he 2016 Melbourne Festival - an 18 day festival of the spectacular, the extraordinary and the groundbreaking - drew to a close yesterday with a celebration of multiculturism in which the most recent arrivals to our creative state shared their music and proud traditions at Our Place, Our Home at the Melbourne Town Hall, a fitting bookend to the opening ceremony, Tanderrum.

Artistic Director, Jonathan Holloway said: "We have danced with Kulin elders, run with fire, had our hair cut by children, been sworn at by much of Western Europe, been showered in ice, got lost in a labyrinth, launched over 200 tonnes of Melbourne Art Trams and shared venues with brilliant artists from Victoria and the rest of the world.

"Festivals are full of heroes. Our artists, our team, our partners, our city … all have performed heroic acts to make this festival real."

The 31st Melbourne Festival featured over 60 events, many of which were free, with 10 world premieres and 18 Australian premieres and events exclusive to Melbourne from over 719 artists from 17 different countries across 38 venues, the program connected with an incredibly diverse and far reaching audience.

While final figures won’t be available until November, Holloway’s first Festival looks set to achieve a box office of approximately $2.9m. With tickets in high demand for so many exalted local and international events, the Festival looks set to surpass its target by 11%.

We have savoured that annual moment when Melbourne unites to show why it is a world cultural, culinary, sporting and complex city. Soon we begin preparations to do it again with the 2017 Melbourne Festival, from 5—22 October 2017.

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