Pop the champagne and start your Bastille Day celebrations early at Bastille Day Melbourne 2023 this weekend

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Bastille Day Melbourne 2023 is on in a new location, at Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market this weekend. They invite you to swap your beanie for a béret and celebrate all things French in Melbourne. Read on to find out everything you can eat, drink and experience at Bastille Day Melbourne 2023.

Bastille Day Melbourne 2023


A French festival wouldn’t be complete without a tempting array of food stalls selling French cuisine and some French wine or even some champagne.


On the Rue des bistrots you’ll find:

  • Le Gourmet Lemon
  • Frencheese
  • Orléans Mussels & Chips
  • Long Paddock Cheese
  • Posh Brioche
  • France at Home
  • La Truffière
  • A Taste of Paris
  • Saucissons by La Bastide



In Le Café you’ll find stalls from:

  • Motte
  • Kanelle Pâtisserie
  • PEUGEOT Australia
  • Park Lane Coffee
  • La Louche Crêperie
  • Choukette



Le Bar will quench your thirst with stalls from:

  • Festival Bar
  • Champagne Philippe Fournier
  • Grand Cru and Mates
  • Mind Spirits & Co.
  • Bordeaux and Beyond



On the programme are lots of free events as well as some paid ticketed events so there’s something at Bastille Day Melbourne 2023 for every budget. Among the free entertainment, you’ll find mime, dance, musical and circus performers on the Main Stage as well as roving throughout the festival grounds. Musicians Noria and the Parisians, Philippe the Accordionist, Vive la Différence, and Zilwa Tribe , Moogy & The Avant-Guardians, and Boum! Meringue will get you up and dancing. You can witness the skill of can can dancers both on the main stage and roving throughout the Queen Victoria Market sheds at Bastille Day Melbourne 2023.

Pre-schoolers and primary students can learn some circus skills courtesy of The French Circus School. You can even learn some French with free 30 minute classes led by the Alliance Française de Melbourne!



There are also plenty of French and French-inspired products for you to buy at Bastille Day Melbourne 2023 this weekend. Stall-holders include:

  • Babel Books
  • Beju French Jewellery
  • Belite and Today is a good day
  • French Beauty Co.
  • Language International Bookstore
  • Susan Kerlan Illustrations
  • Zoé & Chloé and Co.



We’ve divided the Bastille Day Melbourne 2023 program into talks, masterclasses and the walking tour.



At Bastille Day Melbourne 2023, there are talks about a diverse range of topics including the Olympic Games, art, fashion and the environment.


There are also masterclasses where you can get involved and learn about fragrance, mime, fashion, cheese and wine and French spirits.

  • Masterclass: All Things French with Fragrance Hosted by fashion doyenne Christine Barro, you will be delighted with stories on the heroes of Haute Couture and expert instruction on the selection of a signature French scent, enjoyed with French champagne and festive macarons.
  • Masterclass: Mime by mime artist Rod Lara Learn all the techniques of becoming a mime from Rod Lara who has 24 years experience. It’s particularly special as this year marks 100 years since the birth of Marcel Marceau
  • Masterclass: A Taste of France – Cheese & Wine Enjoy an exquisite pairing of five artisan cheeses carefully curated by Gaetan from Long Paddock Cheese, accompanied by five glasses of meticulously selected wines by Ana from Voila Wine and Co.
  • Masterclasss: Tour de France of Spirits Led by Brieuc from Cerbaco, this immersive experience delves into the history, production techniques, and tasting notes, allowing you to deepen your knowledge and appreciation for the art of Cognac and Armagnac.
  • Masterclass: The Secrets of French Style – A Blue Illusion styling masterclass hosted by globe-trotting Catriona Rowntree and Blue Illusion’s founder and creative director, Donna Guest. They introduce you to their new ‘travel capsule’ collaboration; as well as share their tips and techniques of how to adopt your own unique sense of style, à la Française.

Bastille Day Melbourne 2023


Bouygues Walking Tour: French Icons of Melbourne Discover Melbourne through a French eye. Be prepared to walk a little and enjoy a few French touches along the way… L’Occitane… Christine… La Belle Miette… All senses awaken!!!! The tour will end with a glass of sparkling at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins in the Atrium Bar.



They also have an online program so if you can’t join them in person, you can join them online for a range of live crosses to France, in conversations, musical delights and more!


You can view the online program via this link


WHAT: Bastille Day Melbourne 2023

WHERE: Queen Victoria Market, Sheds C & D

WHEN: 9am to 4pm on both Saturday 8 July and Sunday 9 July 2023

HOW: Just show up – or if you’re interested in a ticketed event, book you place ASAP via the relevant links above so you don’t miss out

HOW MUCH: Free entry, lots of free entertainment and some ticketed events, the price of which varies depending on the event. Plenty of French food and drinks to be purchased also.


For other events with French links happening in Melbourne, and all of Australia this month, check out our What’s on in July article

And if you’re looking for more Bastille Day celebrations, take a look at our Bastille Day 2023 article



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ACMI’s Goddess exhibition honours women of all colours, sexualities and nationalities

Reading Time: 3 minutes

What does a 1906 French short film by Alice Guy-Blaché have in common with Josephine Baker and Marlene Dietrich? They’re being honoured in the exhibition Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion (Goddess exhibition) being held at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image in Melbourne until 1 October 2023.

Goddess exhibition
ACMI’s Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion, photo by Eugene Hyland

The Goddess exhibition celebrates the women and gender-transcending superstars who shaped their own roles, took creative control and fought a system that tried to exploit them. It does so through moments from over 120 years of moving image history highlighting iconic stories, characters and moments.


The exhibition includes never-before-seen costumes, original sketches, interactive experiences and cinematic treasures, including iconic outfits worn by Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Geena Davis and Margot Robbie. The women featured in the Goddess exhibition are far more than the bombshells, starlets or screen siren stereotypes that were used to undermine them.

Goddess exhibition
ACMI’s Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion, photo by Eugene Hyland

French links in the Goddess exhibition include a 1906 French short film Les Résultats du féminisme (Consequences of Feminism), from Alice Guy-Blaché. A gender-bending comedy which sees men raising the kids, ironing and sewing while women smoke, drink and prey upon the ‘weaker sex’ with lurid advances. The short film addresses the fears about feminism not being about euality but about waging war on men. It playfully suggests that men wouldn’t tolerate being treated the way women are so why should they expect women to.


French Légion d’honneur awarded Marlene Dietrich is also celebrated in the Goddess exhibition, with pieces worn by her on show. These include

  • patent leather and silk grosgrain ribbon Delman Tuxedo pumps, kindly provided for the exhibition by the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandizing, Los Angeles; and
  • 14ct gold and ruby cufflinks from Marlene Dietrich’s personal wardrobe courtesy of Deutsche Kinemathek – Marlene Dietrich.


Marlene Dietrich made her own path and courted controversy for doing so. The first lesbian kiss in cinema wearing a tuxedo was by Marlene Dietrich. She was reprimanded in Paris for wearing trousers. A flyer from the Marlene Dietrich and Anna May Wong in Shanghai Express film is on show at the Goddess exhibition.

Goddess exhibition/ exposition Goddess
ACMI’s Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion, photo by Eugene Hyland

Another woman embraced by the French is Josephine Baker who Goddess celebrates for weaponizing glamour. Baker was the first African American woman lead in a feature film, Sirens of the Tropics (1927). Though the film and Baker’s ‘banana dance’ conjured White colonial fantasies, her performances parodied the sexualisation of Black women.


Baker was also a war hero for the French Resistance. When Germany invaded France in World War II, Baker weaponised her glamour to defend her adopted home. After spying on German officers, she smuggled top-secret messages in her underwear unsuspected. Back in America, she wouldn’t perform for segregated audiences and was the only woman who spoke alongside Martin Luther King Jr in the 1963 March on Washington.


The Goddess exhibition includes sketches for Josephine Baker’s stage costumes Eric De Juan, 1949 (courtesy of Fashion Institute of Technology SUNY, FIT Library Unit of Special Collections and College Archives), and an exhibition print by Michael Ochs, 1951.


The Goddess exhibition is an ode to be a boundary-breaking, glass-ceiling smashing women and is on at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image until the beginning of October 2023.




WHAT: Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion exhibition

WHERE: Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Gallery 4, Lower Ground, Federation Square, Melbourne

WHEN: 5 April – 1 October 2023

HOW: Purchase your Goddess exhibition tickets via the ACMI website: https://www.acmi.net.au/whats-on/goddess/

HOW MUCH: Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Full price: $25
  • Concession: $24
  • ACMI Member: $22
  • Family (2 adults + 2 kids): $65
  • Child (4–15 yrs): $15
  • Group (6+): $22 per person
  • Flexi: $35

Goddess exhibition