Gone a bit too hard on the wallet lately? These awesome activations, pop-ups and exhibitions won't cost a cent.

Green and yellow confetti falling over crowd at Fed Square.

Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

12 Aug - 20 Aug

The Indian Film Festival is back in-person for the first time in two years. To celebrate, the vibrant cultural fest kicks off with a colourful Independence Day party in Fed Square. Don’t miss the flag-hoisting and high-energy Bollywood performances in the dance comp. Too strapped to hit a screening? Over 70 films are available to stream free online. 

A row of  90s arcade games.

Throwback Lounge Winter Pop-up

5 Aug - 28 Aug

Rewind to the ‘90s at this nostalgic pop-up at the District Docklands. The lounge is open every Friday to Sunday in August. There’ll be free dance crew battles, PlayStation sessions and a tonne of old-school arcade games to play. Bring extra cash for the all-you-can-eat cereal bar and other childhood snacks.

White resin casts of a group of oversized human skulls all arranged in close proximity.

Ron Mueck: Mass

23 Jun - 15 Jan

These larger-than-life skulls are on display again for the first time since 2017. The exhibit showcases Ron Mueck’s hyper-realistic work, with more than 100 resin skulls tumbling across the floor. Entry is free everyday at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia in Fed Square.

Open air cinema on a rooftop with city buildings lit up at night in the background.

Cinema Nights on the Rooftop

9 Aug - 30 Aug

There's a pop-up cinema taking over the QT rooftop this month, and yes it's weatherproof! Rain, hail or shine, head up every Tuesday in August to watch cult '90s flicks. On the lineup are classics like The Matrix and Ten Things I Hate About You. Bring cash for cocktails, popcorn and ice cream. And kick on after the movie with DJ sets.

The exterior of a market on a sunny day

Melbourne Craft Fair

25 Jun - 29 Oct

Find the city's best locally made buys at the monthly 'CRFT*WRK' pop-up market. Curated by the team behind the Rose St. Artists’ Market, you'll be able to find indie designers, local makers, creative artists and more under the iconic Queen Vic Market sheds. Better yet, entry is free!

More free events

The best free festivals you need to visit in Melbourne this year

Discover Melbourne's best free festival line-ups, cultural celebrations and epic street parties.

4 Aug - 31 Aug

Lord Mayor's Small Business Awards Photo Exhibition

A photo exhibition celebrating Melbourne’s longstanding independent small businesses.

26 Jun - 27 Nov

Docklands Community Market

A food and craft market held twice a month.

1 Jun - 31 Aug

Winter Night Market

The Winter Night Market returns to Queen Victoria Market.

Southbank and Docklands by bike

Cycle along Melbourne's iconic Yarra River to discover art installations and maritime history.

29 Aug - 28 Nov

Library Cinema

See contemporary, classic and documentary films on the big screen at Library at The Dock.

30 Jan - 27 Nov

Makers Market at The District

This outdoor undercover family-friendly market at Docklands features craft, gifts, fashion and food.

23 Jun - 15 Jan

Ron Mueck: Mass

Visit Mueck's large-scale installation comprising more than 100 hand-cast skulls.

Last updated on Mon 15 Aug 2022

Get to the city or get FOMO

We’ve got every FOMO-worthy Melbourne event and experience in one place.

Find out more
7 Aug - 9 Oct

Hairspray

The multi award-winning Broadway musical opens at the Regent Theatre in August.

16 Mar - 18 Dec

Hamilton

The award-winning musical has arrived in Melbourne.

14 Oct - 23 Oct

Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Showcasing the best of international and local jazz culture.

Discover more

10 Jun - 7 Oct

NGV Friday Nights

NGV Friday Nights returns with local music, outdoor dining, food and bespoke bars.

17 Jun - 12 Nov

Light: Late Night Access

Experience ACMI’s Winter Masterpieces exhibition Light: Works from the Tate Collection after hours.

1 Sep - 2 Oct

Wisdom and Light

Immerse yourself in a transcendent digital art experience at Golden Square Rooftop.

11 Aug - 30 Sep

THE LUME Melbourne

Immerse yourself in the work of Van Gogh at Australia's digital art gallery.