NYC-themed festival heading to Melbourne

Hayley McKenna

Melbourne is morphing into the city that never sleeps, with a city-wide festival celebrating the culture of New York.

From June to August, Melbourne will take a bite out of the Big Apple through cultural events of art, music, food, comedy, dance and film.

The MEL+NYC festival will coincide with the National Gallery of Victoria's Winter Masterpieces exhibition MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art.

The exhibition will showcase over 200 pieces from modern artists including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock and Georgia O'Keefe.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the featured art from the Museum of Modern Art will be "the biggest group of works ever to leave New York" and the first time some had ever left the gallery.

"This seriously is the cheapest ticket to New York anyone will ever get," he said.

The festival will explore Melbourne and New York's acclaimed music scene, with secret laneway pop-up gigs, a New York themed RockWiz live TV event, a tribute to Leonard Bernstein by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and plenty of jazz.

New Yorkers such as actress Ilana Glazer, singer Regina Spektor and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow will take part in the festivities.

New York's foodie culture will be celebrated in the city's restaurants and bars, with guest chefs from acclaimed New York restaurant Momofuku also joining the event.