News: Calling Artists – Can’t Do Tomorrow 2020

2 years ago
Aidan Johnson

This is a call to action for contemporary urban artists – there is an opportunity for you to explore your new and creative ideas! Visit for info on how to get involved. Applications close 1 September 2019.

Can’t Do Tomorrow is the first of its kind in Melbourne – a celebration of urban and contemporary culture in a unique fashion. Set in the iconic underground space of The Facility (located in the conveniently-located Kensington), this summer festival is designed to go beyond simple enjoyment of aesthetics. Instead, it is being explored as a new way for people who want to consume – or, more interestingly, be consumed by – art in all its guises. A feast for all the sensations will be available – the visual and the audio will be there for certain, but the festival is designed to ensure that all sensations are explored, ranging from your intellect (as you engage with art and thinkers), through to your movement (as you dance and move to live music) – all while saluting the wide forms of talent available.

More than 100 artists, galleries, crews and collectives will descend on The Facility (a veritable Eden of Excellence) to display and sell work in urban art disciplines as varied as: painting, murals, photography, stencil, sculpture, video, illustration and epic immersive installations – and they are seeking talent to include.

Founded by Director of The Facility, Kent Johnston, the festival has been a long time coming. Johnston says, “I’m not an expert in the urban art scene but I have always loved it!  I’ve questioned why Melbourne hasn’t had a large-scale celebration of its talent and my guess is there’s never been the space. I’m lucky enough to work at The Facility every day – this incredible old wool store smack bang in the middle of the city. It’s been the epicentre for Melbourne’s artists for decades. Each day, hundreds of people pass it on their way to and from work by train but have never seen inside. Now’s your chance.” 

Headed by Festival Director, arts and event producer Zoe Paulsen, Can’t Do Tomorrow is set to appeal to both the experienced urban art enthusiast as well as the novices among us. Paulsen says, “We are serious about creating a community that encourages the urban and street art movement, giving it the recognition it deserves. We want to join the industry in advocating for the scene and inspire and invest in a new generation of talent. This is the right time for urban art to reach a broader Melbourne audience. Coinciding with NGV summer exhibitions – KAWS, Companionship in the Age of Loneliness and the world premiere of Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat, Crossing Lines – Can’t Do Tomorrow will play a lead role in further positioning the city as the urban art capital of Australia.”

The festival will profile artists in three exhibition sectors, curated by industry heavyweight Toby Benador, Director of Just Another Agency. Benador – known to push the boundaries and break the rules, says:  “I am honoured to be a part of a concept that celebrates and encompasses art and creativity on so many different levels. This festival is an incredible way of pushing boundaries, showcasing a range of creatives along with the incredible talent Melbourne has access to.”

Festival Curator Toby Benador. Photo credit to Kara Riri.
The three exhibition sectors will be:

UNLEASH: 80 independent artists from the scene will be showcasing and selling work across disciplines as diverse as painting, writing, video, sculpture, installation, prints and stencil design.

UNLOCK: showcases a number of established galleries and collectives exhibiting new and historic works from the urban art movement, through solo shows and group exhibitions.  

UNLIMITED: get set to tumble down the rabbit hole into this immersive section, where dark dreamscapes and whimsical wonderlands lie in wait. UNLIMITED will show a series of fantastic environments, awe-inspiring installations and site-specific murals created by some of the biggest names in the underground urban arts scene, including Alex Lehours, Ben Frost, Callum Preston, Georgie Seccull, Kaff-eine, and Michael Peck.  

As well as art, Can’t Do Tomorrow will be raising a glass to Australia’s urban underground through a dynamic program of live music, workshops, performance and talks – with a full program announced November 2019. 

Can’t Do Tomorrow is CALLING FOR ARTIST SUBMISSIONS. Visit for info on how to get involved. Applications close 1 September 2019.  

Event Details: 

20 – 29 February 2020 

The Facility, 2R Chelmsford St, Kensington

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