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2019 Festival of Exploratory Music celebrates its 7th year in Bendigo

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The award-winning Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (BIFEM) will celebrate highly innovative and creative music during its three day show starting this Friday September 6 until Sunday September 8.

Supported by the City of Greater Bendigo, BIFEM will bring together the work of artists from all over the world including Sweden, France, New Zealand and Australia with an emphasis on premieres or rarely-performed long-form works.

BIFEM Founding Artistic Director David Chisholm said the world’s best practice musicians and composers were very keen to be part of the experience.

“While exploratory and new concert music is a globally fragmented community, it is a very active and engaged one, and so the first weekend in September is globally recognised as BIFEM weekend with the focus on Bendigo as a city of cultural innovation and excellence.

“BIFEM is for anyone with open ears and a curious temperament - which is basically anyone! It is a festival that doesn’t tell you how to listen, but is rather asking, how do you listen?” Mr Chisholm said.

“A lot of the first half of the 20th century was spent positioning newly composed music into settings that generally people felt you need to be an expert to understand. BIFEM resets this by getting out of the way of the performer and the audience.

“The success of the festival rests entirely on Bendigo’s cultural interest in supporting innovative and future focused programming. Without the support of the City, the festival would never have become the national and international cultural destination that it has become.”

Last month, BIFEM was recognised at the 2019 Art Music Awards in the Excellence in Experimental Music Award category. The event was praised for its “courageous, stimulating and imaginative place for high quality experimental music in the Australian landscape”.

Since its debut in 2013, the festival has presented an extraordinary 389 works, including 91 world premieres and 216 Australian premieres. 

For tickets and more information, please visit

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