Eat, work, stay, play at The District Docklands

Jack Hayes

As Victoria’s largest open air, weather protected shopping, dining and entertainment precinct, The District Docklands presents a unique, and quintessentially, Melbourne experience as we accelerate out of lockdown.

Armed with an action-packed schedule, kickstarted with a return to District favourites like Australia’s first trick-art gallery ArtVo, arcade fun at Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq, HOYTS cinemas, ice skating at O’Brien Icehouse, and the future playground at IMAGINARIA, summer at The District is shaping as an unmissable city experience.

The District is celebrating Melbourne’s love of festivities and live music with a series of pop-up events and interactive experiences including the first use of its new pop-up and interactive space, District X, with the Pasted and Wasted rock music poster exhibition.

Featuring more than 800 original music posters from decades of Australian live music from Nick Vukovic’s private collection, Pasted and Wasted in the first exhibition at the new immersive space slated to support Melbourne’s creative industries and local talent.

The District Docklands chief executive officer George Karabatsos told North West City News the exhibition was just the tip of a very large iceberg of exhibitions, activations and events throughout the precinct this summer.

“From a strategic point of view, we have always been very conscious of creating new experiences and new destinations and celebrating everything that is cultural in Melbourne,” Mr Karabatsos said.


Our major attractions are now open, withthe return of visitors to The District to enjoy new experiences, and spend time in our entertainment, leisure, food and beverage precinct.


“Nowhere else in Australia can you go bowling, ice skating, play glow golf, see a movie, experience immersive art and choose from 30 dining options in one place.”

While the past 20 months have been challenging for the precinct, particularly as one who has built its name on entertainment and retail offerings, The District has evolved from its early iteration, with the help of the fresh food and essential service destination, Market Lane, into a full-service precinct for locals and visitors alike.

Market Lane has continued to provide essential services to the local community throughout lockdowns – along with several food and dining retailers offering takeaway and delivery services.

“We have been able to pivot a lot of those [Market Lane] retailers to deliver the daily needs and essential services for locals, along with a lot of our food and beverage businesses evolving their takeaway capacity,” Mr Karabatsos said.

“It has been very rewarding the role the precinct has played in supporting the local community, and we are excited to welcome everyone back.”

In partnerhip with the City of Melbourne, The District will welcome an interactive Giant Christmas Maze activation running from November 27 through to Christmas Eve.

The summer months will also see the return of the street market, with a series of weekend markets including a pop-up music fair and a special Christmas market on Friday, December 17 from 4pm to 9pm.

Rounding out the summer of fun you’ll find District Live. Launching at the end of November, there will be three days of live music headlined by Daryl Braithwaite, Joe Camilleri and The Black Sorrows.

District Live will continue in January with free live music performances across the outdoor precinct every Friday to Sunday.

““Our focus over the coming months is to work closely with state and local governments, our  stakeholders, and precinct partners, as we further develop and build on our positioning as Melbourne’s newest modern urban village – a place to live, work, stay, play, and visit,” Mr Karabatsos said.

“We have the infrastructure, we have the amenity and we have the opportunity to continue to work closely with the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government to continue to create one of Melbourne’s newest urban village, and it takes a lot of people to make a village come to life.” •

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