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We Built This City @ Melbourne Fringe

December 4 @ 10:00 am - December 5 @ 4:00 pm


Presented by Melbourne Fringe and Metro Tunnel Creative Program

We Built This City welcomes families back to Melbourne’s centre!

This cardboard wonderland of a construction site by Polyglot Theatre brings our community together to think big and build the city shapes of our dreams, while celebrating the amazing feat of engineering happening right now, beneath our feet, as part of the Metro Tunnel project.

Filled with thousands of cardboard boxes, a DJ spinning music, and Polyglot artists/construction workers to help kids follow their impulses, families are invited to come together to play and create a unique city within the heart of their very own. At the very end of it all, like a giant sandcastle, the city is shaken and stomped to the ground.

We Built This City first broke ground in Melbourne’s City Square 20 years ago. After travelling the world over, building cities beyond imagination overseas – it’s coming back to where it all began for this special 20th anniversary presentation. Well, just up the road a little at University Square. This is an energetic experience designed for children and families to celebrate the reopening of our city.

For further access information, please scroll down. A visual story for this season is available here: 2021-Polyglot-Theatre-Visual-Story-WBTC-Fringe

Session Times

Saturday 4 December – Sunday 5 December

  • 10:00AM
  • 11:00AM
  • 2:00PM
  • 3:00PM

FREE – bookings essential. Register here: https://melbournefringe.com.au/event/we-built-this-city/


  • We Built This City will take place outdoors, on grass. Please check the weather and bring sunscreen, hats and water bottles. There is a permanent water fountain in the park to refill bottles.
  • There is an inclined ramp into the park, and then a flat transition from paving to grass.
  • Polyglot artists will keep watch for any builders who might need assistance.
  • There will be two all-gender port-a-loos, one of which is accessible. These will be open from 9.30am-4.30pm and located approximately 30m from the We Built This City
  • The closest public disabled toilet is located at Lincoln Square, bordering Bouverie Street. Walk down Pelham Street from University Square, turn right onto Bouverie Street and the toilet is across the road at Lincoln Square.
  • This event will not have an enclosed space for patrons needing time out from sensory stimulation. Children and families can enter and leave as often as they like during their booked session.
  • There is no ATM on site.


The safety and comfort of our audiences and artists is of the utmost importance. The following COVID safety measures are in place to ensure that everyone can have fun safely.

  • We strongly encourage all adults and children to wear face masks, as audience members may sometimes find themselves in close proximity to others.
  • Proof of COVID vaccination or appropriate medical exemption will be required for everyone aged over 12 years and 2 months. For information about accessing your child’s vaccination certificate, please watch this Services Australia video: https://youtu.be/urFivP_b48g
  • For contact tracing purposes, a Service Victoria QR code will be in use, and families will need to sign in using a smartphone. Staff will be available to assist with this.
  • You need to register to attend, and density quotas will be maintained, with a limit of 75 people in the performance space at any one time.
  • Hand sanitiser will be provided.


  • There will be pram parking.
  • There is no baby change facility or parents’ room on site.
  • Water, infants’ bottles and breastfeeding/chestfeeding are fine, but we do ask that there is no eating in the performance space where possible.
  • There are hospitality venues to purchase food and refreshments nearby and picnicking on the lawn is encouraged!


  • We Built This City is an energetic, high intensity experience. The performance space contains only empty cardboard boxes, and children and families can use these to build the city of their dreams.
  • Polyglot artists roam the site, assisting with the build. Children and families choose how they engage with the artists and the space, moving around as they like.
  • We Built This City will take place outdoors in daylight. There will be no bright or flashing lights.
  • A DJ will play music for the duration of the show.


  • There are two disabled car spaces on Barry Street approximately 80m from the event site. One is 4 hours, the other is unrestricted. 
  • University Square Car Park can be entered from 244 Bouverie Street or 206 Berkeley Street, Carlton.
  • Hours: 6:00am to midnight. Fees: $12.50 up to four hours, $25.00 all day, $8.00 after 5pm.
  • It is approximately 200m from the car park elevators to the We Built This City
  • Royal Parade Car Park is located beneath the Kenneth Myer Building, 30 Royal Parade, Parkville 3052. Hours: 6:00am to midnight. Fees: $12.50 up to four hours, $25.00 all day, $8.00 after 5pm.
  • It is approximately 700m from Royal Parade Car Park to University Square.

Public Transport – tram

  • Pelham St/Elizabeth St #9, Stop ID 17866
    • Trams 19 and 59 stop here
    • Approximately 300m to University Square via Pelham Street
    • Lighting, tactile ground surface indicator, accessible ramp, pay phone
  • Lincoln Square / Swanston Street #3, Stop ID 19491
    • Trams 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67 and 72 stop here
    • Approximately 400m to University Square
    • Lighting, tactile ground surface indicator, accessible ramp

Public Transport – bus

The bus stop on Pelham Street is located approximately 120m from the We Built This City entrance.

  • Routes 401: North Melbourne Station – Melbourne University Loop via Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Route 402: Footscray Station – East Melbourne via North Melbourne
  • Route 403: Footscray Station – Melbourne University via Royal Melbourne Hospital


Polyglot Theatre and Melbourne Fringe staff are trained in disability and cultural awareness. For any access enquiries, please contact:

Polyglot Theatre | T: 03 9826 3301 | E: info@polyglot.org.au

Polyglot Theatre’s We Built This City is presented by Melbourne Fringe and Metro Tunnel Creative Program. This season is made possible by: 

Logo bar featuring Melbourne Fringe, Metro Tunnel Creative Program and Lucas Dental Care.


December 4 @ 10:00 am
December 5 @ 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Melbourne Fringe
+61 (0)3 9660 9600


University Square
190-192 Pelham Street
Carlton, VIC 3053 Australia
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