It’s that time of the year where seafood lovers and jazz enthusiasts come together to celebrate at the Port Phillip Mussel and Jazz Festival in South Melbourne.
Now in its seventh year, this Labour Day weekend festival has gone from strength to strength. The 2020 edition – running from Saturday 7 to Sunday 8 March – is sure to be the best one yet!
A wide variety of seafood stalls
It’s a mussel-lover’s paradise at the South Melbourne Market with all of the Cecil Street restaurants putting together succulent seafood the entire weekend. That means you’ll be able to have dishes from the likes of Bambu, Claypots Evening Star, Paco y Lola, Köy and Simply Spanish.
Mussels will work their way into paella, be served in a light batter, or even be sautéed in a pot to go perfectly with a glass of sangria or a craft beer. More seafood options are available, with calamari, prawns, ‘bugs’ and oysters ready to be devoured. Add in delicious artisan ice cream – for small and big kids alike – and it’s a recipe for a winning weekend.
Joining our Cecil Street favourites will be a variety of guest chefs from some of Melbourne’s best restaurants, putting their own unique spin on mussels and other seafood dishes.
Also, for the third year running, the festival will recycle all mussel shells as a part of the South Melbourne Market’s partnership with The Nature Conservancy. The aptly named Shuck Don’t Chuck program will see shells from mussels, oysters and scallops collected, cured and then used to rebuild lost reefs and damaged ecosystems in Port Phillip Bay.
Get jazzy with it
To accompany the mouth-watering mussels, there’s a jazz line-up that’s set to delight over the weekend. Featuring music from every corner of the jazz world, there’s plenty to enjoy at the Port Phillip Mussel and Jazz Festival.
Alma Zygier takes inspiration from legendary singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday and has a timeless voice straight out of the pre-war era.
For some Japanese-style jazz, Noriko Tadanao and George Kamikawa put together an electric set of bluegrass hard country blues, with a twist. Having made appearances on Australia’s Got Talent, the Tsugaru shamisen player and Japanese Blues Cowboy are not to be missed.
Also featured during the weekend will be the Jake Mason Trio. One of Australia’s favourite jazz acts, this Hammond organ soul-jazz trio have been rolling off their impressive debut album “Stranger In The Mirror”. Being nominated for ARIA Jazz Album of the Year, don’t miss out on this supremely talented group while you can.
These are just a small selection of the fantastic live jazz musicians performing at the festival, so take a look at who else is on this jam-packed line-up.
Getting to the festival
With Cecil Street closed to traffic from Coventry to York Street, public transport will be your best option to visit the festival. Both the Number 12 tram and 234 bus from the CBD drop you off only a short walk away from the South Melbourne Market.
You can also explore the market before or after the festival, with normal trading hours operating through the weekend.
For more exciting events happening in South Melbourne, keep an eye on our latest blog posts. We’re always discovering more to see in the City of Port Phillip.