Volunteer at Critical Mass!

August 29, 2019

This September, a surge of artists will take over Brunswick Mechanics Institute, Siteworks and Blak Dot Gallery with a program of radical work that decentres, agitates, questions and seeks to divert established pathways and political narratives. Critical Mass is a moment of interruption: an ambitious and experimental gathering in the midst of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Critical Mass at Brunswick Mechanics Institute is just around the corner, and we’re looking for volunteers to help deliver our events, support and work directly with our artists and champion experimental and critical art. Volunteering for Critical Mass is a unique opportunity to get behind the scenes of a large-scale arts festival and see just what it takes to produce a program of compelling experimental art.

Volunteers will work short, 2 – 3.5 hour shifts, at events at Brunswick Mechanics Institute and will assist with ticketing, ushering and making sure guests have an awesome experience with us. Volunteers will also receive free entry to Critical Mass shows (unless sold out prior) and discounted drinks at Mechanics’ newly renovated bar!

The program runs from 12 – 28 September.

Please use this form to submit an expression of interest. Expressions of interest close 5pm Thursday 5 September 2019.

Next Wave is an equal opportunity employer. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, LGBTQIA+ and culturally and linguistically diverse applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

CRITICAL MASS 2019 program out now!

August 14, 2019


The Critical Mass program is now live!

This September 12–28, a surge of artists will take over Brunswick Mechanics Institute, Siteworks and Blak Dot Gallery with a program of radical work that decentres, agitates, questions and seeks to divert established pathways and political narratives. 

Critical Mass is a moment of interruption: an ambitious and experimental gathering in the midst of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

To find out more about the artists and program, and to book your tickets, head to the What’s On page. Catch you in the mass!

Creative Development Spotlight: Sarah Aiken and Rebecca Jensen

August 9, 2019

What am I supposed to do? (WAISTD) is a large scale participatory work and will be presented by Art Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Fringe Festival for Take Over! September 16th –22nd 2019 in the Fairfax Studio. Staring into our cultural inertia and the hypocrisies of trying to be good in the face of climate crisis, WAISTD is an immersive experience questioning the complexities and complicity of contemporary Australia. Digging into the stasis that holds us back from doing anything, this dark, hopeful and irreverent cautionary tale reminds that now is not the time to sit back and watch.

WAISTD implicates audiences into an immersive performance as set, performers and audience simultaneously. Directed and created live; an environmental horror unfolds through a layered collage of the cultural detritus of colonial Australia, somewhere between mass games, film set and school play. Nobody is a spectator. As set, performer and audience simultaneously, you will find yourself a part a conversation that has been earnestly rehearsed and restaged for the last 40 years.

WAISTD knits together threads from Aiken and Jensen’s body of work, pushing their practise into unknown territory in this new ambitious participatory project.

Artist Bio

Sarah Aiken and Rebecca Jensen have a long history of creating experimental choreography and performance in theatres, galleries, community, film, music & site responsive contexts.  Their work has been described as formally reckless, slipping between codified forms and unbridled invention. Their freeform style, amasses multiple images in a torrent of references, satirical, sincere, absurd and unapologetic. Since 2010 they have been making experimental choreography, presented in Canada, Italy, France, New Zealand and more locally Dance Massive, Keir Choreographic Awards, Next Wave, Brisbane Festival, Castlemaine State Festival and Dark MOFO. Their ongoing project Deep Soulful Sweats creates collective experiences for audiences to come together in ecstatic, inclusive and unrehearsed performance experiences.

Project credits

Concept, choreography and performance: Sarah Aiken and Rebecca Jensen/Deep Soulful Sweats
Collaborating performers: Claire Leske, Megan Payne, Alexander Powers, Ngioka Bunda-Health
Mentor/outside eye: Mish Grigor
Design: Romanie Harper
Lighting Design: Amelia Lever Davidson
Sound Design: Andrew Wilson

Photo: Cheryl Ho’s Creative Development at Brunswick Mechanics Institute 2019.

July – December 2019 Creative Development Program Artists Announced

July 29, 2019

We’re so happy to announce the successful applicants of our special Creative Development Program, between July and December 2019. These movers and makers will get three weeks of free space along with access to tech, production and industry support.

Artists include: Anna Seymour, Cheryl Ho, Ngioka Bunda-Heath, Lachlan Herd, Jeffrey Tan, Texta Queen, Beth Arnold, Fjorn Butler, Ripley Kavara, Shian Law, Sarah Aiken & Rebecca Jensen, and Israel Aloni. We’ll be updating you over the coming months on who these artists are (if you don’t know already). Congratulations!

If you missed the deadline, there’s always a next time – our next round of applications for January – June 2020 will be open later this year. Keep your eyes on our newsletter, ears to the ground, hands on your hearts.

Photo: Cheryl Ho’s Creative Development at Brunswick Mechanics Institute 2019.

Creative Development EOI

May 31, 2019

Expressions of interest are now closed for our 2019 (July – December*) Creative Development Program.

If you’re an artist or company with a new performance project to develop, Brunswick Mechanics Institute (BMI) is offering up to three weeks of free space, along with access to tech, production and industry support.

Selected projects will be able to use either the Studio or Theatre space and may choose to work in one intensive or across multiple blocks over the season.

Expressions of Interest Due: 5pm, 23 June 2019
Applicants Notified: No later than 30 June 2019


Image: MicroLandscapes by Emma Fishwick.  Image by Sarah Walker

Critical Mass EOI

April 23, 2019

Brunswick Mechanics Institute, Blak Dot Gallery and Siteworks are looking for artists to activate their venues during Melbourne Fringe Festival 2019. Guest curator Onyx B. Carmine will select critical works under the theme of CROSSROADS.

Applications were open to artists Australia wide

We are seeking bold propositions from artists working across a broad range of experimental creative and cultural practices, including but not limited to: theatre, live performance, visual art, music, choreography, time-based and inter-disciplinary practice. Additional to the artistic program, we also welcome proposals for workshops, talks, screenings and other public events.

Selected artists and thinkers will be part of a convergence of ideas and artistic programming which will take place within the Brunswick Creative Precinct.


2019 January – June Creative Development Program Artists Announced

December 19, 2018

We are excited to announce the successful applicants to our Creative Development program for January – June 2019. Brunswick Mechanics Institute is dedicated to making space for artists to create and are proud to provide 26 weeks of free space to experimental live artists and companies.

Providing up to 4 weeks of free creative development space and more for artists or companies to develop new work.

2019 Artists and Companies

Oonagh Slater
Hannah Aroni
Isabella Waru
Roberta Rich
Lydia Connolly-Hiatt
Will McRostie
Marcus Whale
Stephen Nicolazzo

Critical Mass Program Announced

August 16, 2018

This September 13–30, a surge of artists will bring transformative, urgent works to the fore as part the inaugaral Critical Mass.

Brunswick Mechanics Institute, Siteworks, Blak Dot Gallery and Testing Grounds have come together under one banner to program a series of live performance, film, visual arts and multi-disciplinary events for Melbourne Fringe 2018. Artists from all disciplines are meeting in a crowding of crucial ideas, making noise and asking to be heard.

Approximately thirty three projects will be presented as part of Critical Mass across the four venues. From printmakers, installation artists, writers, dancers and spoken word poets through to DJ’s, sound designers, queer performance artists, the selected participants represent a diverse cross-section of identities and artistic practices operating in Australia today.

The projects are many and varied. From 24 hours of dance endurance to an immersive distant future workplace. From a metaphorical house of mirrors to queer near death experiences. From a woman asking white men to tell her what her work is about to artists being locked in a gallery together overnight. Critical Mass isn’t just a reflection of what artists want to say, it’s an amplification.

Critical Mass is a moment of interruption. An ambitious and experimental gathering in the midst of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

When: September 13–30
Where: Brunswick Mechanics Institute, Siteworks, Blak Dot Gallery, Testing Grounds
Program: criticalmass.site

Summer Nights (Perth) Applications Now Open

June 28, 2018

Summer Nights is The Blue Room Theatre’s curated program of theatre and performance, taking place as part of Western Australia’s biggest annual arts festival – FRINGE WORLD. In 2019, the festival will run from 18 January to 17 February.

With the aim of presenting high-quality, diverse and contemporary live events within the FRINGE WORLD environment, Summer Nights is our opportunity to showcase what’s next in independent performance, from our own backyard and around the world.

Artists from around the corner and across the globe are invited to submit works that excite, inspire, and provoke to fill our venues for four wonderful weeks over the balmy Perth summer. Whether they’re heartfelt stories, genre-defying spectaculars, intimate experiments or tried and tested audience pleasers, we want to hear about them all.


MEL&NYC at Mechanics

June 19, 2018

Prepare to be immersed in three New York themed Saturday nights at Brunswick Mechanics Institute as part of MEL&NYC. Enjoy a Cult Cinema & Bar event, a NYC Christmas in July movie marathon and a night of classic performance art re-performance exploring iconic and overlooked sides of NYC culture

CULT Cinema & Bar – NYC Inspired Film & Cocktail Night

Sat. 14 July, 6:00 pm

Delve into Spike Lee’s Brooklyn-based, super seductive anti-love story, SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT. Enjoy a pre-film live set of NYC inspired 90’s jams from DJ Colette while you sip on a ‘Sex on the Brooklyn Bridge’ cocktail. Presented by CULT Cinema & Bar. Get Tickets.

NYC Christmas in July Film Marathon
Sat. 28 July, from 4:30 pm
$13  single film / $26 for the marathon

T’was 149 nights before Christmas…
This July, Mechanics brings New York City to Melbourne with a film marathon of three classic Christmas films to warm the cockles of cold winter hearts. Gather with your loved ones at the bar in your ugliest woolly jumper before heading in to the cinema.  Get Tickets.

Export Happenings
Sat. 11 August, 7:00 pm

Next Wave presents an evening of reperformance from the stages and streets of 1960s and 70s New York, by artists Emile Zile, Angela Goh and The Band Presents. Three performances will mine and reinterpret an era that upturned our understanding of what performance art is, where it can be shown and who can perform it.
Get Tickets

Brunswick Music Festival 2019 EOIs Now Open

June 18, 2018

Brunswick Music Festival is one of Melbourne’s longest running inner city music festivals and in 2019 celebrates 31 years. Over the decades the festival has reflected the changing face of Brunswick – continually showcasing the best local talent, presenting high calibre international artists and embracing a movable feast of musical genres and events.

With local legend Emily Ulman at the helm as Music Programmer, BMF 2019 is set to once again shake things up – and continue to reflect, embrace and challenge this diverse community and place. As part of our Festival ethos, we are seeking to collaborate with local producers and a range of local venues, businesses and community organisations to deliver a program that is edgy, politically-aware, diverse, engaging and sustainable.

Click here for more info

Image credit: Wet Lips at Brunswick Music Festival 2018 photo: Naomi Beveridge

Emerging Writers’ Festival

May 31, 2018

Escape the cold and get your blood-pumping with Emerging Writers Festival at Brunswick Mechanics Institute this June.

For three nights, Brunswick Mechanics Institute will transform into an intimate Speakeasy where we will forgo the usual dinner party small talk to tackle the big subjects in life, namely sex, death and money. Enjoy a catered dinner and delicious discussions around these tricky topics, with a delectable line-up of guest speakers, including Esther Anatolitis, Helen Razer, Dion Kagan and Pia Interlandi.

Writing Live is a full-day event, tackling the topics around writing for performance. Whether you’re new to the genre or just keen to jump into some key conversations with like-minded souls, Writing Live has a killer line-up of back-to-back panel discussions with the best in the biz. Hear from wordsmiths and brilliant theatre folks, including Adena Jacobs, Michele Lee, Dan Giovannoni, Candy Bowers, Euygeene Teh and Rachel Perks.

For Confessions, come and sit in the dark while six anonymous writers share their deepest, darkest secrets. While we can’t reveal the line-up, we have a feeling it’s going to be juicy, and cathartic. Shake off the secrets at the Closing Night Party, curated by African arts collective, Still Nomads, where you’ll be able to raise a glass to the festival that was.

Launchpad: NIDA Melbourne x Brunswick Mechanics Institute

April 19, 2018

NIDA Melbourne and Brunswick Mechanics Institute are delighted to announce Launchpad, an amazing development opportunity for Melbourne artists. We are inviting Melbourne’s creative community to explore their artistic practice, undertake creative development and transform their idea from a seed to a season of live performance. We are are curatorially interested in experimental performance in the categories of live art, theatre, dance and/or multi-modal performance.

Click here for more info and a link to apply.

Critical Mass EOIs open now

April 4, 2018

Brunswick Mechanics Institute, Siteworks and Testing Grounds come together under one banner to program Critical Mass — a series of live performance, film, visual arts and multi-disciplinary events — for Melbourne Fringe 2018.

Critical Mass is a space for an audacious community to gather and experience ambitious, experimental and critical art.

Click here for more info and a link to apply.

Image credit: Marina Lamari

Next Wave Volunteer Applications are Now Open

March 22, 2018

Are you a lover of the arts, an artist or just art-curious? Whatever your art-orientation, this is your invitation to join us in delivering our biennial arts festival.

Next Wave Festival 2018 will be happening in Melbourne from Thu 3 – Sun 20 May and we are seeking extraordinary volunteers of all backgrounds and skill levels to join us for the ride.

Next Wave Festival volunteers are highly valued members of our team and provide assistance to our program by installing artworks, bumping in events, invigilating exhibitions, providing Front-of-House services, helping patrons find their way, and aiding artists with their events.

Volunteer shifts range from 3-5 hours and we require a minimum commitment of four shifts across the three weeks of the Festival.

In addition to the incredible first-hand experience you will receive from working alongside industry professionals and artists, we also offer you:

  • our love and gratitude
  • an opportunity to make lasting industry connections
  • an amazing festival T-shirt (for wearing on shift and for keeps!) and
  • a volunteer pass giving you free access to shows that are not sold out (after ticketed patrons have entered)

Volunteer Applications close on Monday 9 April with successful applicants notified by Wednesday 11 April.

To be eligible to volunteer, applicants must be over 18 years of age at the time of the Festival. You will also need to be available to attend a Festival Briefing in the week before the Festival starts.  

Keen to learn more about the events you could work on? The Next Wave Festival 2018 program can be viewed here.

Need to submit an application in an alternate format, or want to chat about your access requirements?

Any questions or queries can be directed to Kim Haworth, Next Wave’s Volunteer Coordinator at or call 03 9329 9422. You can also contact us through the National Relay Service by asking for 03 9329 9422.

Click to apply.

Image credit: Shadow Sites curated by Frances Wilkinson & Samantha McCulloch. Image by Zan Wimberley

2018 Creative Development Program Artists Announced

January 15, 2018

We are excited to announce the successful applicants to our inaugural Creative Development programs. Brunswick Mechanics Institute is dedicated to making space for artists to create and develop new performance work and over 2018, anticipate giving out no less than 26 weeks of free space to experimental live artists and companies.

Providing up to 4 weeks of free creative development space and more for artists or companies to develop new work.

2018 Artists and Companies
Bron Batten
Cera Maree Brown & Jai Leeworthy
David Woods
Elbow Room
Emma Palackic, Christopher Bryant & Justin Gardam
Field Theory
Nat Grant
Ngioka Bunda-Heath
Olivia Koh, Jimmy Nuttall & Nicholas Smith
Rachel Perks & Bridget Balodis
Rasha Tayeh 

Free and unlimited short notice space for artists and companies residing in the City of Moreland, to rehearse, make, meet, remount and create.

Daniel Schlusser
Geoffrey Watson
The Furies – Tessa Waters, Steph Speirs, Victoria Falconer & Rowena Hutson

2018 Creative Development Programs Open Now

December 6, 2017

Brunswick Mechanics Institute is dedicated to making space for artists to create and develop new performance work. We invite expressions of interest for two inaugural development programs in 2018:

Creative Development – providing up to 4 weeks of free creative development space and more for artists or companies to develop new work.

Resident Artists – Free and unlimited short notice space for artists and companies residing in the City of Moreland, to rehearse, make, meet, remount and create.

Expressions of interest for both programs will open and close on the same dates. Where eligible, artists are welcome to express interest for both programs.

Expressions of Interest Due: 5pm, Fri 15 Dec 2017
Applicants Notified: No later than Fri 5 Jan 2018

Click here for more info. 

Image: MicroLandscapes by Emma Fishwick.  Image by Sarah Walker

Feeling Helpless?

October 17, 2017

‘Collective Care’ is a free public art project that invites participation, join us as we release the woes of the digital world!

We will playfully unite through discussion, meditation, craft, performance and protest. Using collaboration and negotiation, this one day workshop will explore and celebrate the intersections between self-care, personal agency and collaborative action.

The event will focus on topics that emerge during this collective workshop. We will create protest banners and placards for our own march, and we will retrace Brunswick’s history of protest by taking our march to the streets!

Our collective artwork banners and placards will be installed and exhibited on the exterior of the Brunswick Mechanics Institute, where they will be on display for the duration of the MoreArt Public Art Show.

Come and be part of this workshop, exhibition and event!

Coffee, tea and nibbles provided, and all materials are free. Bookings are essential as spaces are limited!

Sign up through our eventbrite: collectivecare.eventbrite.com 

29 October
11:00 am – 4:30 pm (Meet at Siteworks, we will then make our way to the Brunswick Mechanics Institute towards the end of the day)

CULT Cinema & Bar Residency

September 19, 2017

We are thrilled to announce our first residency in the form of CULT Cinema & Bar. Step into a curated world of special event cinema screenings, cult films, throwbacks and festival favourites.

Every night in November they will be hosting CULT film screenings, movie themed cocktail nights, food and film pairing events, drag hosted film screenings and a Hear My Eyes live score production in our Theatre space.

Events are announced weekly and are selling even faster, with several already sold out! Stay tuned to our What’s On Page for more announcements.

The series kicks off with Dario Argento’s candy coloured nightmare Suspira and a special Negroni pairing with Four Pillars Gin.

Karen From Finance hosts Stephan Elliott’s classic The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert with a live drag performance.

Joining forces with Hear My Eyes, Sleep D sonically re-interpret David Lynch’s surreal Eraserhead.

Finally, CULT Cinema & Bar team up with Brunswick’s own Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria to serve up their delicious traditional Mexican tacos to accompany Robert Rodriguez’s outrageously entertaining action film El Mariachi.

We are proud to support marriage equality

September 12, 2017

We believe in marriage equality for everyone.

Join Brunswick Mechanics Institute and vote yes in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

Forms will be sent out from today, September 12 until September 25. You have until October 27 to return the form with your vote.

Get more information on the marriage survey website.

Please join us at our Opening Night

September 8, 2017

Next Wave and Moreland City Council take great pleasure in inviting you to the Opening Night on Friday 8 September of our new cultural enterprise, Brunswick Mechanics Institute.

A housewarming of sorts, please join us for live performances and interactive treats from Bron BattenCrying on the Eastern FreewayPlayReactive, plus sneaky DJ sets from some Next Wave faves. All performances are Auslan interpreted.

There will be Noisy Ritual People-Powered Urban Winery wine, Mountain Goat Beer, snacks and raffle prizes!

RSVP for free entry.

Welcome to Brunswick Mechanics Institute

September 7, 2017

Welcome to the Brunswick Mechanics Institute, a new cultural enterprise brought to you by Next Wave and Moreland City Council.

Here you can find out all about our diverse cultural program of events and purchase tickets, apply for our creative development initiative, submit venue hire inquiries, read up on our accessibility and sustainability plans, and stay up to date with Brunswick Mechanics Institute news.

Sign up to our monthly newsletter to join the inner circle and get exclusive content, competitions and announcements sent direct to your inbox.

Join our community by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

We would like to say a big thank you to Carla McKee for designing our branding and website Nathan Davis for digital development.

Melbourne Fringe at Brunswick Mechanics Institute

September 7, 2017

Here at the Brunswick Mechanics Institute we are thrilled to kick off our events program with a selection of unmissable Melbourne Fringe Festival bookings.

In the Theatre, Cope St Collective present One Of The Good Ones, a “blackfella sci-fi exploring race and space.”Speaker TV named the play as 1 of their top 10 must see Fringe shows and described as “A satirical plays which explores the struggles of Indigenous Australians through cheesy, sci fi comedy conventions.”

The Nose, presented by The Bloomshed, takes inspiration from Russian author Nikolai Gogol’s famous eponymous short story and turns it into a contemporary theatre performance reflective of the dystopian post-paradise of 2017.

In Studio 1 we look forward to Annie Louey’s one woman stand up show Butt Donut, which Artshub described as “Charmingly endearing to watch, let alone hysterical.”

As well as Heroes: Beyond The Practice, where immersive theatre meets live art for 4 evenings of psychological manipulation, physical movement, minor discomfort and mumbo jumbo.

And finally, Ripe, a surreal drama and sensory exploration of the relationship of two female protagonists.

International exchange: Asialink Arts Global Project Space

September 7, 2017

In July 2017 Asialink Arts launched a new initiative, Global Project Space (GPS), designed to reposition Asialink Arts as a key innovator of curated projects that provide opportunities for contemporary cultural engagement and development.

Under the new GPS initiative Asialink Arts and Next Wave have teamed up to invite a Japanese artist or collective to take up residence at Brunswick Mechanics Institute in 2018. This will form the second part of a reciprocal project, commencing with physical theatre performer and Next Wave alumni artist Skye Gellmann participating in the Awaji Arts Circus Festival on Awaji Island in Japan.

This project has been supported through a gift in the memory of Masa Hiraoka and Setsu Hiraoka and Yasuko Hiraoka Myer and by the Australian Government through the Australia Japan Foundation.