Autumn Pop-Ups Along The Yarra

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March-April is probably the pick of the months to enjoy the riverside ambience of the Yarra and your last chance to relish some great pop-up installations.

Arbory Afloat dismantles the infrastructure at the end of April and floats it off into storage for six months. The 2018/19 iteration of this floating pop-up has been sensational, with an almost constant streams of visitors enjoying its absolute riverside ambience. While its land-based mothership, ‘Arbory’, located alongside, will take-up the autumn/winter/spring trade, the river will feel much emptier without the colour and vibe of A.A.

La Boca in the Arts Centre’s St Kilda Road forecourt was dismantled at the end of February, but taking its place in autumn will be the much loved Spiegeltent for the Melbourne Comedy Festival. In between, an installation called String Symphony is taking centre stage on the forecourt between 8 and 11 March. It’s free https://www.artscentremelbourn...

Right up the other end of the Yarra, on South Wharf, the Common Lawn continues its program of outdoor films and entertainment until the end of March. Enjoy the newest cinematic experience on green astroturf, deck chairs, cocktails, a candy bar full of your favourites and a 6m x 3m screen made for movie magic. The Garden Pop-Up bar also continues, offering Kahula espresso martinis, summery cocktail jugs, Coopers beers, Squealing Pig rosé in cans and wines. A range of food and drink packages are available for purchase online plus an endless amount of popcorn and choc tops from Common Man’s candy bar.

Testing Ground on City Road, behind the Arts centre, is a cross between a pop-up and a permanent building. It’s a vibrant, creative place, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings, when its bars and eating vans are in full swing. Highlights during March are its fabulous Night Market on 1 March and a whole raft of Melbourne fashion Week activations later in the month.

The entire Southbank Promenade will be strewn with pop-ups between 22-24 March for the much anticipated annual River Graze festival. This year, River Graze will close the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, so three nights and two days of wine and food sampling in balmy autumn weather should be sublime. Always a highlight of River Graze is Crown’s extensive pop-up food installation on its Promenade, between the gas balls. http://www.melbournefoodandwin...

It’s not a pop-up, but no summary of funky outdoor eating and drinking places can close without mentioning the founding father (or should that be ‘mother’) of them all, Ponyfish Island, under the Yarra footbridge. It was the first installation many years ago that showed Melburnians what riverside enjoyment is all about, and it still hauls-in the crowds to enjoy simple food and great drinks in the middle of the river, with the rowers, hire boats and river cruise tour boats buzzing all around it.