Let us tempt you ...

Next week we'll be introducing you to 30 new shows never seen before by Melbourne eyes, featuring over 70 fresh faces whom have never appeared on our festival stages.

We've wooed the best and brightest cabaret talent across the country, bringing them to Melbourne to create the cabaret nucleus of Australia for the last two weeks of June.

Our 2015 venues are also exciting: we're taking over the new Alex Theatre complex in St Kilda – amongst show gems happening there over the two weeks will be our Opening Gala, and we're converting the Alex studio space into a cosy golden cabaret salon. On selected nights our "Up Late With..." series will introduce intimate single night performances by popular solo artists. With seating at cocktail tables for just 120 lucky audience members, its own bar, a grand piano and cosy ambience, this salon series provides the perfect after-show nightcap.

The Butterfly Club, Melbourne's home of cabaret and kitsch, will launch eight electrifying new shows including our "Best of the Fest" annual sell-out.

The main space at Chapel Off Chapel will be re-imagined as an intimate cabaret soiree with most seating at tables. Described by Cabaret Festival supporter Geoffrey Rush as "an industrious hotbed for the arts", Chapel Off Chapel is a vanguard for artistic and cultural excellence.

Our Closing Gala will be at Melbourne's own iconic spiegeltent, the Melba Spiegeltent. Built in Belgium in 1910, it travelled across Europe and hosted numerous performances, including Edith Piaf and Kurt Weil in the '20s and '30s. Now based in Melbourne under the custodianship of Circus Oz, it was renamed after Australia’s opera soprano superstar, Dame Nellie Melba.

Let us tempt you to join us as a Festival Friend and experience two weeks of atmospheric, seductive and soul-stirring entertainment.

Until capacity is reached, Festival Friends receive VIP mezzanine lounge seating at Alex Theatre’s main space, premium reserved table seating at Chapel Off Chapel’s main space, and reserved booths at the Spiegeltent.

You also receive discounts to every show across the festival, including $25 off the Opening Gala alone, where your seats will be in the exclusive VIP mezzanine area.

Don't delay, click here to become a Festival Friend.

Mother’s Day is on Sunday 10 May, which makes the launch of our program next week timely. Sign her up as a Festival Friend now to give her a VIP experience across a festival she’ll love, or check back next week to select a specific show.

Green Room Awards for Cabaret Festival shows: fifth straight year!

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of the Green Room Awards - Melbourne's night of recognising top talent on stage.

We're thrilled the Melbourne Cabaret Festival was again well represented, with shows appearing in our festival taking out awards for the fifth straight year.

Special mention must also be made of our friends and strong supporters of the local cabaret scene, Martin Croft and Will Conyers, who were made Life Members of the Green Room Awards Association.

Regular Cabaret Festival star Geraldine Quinn took out Best Artist and alumni Andrew Strano and Loclan Mackenzie-Spencer took out Best Original Songs.

We also experienced a special moment of pride on hearing that Jane Patterson took out the Cabaret Musical Direction award for last year's hit show of the festival, Ginger And Tonic’s Desperate & Dateless. Why? Because two years ago, we spotted Ginger & Tonic in the Short+Sweet Cabaret Melbourn competition and saw in their 10 minute performance something special and magical, so offered them a spot in the Festival. A year on and Jane and her assemblage delivered a wondrous show in last year's festival.

Who knows what special treats this uber talented lady has next in store for Melbourne? ;)