your class.
Victoria’s longest-running wine festival, Winery Walkabout, will take place online this year with Australian DJ, Hot Dub Time Machine, headlining the event.
The Winemakers of Rutherglen will come together on Saturday 6 June 2020 to virtually showcase the most celebrated wines of the region with online wine chats, masterclasses and live entertainment at the newly names Winery Walkabout the House.
Festival-goers can take part in a series of activities, challenges and games to win points for their team for the chance to be crowned the Winery Walkabout the House 2020 ‘Team of the Year’ and receive a Rutherglen prize pack. Tim Campbell will be your host and a number of independent Aussie musicians, including Ash Grunwald and folk-rock duo, Pierce Brothers, will stream exclusive live performances on the day.
How do I attend? Instead of purchasing a ticket, participants will purchase a wine pack for $85 (free delivery until 15 May – $10 delivery fee thereafter). Place your order to get your virtual ticket to Winery Walkabout the House here.
When? Saturday 6 June 2020, 12pm-6pm
The Sydney Opera House has launched From Our House to Yours, a digital series of live broadcasts, archival footage and premieres from their stage to your screens with new content available each week from Wednesday to Sunday.
Expect to see a star lineup of entertainment choices, including Sarah Blasko performing with the Sydney International Orchestra, tips on how to keep cooking simple with Yotem Ottolenghi, Missy Higgins live from the forecourt of the Opera House, as well as interviews from the All About Women 2020 event and plenty of entertainment for kids too – including David Walliams speaking about his book Billionaire Boy.
If you happen to miss a performance or talk you can also access previous streams from their digital season on demand on their website.
Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo just made staying at home a whole lot easier for parents, because you can now take the kids to the zoo online.
Taronga TV is now live and streaming a packed daily schedule of fascinating keepers talks and shows, 24/7 live animal streams, amusing animal antics and behind-the-scenes sneak peeks at what the animals (and the keepers) actually get up to when the zoo is closed.
You’ll also get to go behind closed doors at their two wildlife hospitals to get a firsthand look at their vital conservation work. Teachers and parents can make use of the available online resources too.
With the temporary closure of Taronga’s zoos and accommodation products, the Taronga Foundation will continue to fundraise to ensure Taronga can continue operating its two Wildlife Hospitals and its vital conservation work in Australia and overseas. You can visit their website to make a donation.
Global Citizen and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have launched a virtual concert series with live performances by various artists streaming via Instagram.
Coldplay’s Chris Martin kicked off the first of the Together At Home virtual concert gigs on March 16 to encourage people to stay at home and slow the spread of the virus and bring a sense of unity at a time when many of us are feeling isolated and uncertain about the future. A number of other artists have joined the movement, including John Legend, Vance Joy, Hozier, One Republic and more.
The series has also been organised to ask viewers to take action by calling for more funding to the WHO and supporting its historic COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Learn more about how to combat coronavirus here.
When: You can find the series on YouTube if you’ve missed them on Instagram Live.
The Melbourne Digital Concert Hall has been established by Melbourne musicians to support the industry during the coronavirus pandemic.
They have announced that tickets are available to purchase for a full program of concerts to be streamed from Friday the 27th of March at 7pm.
Currently, the lineup of talent includes Arcadia Winds, Stefan Cassomenos, Tristan Lee, Latitude 37, Zoe Knighton, Elyane Laussade, Songmakers Australia and Kristian Chong. All revenue from the ticket sales will go direct to the artists who have had many recitals cancelled due to the closing of concert halls.
How do I attend? Purchase a ticket for $20 to your preferred concert on the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall website and follow the instructions to stream your concert online at the set time and date (don’t miss the start time as the concert is only streamed once).
When? The first concert streams Friday the 27th of March at 7pm with more concert dates available on their website. Further concerts and music festivals will be added each weekend throughout the coming months.
This year’s Biennale of Sydney has closed its public exhibitions from Tuesday 25 March until further notice, but they will be moving to a digital program which will be available on Google Arts & Culture platform (date to be announced soon).
The virtual Biennale will bring the exhibition and programs to life through live content, virtual walk-throughs, podcasts, interactive Q&As, curated tours and artist takeovers.
This year’s exhibition, titled NIRIN and meaning ‘edge’ in Wiradjuri, is an artist- and First Nations-led biennale showcasing more than 700 artworks by 101 artists and collectives.
When? Dates for the virtual exhibition will be announced in the coming weeks – check back for updates!
The 2020 Melbourne Cinémathèque program has been cancelled but Virtual Cinémathèque has launched in its place. The Melbourne Cinémathèque Committee and ACMI’s Film Department have chosen a double bill of new and old films that will have either a director, performer or theme in common, available to stream for free each Wednesday night.
How do I attend? Every Tuesday the details for the weekly Virtual Cinémathèque will be released via ACMI’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or Melbourne Cinémathèque’s Facebook and Twitter. The stream will be available on SBS On Demand, Metastream – which allows you to invite your friends to watch along from their individual homes with you – and other streaming platforms (check social for details).
When? Weekly sessions from Wednesday, March 25.
The Healesville wine producer, Innocent Bystander, has launched a virtual Live Tasting Bar for all isolated wine lovers. Innocent Bystander’s very own sommelier, Margaret, will take wine lovers through the ins and outs of a specific varietal and provide face to face tasting notes, side by side comparisons with other regions, food pairings and just general demystification of the wide world of wine.
How do I attend? Login to Facebook and go to the Innocent Bystander Facebook page to watch the live video. You can also order their wine from their online shop so you can taste along with Margaret.
When? Find their schedule for the Live Tasting Bar below, and visit their Facebook Page to show your interest in the event:
Friday 27th March at 5:00pm – Perusing Pinot Noir
Friday 3rd April at 5:00pm – The Greatness of Pinot Gris
Friday 10th April at 5:00pm – Talking Tempranillo
Friday 17th April at 5:00pm – Sipping Syrah
Friday 24th April at 5:00pm – Gabbin bout’ Gamay
Friday 1st May at 5:00pm – Chatting Chardonnay
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will be livestreaming their performances while the concert hall remains closed. Expect a full program of concerts featuring works from the classical music greats. You can also make a donation on their website to keep the music going or if you’ve already purchased a ticket to a cancelled concert, also consider donating the ticket price instead of requesting a refund.
How do I attend? Visit the MSO YouTube channel
When? Enjoy free MSO live streams over coming days and weeks by visiting their YouTube channel.
You can’t go to the Sydney Royal Easter Show this year and technically this isn’t a virtual event but you can get a little taste of the show by ordering the showbags direct to your door.
Chicane Showbags are in the process of moving most of their range online for purchase.
Currently, reality TV fiends and soapie lovers can order a My Kitchen Rules or Home & Away showbag. Traditionalists can stick to the time-honoured Bertie Beetles showbag, sugar addicts have their pick of Kit Kats, Wonkas, Nestle, Allens and more, and a wide range of sport, entertainment and pop culture bags to choose from.
Sure, it’s not even nearly the same as attending in person, but at least you get to hang on to some of the magic during these unprecedented times.
Where can I order? Visit the Showbag Shop to place your order.