Immersive Melbourne festival to return in 2024

Now or Never Docklands

Now or Never, the new festival celebrating art, sound, and technology, which had a significant presence in Docklands during its in inaugural year in 2023, will return to Melbourne this winter.

In what is the newest major event presented by the City of Melbourne, the multidisciplinary festival will make its return from August 22 to 31 centred around the theme: Look Through The Image.

Visitors can expect to experience a variety of works from both Australian and international artists. Some of last year’s exhibitions included music performances, digital art, and vocal presentations.

A particular highlight in 2023 was an immersive sound installation that provided audiences with a simulation of a research centre in Antarctica. The piece was created by arts organisation Speak Percussion, and featured recordings from real scientific equipment.



A larger-than-life 1.2-kilometre art trail along Victoria Harbour in Docklands curated by renowned art and technology organisation Experimenta also proved to be a popular drawcard.

The council’s city activation portfolio lead Cr Roshena Campbell emphasised the city’s desire to ensure there were activities available in Melbourne all year-round. 

“We are focussed on bringing Melbourne to life in quieter periods like over the winter months. Major events are an enormous drawcard for tourists and visitors to Melbourne, providing a significant boost to the economy,” Cr Campbell said. 

More than 150,000 attended the 17-day festival in 2023, which generated nearly $14 million for the local economy and employed more than 300 artists and creatives, as well as 1500 other employees.


The council said the reception from patrons to the debut event had been largely positive, with 94 per cent of attendees reporting enjoying their time and more than 35,000 people alone attended events held in Docklands.


Lord Mayor Sally Capp said she was excited to welcome the second instalment of the popular festival to the City of Melbourne.

“After making an incredible debut last year, the City of Melbourne’s newest festival, Now or Never, is back in 2024,” she said.

“[It] will feature leading local and international artists and creatives across a program of ground-breaking music and audio-visual performances, immersive art installations, provocative talks, spectacular technology and much more.”

“We’re looking forward to revealing the compelling 2024 festival program in the coming months.”  

More details of the event will be released in late May, with the full program to be announced in late June.

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