See the light at South Side Festival 2023

Published on 14 March 2023

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Thought provoking performances, raucous comedy, dazzling installations, striking visual arts and fun for the whole family – the 2023 South Side Festival will delight, challenge and entertain.

Frankston City Council Mayor Nathan Conroy said after an amazing debut with sell out shows in 2022, South Side Festival is ready to deliver its new nine day program of exciting events and shows.

“Frankston is dedicated to solidify its position as a creative and vibrant destination city. Providing the local community with diverse entertainment of the highest calibre and attracting new audiences to the municipality is integral to ensuring Frankston is the place to be.

“We are driven to stimulate imaginations, transform perceptions, excite and entice and South Side Festival’s dynamic programming delivers on all counts,” Mayor Conroy said.

Playing on our love for the immersive and visually spectacular, South Side’s LuminoCity features three immersive experiences that will take you on a journey from an interactive sea, to a dazzling installation and finally, an underground digital playground.

Academy award winner, Shaun Tan, will be exhibiting his rarely seen visual arts series, Rules of Summer and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Road Show will hit the Frankston Arts Centre stage.

There will dance parties in shipping containers, augmented reality art galleries, torchlight street art tours and even an all age’s metal and hard core gig.

Festival Producer Freyja Macfarlane said: “We were so thrilled with the success of South Side’s first outing last year.

“The super positive responses from audiences and the creatives involved gave us great inspiration and drive to continue to support the awesome local scene and bring innovative programming to Frankston.

“The 2023 program is jam packed with such a diverse range of events: you could be watching Roller Derby one night then submerging yourself in a surrealist interactive performance inside a light show the next!”

Multi-art performer Joseph O’Farrell, aka JOF, is excited to bring 10 Minute Dance Parties – a celebration of art and colour, costume and community, and the universal nature of dance – to South Side Festival.

“This work has toured all over the world and it means a lot to bring it back to my hometown and to a place where I spent a lot of my time as a young person growing up,” JOF said.

Karul Projects and choreographer Thomas E. S. Kelly will present their powerful First Nations dance performance, SILENCE.

According to Mr Kelly, SILENCE is a seminal, First Nations Australian work developed on rich and raw grounds with the light and shade of visual storytelling in dance, dialogue and percussion.  

“Abounding in our struggle for land back and Treaty, SILENCE breaks the silence both literally and symbolically using dynamic live percussion from composer Jhindu-Pedro Lawrie whose rich drumbeats drive the dancers in their exploration of past, present, alternate realities and dreamscapes of Country, the milky way and Murun, the emu in the sky,” Mr Kelly said.

He adds: “SILENCE interprets what a 250 plus yearlong denial of meaningful listening to First Nations people has done to the psyche of the people and land. Brown feet kick up sand, earth, dirt, and dust. The sand seeps through brown fingers as it always has. Always was, always will be.”


You will be surprised what you find at South Side, so join us on the adventure 5 - 14 May.

Tickets are now sale.



South Side Festival is supported by Frankston City Council and sponsored EastLink.