What is FUSE?

FUSE is Darebin City Council’s bold and dynamic new multi-disciplinary arts and cultural festival. FUSE represents a brand-new way of delivering festivals in Darebin and will encompass fresh events as well as long-time favourites from our cultural calendar. FUSE is a bi-annual festival and will take place in Autumn and Spring each year.

FUSE unites previous festival offerings, Darebin Music Feast, Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival and Darebin Community & Kite Festival, with a new suite of events and activities that will showcase the talents of artists, arts organisations and communities across Darebin. New strands to the festival include FUSE Commissions, Hyperlocal and FUSE Fund. More details can be found at What’s On-Spring 2020.

The first ever FUSE festival was scheduled for Autumn 2020 (13-29 March). Unfortunately, the majority of events had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

Is FUSE Spring still going ahead despite COVID-19 restrictions?

Yes. FUSE Spring 2020 is currently in full swing. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the festival is being delivered in a slightly different way.

The safety of the community is our primary concern; therefore, we have not programmed events or activities that require any form of public gathering. Instead, the Spring program contains online events such as live streamed music performances, films, workshops, forums, and podcasts. In addition, there are guided walks, visual artworks and other immersive experiences that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home or as part as of your daily exercise.

The other difference is that, rather than its usual timeframe of three weeks, FUSE Spring will run between 1 September to 29 November 2020, with events taking place over a three-month period.

Are any of the events and activities free?

The good news is that all events in the FUSE Spring 2020 festival program are free. We know that this is a tough time for people, and we want as many people as possible to be part of the festival. So, dive in and enjoy!

Please note that some events may require you to register in advance. Please check individual event listings for details.

Are there events suitable for families?

FUSE Spring offers opportunities for families to safely experience a range of arts and cultural events without breaching COVID-19 restrictions.

If you live in Darebin, as part of your one-hour exercise, you and your family could choose one of four self-guided art walks in History on High or All Nations Artworks Hunt. These walks have downloadable maps and narrated audio guides.

Kids and adults alike can get involved in FUSE’s Spring workshops which include Hearts in Isolation and Create A Pollinator Friendly Garden.

And for music lovers, hear some of Darebin’s freshest tunes with Shine Online and Darebin Songwriters’ Award.

Are all FUSE events suitable for children?

Please be aware that a small number of FUSE events contain strong language and mild adult themes. Where this is an issue, a content warning has been provided on the relevant event listing page.

However, it is important to note that some FUSE events take place on third party websites. In these instances, we have put alerts on our website to inform people when they are leaving a Darebin Council website.

While we ensure we partner with reputable organisations, the City of Darebin cannot be held responsible for material our audience may be exposed to on third party sites.

I don’t have internet access. Will I be able to experience any FUSE events?

FUSE Spring has a range of offerings this season however, in the interest of public safety, the majority of our events have been moved online.

To experience our online events, you will need access to a computer or personal device (e.g. smartphone) that is connected to the internet.

There are some exceptions though, including the Darebin Songwriters’ Award, which was presented as a live broadcast on 3KnD, and the History on High and the All Nations Artwork Hunt walks, which have downloadable maps that can be used in printed form.

If you are unable to find someone to download a copy of the walking maps for you from the FUSE website, contact us at FUSE@darebin.vic.gov.au and we can email copies to you.

I live outside the City of Darebin. Can I still take part in FUSE events this Spring?

Anyone is invited to experience the online versions of events in the FUSE program from their own home, regardless of location.

Any live or location-based components of our events are designed to be experienced within the parameters of any COVID-19 related restrictions that may be in place at the time. If restrictions are in place that limit travel, then these components may not be accessible to people who do not live in Darebin.

I notice there are limited details on the website of how to experience the HYPERLOCAL events (Swallow Walk, Caged Hearts, Beats, Ballads & Ballrooms)?

The Hyperlocal events are still in development stage and will be launched towards the end of the Spring festival season. Full details about these events and how to experience them will be made available on the event pages on the FUSE website from 1 November.

I am an artist who would like to be involved in FUSE. What do I need to do?

Planning for FUSE Autumn 2021 is underway. Due to the uncertainties presented by COVID-19, we will continue to plan a flexible festival program with contingencies built in for any restrictions that may be in place.

We will continue to welcome applications from artists, arts organisations and community members to be part of the festivals via our FUSE Fund projects, Hyperlocal and FUSE Commissions events.

For further information on FUSE Fund, including information sessions and funding round details, please visit the Opportunities page on our website.

Will there be any opportunity for contractors or food and beverage providers to be involved in FUSE?

We are keen to hear from local, boutique food and beverage vendors who would like to be part of future FUSE festivals. However, as FUSE Spring is a non-gathering festival, there will not be opportunities to get involved this season.

For Food and Beverage vendors who wish to express interest for consideration for future festivals and events, please head to the FUSE - Food and Beverage Registrations page of this website.

What is happening with Darebin Music Feast and Meet the Makers?

FUSE was designed to unite previous festival offerings Darebin Music Feast, Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival and Darebin Community & Kite Festival with new programming in a single multi-disciplinary arts and cultural festival, delivered twice a year in Autumn and Spring.

As the Spring 2020 festival had to be redesigned to respond to COVID-19 restrictions, the live music component that would ordinarily be part of FUSE could not be part of the program this year. We are still running past festival favourite, the annual Darebin Songwriters’ Award, as part of FUSE Spring, which has been reinterpreted to reflect the current climate.

We look forward to supporting the reopening of our live music venues and local music scene when the time comes but for Spring there will be a smaller music program than anticipated due to Covid-19.

The postponed Meet the Makers event from our closed FUSE Autumn program will unfortunately not be returning in Spring, due to the higher risk demographic and the public nature of the event but the hope is to present it again in a new way in the future.

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