We hope you have a thick skin because this week's top five free events will unearth some of Melbourne's best creatives, and after marveling at their work you may start to feel a little insecure. Nothing a little ego stroking from a close friend can't fix by taking you on a guided tour of Melbourne's best markets happening this weekend. No no, not your regular fruit and veg jaunts where you're accosted by over zealous fruiterers yelling "two dollar, two dollar." There's a new wave of market in town, one that doesn't expose you to DIY fridge magnets and crocheted bonnets for Baby Born
- it's the independent market and they're setting up shop somewhere near you this weekend.
The People's Market
453-507 Docklands Drive
Saturday 31 March, 10am-9pm
Ordinarily if someone asked you if you wanted to spend your Saturday at the Docklands you'd look at them blankly. And rightly so - what is that concrete wasteland? The People's Market is changing this perception, breathing life into the Docklands precinct. It's located at the nexus of Docklands Drive - you'll think you've missed it but you haven't, just keep on walking/driving/commuting until you see the shipping containers. Shipping containers? Whaaat? This market has gone to extreme lengths to make a lasting impression, see this gallery for visual stimulation.
Each shipping container has been customised to accommodate for its new vendor, some of who include The League of Honest Coffee, Phat Brats and 1000 £ Bend. It's also the home of Melbourne's first flea market, with fresh produce stalls also making a cameo (closing at 3pm).
The Richmond Weekender Homemakers Market
22 Bendigo St, Richmond
Sunday 1 April, 10am-3pm
This is your last chance to visit The Richmond Weekender before it closes its doors forever. This temporary project space has hosted Graham Canteen and Speakeasy Cinema for the last month in the old Channel 9 television studios (refurbished and resdesigned with sustainable materials
by Foolscap Studio). But it was perhaps most notably known for its one-day Homemakers Market, that had people coming back every weekend to see if it was back on (sadly, it wasn't). Listening to the cries of the public, the people behind The Richmond Weekender are bringing it back this Sunday. Curated by The Thousands, the market's vendors include Beci Orpin, Frankie and Swiss, Joost and Sticky Fingers, just to name a few. Graham Canteen will also fire up a Southern Style BBQ with an eight-hour slow-cooked brisket.
Magnolia Square Market
St Kilda Town Hall
Saturday 31 March, 10am-5pm and Sunday 1 April, 10am-4pm
In need a of mandatory Mother/Grown-Up-Child catch up? This is the place to take her. Your other siblings should give up now, because taking your mother here will cement your place as 'the favourite'. It's perhaps more crafty then this weekend's other two market offerings, but that shouldn't stop you visiting. Think homemade chutney and preserves that you'd find in the DJ's Food Hall but couldn't afford, except here you can... and they taste better. Mum will be so grateful, she'll buy you everything. That's called nepotism.
For the non-marketeers
Okay, not everyone loves a market and haters gotta hate, it gives them energy (and premature wrinkles). These are for you:
You're not getting off scott free, we just subjected your peers to displays of craftsmanship and creativity that seriously blemished their self-esteem. Now it's your turn. Top Designs opened last week, and this year's inductees are a cut above the rest. The exhibition features inspiring works in furniture, fashion, graphic and product design, film, print layout, photography, animation, food product planning, websites and mechanical electronic projects from last year's top VCE students. Knowing that these impressive creations were made by someone younger than you will make you feel infinitely worse about your own achievements. This is why you should download this phone app
before you go, for constant reassurance and validation.
Saturday 31 March, 8.30-9.30pm
A worldwide initiative created by Australians, giving it the same national icon status as pavlova. You can celebrate Earth Hour anywhere, but if you're particularly stingy (we are, why else would we continually write this column?) celebrate at home, you'll even save some bucks off your next electricity bill when you flick the switch from 8:30-9:30pm. Earth Hour aims to raise climate change awareness and we've even compiled an Earth Hour Survival Guide: Things To Do in the Dark Edition
to get you acquainted (FYI: 95 per cent of it involves free activities). So this Saturday, do what The Boss says.
Lisa Marie Corso