13 Mar This Is How You Neighbourhood: Windsor & Co. Block Party For Melbourne Food & Wine Festival
Windsor has transformed itself into a pumping, cultural melting pot that celebrates the best of Melbourne. Last Sunday, amid local urban street food, party tracks, street art, circus acts and pop culture pop ups, the Windsor & Co. Block Party, produced by Chapel St Precinct for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, got to show the rest of Melbourne something.
This is how you neighbourhood.
At the free block party off of Artist’s Lane, or ‘Aerosol Alley,’ the music was loud and playful and the beer reasonably priced, barely scraping $6. Cheap, restaurant quality food came out fast, feeding the heaving crowd of Melburnians in their Sunday best.
Ear-to-ear grins abounded at this event that transformed underused spaces into public places to celebrate Windsor and Melbourne’s local food, drinks, art and talent with a refreshing level of transparency. “When we first came here, it was just a really rundown, quite disgusting place,” said local gallery owner Anne Tindall. “There were rats & needles, and look what it’s turned into.” The results showed for themselves– the place was packed. Why?
Because neighbourhoods are for people
The progressive character who gave the nod to the City of Stonnington for this event deserves a pat on the back, and then some. Local council events usually mean lame background music, clowns unhappy with their life choices, lukewarm food, brands handing out pamphlets and one toilet with a queue longer than the local MP’s sleep-inducing speech to the crowd.
The Windsor & Co. Block Party is a horse of a different colour. It felt more like something you’d pay to attend, and with a community as active and together as Windsor, it’s not really a shocker that they all rallied to give Melbourne a festival worth eating at.
“It’s not big franchises,” said Windsor local Michael Scott. “It’s just small people with passion and love and flavour and it’s just fucking great to be involved.”
Changing the festival game for the better
The festival blueprint is changing in Melbourne. We’re seeing it at all the best events, from Sugar Mountain Festival to the Windsor & Co. Block Party. Melbourne wants you to have a good time, and that means cheaper entry, shorter queues, better service and outstanding food offerings on demand. How good is that? Good on you, Melbourne.