The best festivals in Melbourne and regional Victoria
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10.07.2024

The best festivals in Melbourne and regional Victoria

Melbourne festivals
Words by Oliver Winn and Staff Writers

This is the most comprehensive list anywhere of ripper festivals in Melbourne and across Victoria.

We’ve broken down this list of the best Victorian and Melbourne festivals month by month, so you can check back here regularly (or save it in your bookmarks, if anyone does that) to see which festivals are happening and find out what’s worth going to.

Note, many of these Melbourne festivals change their dates year-on-year, sometimes by months at a time. For the latest information, every festival title in this article is linked to the latest news about that particular festival.

We also produce a specific monthly guide online and in our free print magazine, but consider this the most comprehensive festival calendar for the entire year.

This list features the entire scope of Victorian and Melbourne festivals: food festivals, arts festivals, film festivals, fashion festivals, comedy festivals and of course, music festivals; from monoliths like Laneway to tiny bush doofs like Tanglewood and everything in between. Enjoy.

For the latest news and lineups for every festival, head here. 

The best Victorian and Melbourne festivals in January

Live At The Bowl

  • Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Summertime always brings out the best in live music, festivals and showcases featuring an amazing selection of bands who want to spend an Australian summer on the live stage. The Live at The Bowl festival is a collection of gigs taking place at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, previous incarnations including Arctic Monkeys, Bon Iver, Lorde and many more.

So Frenchy So Chic

  • Werribee Mansion

So Frenchy So Chic has connected France to Australia through a day-long summer festival celebrating the Art of Living: French contemporary music, gastronomy, fashion, conviviality and lots of champagne. Attendees can explore and learn about the world of wines with the ex-sommelier of France Soir, discover the art of ceramics in a hands-on studio experience, compete in a grand petanque tournament with epic prizes, or learn French with a 30-minute masterclass.

Guests can expect a curated selection of French classics; oysters, macarons, mitraillettes, mussels, ratatouille, brioches, crepes, chocolate eclairs, steak frites sandwiches, croque monsieurs, almond duck liver parfait macaron and more.

Nightjar Festival

  • Geelong

If you haven’t heard of it, the Nightjar festival is set to appeal to all types of entertainment lovers, with food, music, stalls, and much more. It’s previously featured artists like The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra, The Old Married Couple, Rach Brennan and The Pines, and many more. Nightjar Festival – The Series includes additional attractions such as Surf Coast Design Exchange Markets and One Last Night, a fully licensed, small-capacity music event focusing on musical excellence.

Let Them Eat Cake

  • Werribee Mansion

Serving up delicious lineups since 2013, Let Them Eat Cake has been the tastiest way to welcome in the new year for the last decade. Inviting punters to dance their way into the new year, Werribee Mansion’s beloved New Years Day music festival Let Them Eat Cake has been an NYE saviour for many.

Sun Cycle

  • Coburg Velodrome

As the sun beats down on Naarm on the first day of the new year, get ready to kick off the New Year in style as Sun Cycle NYD returns to the iconic Coburg Velodrome. With previous lineups featuring the enchanting Erika de Casier, the boundary-pushing Overmono, the techno-wizard Objekt, the infectious Jayda G, the genre-blending Mildlife, and many more, there’s no better place to usher in the new year. Easily one of the best northern Melbourne festivals.

UNIFY Gathering

  • Various

Better start limbering up to hit the mosh pit, because Australia’s ‘Heavy Music XMAS’ has long been the favourite festival of those who like their music loud since its first edition in 2015. In 2023, UNIFY pivoted to a series of intimate club shows across five states, with each date featuring a different lineup made up of acts.

Coastal Jam

  • Rosebud’s Village Green

Feeling like an escape from Melbourne festivals? Happening in the popular meccas of Geelong and Mornington, this is a fun festival to enjoy when the bustling heart of the city is too much to handle. Developed with the aim to provide festival goers with the optimal summer festival experience a stone’s throw from one of Australia’s most iconic beaches, Coastal Jam has curated past lineups that fill and satiate the appetite of any Australian music fan.

Festival 23

  • Macedon Ranges

The most notable shift in the past 20 years has been the gradual shift away from nightclubs as the main purveyors of electronic music, as day parties and festivals shone daylight on the diversity the genre can offer. The next shift – and this is across the entire music industry – has been away from large-scale camping festivals in featureless paddocks towards boutique, smaller and increasingly luxurious events.

Rolling hills overlooking vineyards, an infinity pool overlooking a large swimmable dam, multiple stages set inside the rather pristine hotel itself, lush grass and yoga and air conditioning and reiki healing tents…mark our words, Festival 23 is the future of Melbourne festivals.

The best Victorian and Melbourne festivals in February

Riverboats Music Festival

  • Murray River, Echuca

Each February, the rural town of Echuca on the Victorian side of the Murray River will host the Riverboats Music Festival. With multi-award winning, sun-soaked live music, Riverboats brings together a collection of Australian artists representing the absolute cream of the crop.

With the Murray River as a backdrop, Riverboats provides a welcomed tonic from many of the bigger events taking place across the summer months. If a picnic rug and a good bottle of wine is how you like watching the best Aussie artists, you’ll be right at home

If the grey concrete of Melbourne festivals is too bland for your liking, then an escape to Echuca for the Riverboats Music Festival may be due!

Laneway Festival

  • Flemington Racecourse

Saint Jerome is quoted as saying: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.” You might have noticed the stage names. It’s a little motivational-speakery for a saint, but it does fit his namesake festival, which certainly hasn’t rested since its rather humble beginnings in a speakeasy in Caledonian Lane. Fun fact: the St Jerome moniker stems from founder Jerome Borazio.

One of Australia’s most popular festivals is back, and it’s coming in big. Laneway Festival will feature a selection of the best artists both in contemporary and indie scenes, previous involved artists include Haim, Phoebe Bridgers, Finneas, Fred Again, The Beths, and plenty more, traversing many different genres. Its reputation for always producing exceptional lineups proves why it’s one of the best Melbourne festivals.

On top of that, there’ll be tasty food, drinks, and merch all available, to make sure it’s a fun experience. Laneway Festival is now at Flemington Racecourse every year.

St Kilda Festival

  • St Kilda Foreshore

One of Melbourne’s free festival staples is the St Kilda Festival. As always, the event will see hundreds of thousands of people flock to the St Kilda foreshore and beyond for the best in Australian live music across up to seven different stages. Did we mention it’s free?

We’ve not even touched on the extensive range of entertainment that’s on offer, along with the other events and festivities, including dance performances, workshops, sports demonstrations, community group activities, food and market stalls, and roving entertainment. While plenty of those specifics are available on the festival’s website, many of these are also best discovered by you on the day, simply adding to the fun of the affair.

Bruthen Blues Festival

  • Bruthen

One of Australia’s biggest little blues festivals, this event will leave you with a whole new appreciation for blues music. Tucked away in eastern Victoria is the grooviest little festival you’ve (probably) never heard of. Bruthen Blues and Arts is a long-running, family-friendly festival, bringing blues and roots back to East Gippsland. As well as music, the festival sees the town transforming into a full-blown affair with garage sales, street music and stalls taking over the neighbourhood. See you (Bru)then!

For The Love

  • St Kilda’s Catani Gardens

The festival seeks to capture the essence of late summer: beautiful locations, laid-back vibes, and upbeat music. It has been making its rounds through the country and has already done events on the Gold Coast and in Wollongong, with plans to head over to Perth after its feature as one of the best Melbourne festivals.

For The Love is exactly what it says on the box; palm trees, grassy fields and highly palatable electro-pop, for the love of the party vibes. If you can throw in a brand activation without hurting anyone, all the better for your strobe budget.

FTL has been around the block a few times, throwing events across Australia and popping up at stunning locations in Bali and California with a tried and true methodology that ticks a lot of boxes. As far as mainstream electronic festivals go, this is a mature, even distinguished event.

Hello Sunshine

  • Scoreseby’s Caribbean Gardens

It’s rare that a festival’s name actually encapsulates its literal sentiment, but that’s exactly what Hello Sunshine does – and more.

Under a canopy of blue skies and the promise of a much-needed hit of vitamin D, music enthusiasts of all ages converge upon Scoreseby’s Caribbean Gardens for a day of good family fun. The atmosphere was charged with excitement as families and friends alike geared up for the impending lineup of homegrown talent, an array of eats from food trucks, whimsical carnival rides and eclectic market stalls. It brings the sunlight to Melbourne festivals.

Piknic Electronik

  • Sidney Myer Music Bowl

It’s that time of the year again when the best performers in the world of electronic music grace the iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl for a months-long celebration of the genre. Think Boris Brejcha, Ben Klock, Thomas Schumacher, Victor Ruiz and plenty more techno favourites on the sunny grass lawns of the Bowl each year. Melbourne festivals are renowned for its strong feature of electronic music, and this one is no exception.

Midsumma

  • Across Melbourne

If you haven’t come across Midsumma before, they are one of Australia’s most well-known queer arts organisations, putting on shows of all different shapes and sizes over the years with many events, spanning plays, musicals, parties, drag, comedy, and plenty more. If you’re not keen to spend too much money on a Midsumma event, there are also free performances too. Midsumma makes sure that Melbourne festivals are the country’s leaders when it comes to LQBTQIA+ friendly festivals.

Port Fairy Jazz Festival

  • Port Fairy

Port Fairy, renowned for its festivals, will host its annual Jazz Festival in February. Showcasing a rich array of performances spanning traditional, mainstream, and contemporary jazz, the Port Fairy Jazz Festival caters to jazz enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds.

Melbourne Art Fair

  • Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Australasia’s most significant and progressive forum for contemporary art, the Melbourne Art Fair focuses on solo shows and works of scale and significance, this expo at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre promises to shape the future of art in the region.

Chi Wow Wah Town

  • Winton Wetlands

Since 2013, the electronic music festival Chi Wow Wah Town has been held in Victoria in the stunning surrounds of Winton Wetlands, offering one of the best intimate festivals (read: techno-focused bush doofs) on the Australian calendar.

Gaytimes

  • Gembrook

Is it just us, or is the local festival scene crying out for more light-hearted, up tempo camping festivals in lush, forested areas, within a couple of hour radius of Melbourne?

Gaytimes is Australia’s queer camping music and arts festival, features an eclectic lineup of music, performers, visual arts, food trucks, yoga, and workshops, with a strong electronic music focus across three stages.

The Dandenong Ranges are the perfect location for a festival. While the likes of Pitch and Rainbow Serpent (both beautiful, highly-recommended electronic doofs) are stuck in featureless paddocks, the Dandenongs are an oasis. They even make the beautiful bush surrounding Strawberry Fields look dry.

Northcote Rise Festival

  • High Street, Northcote

Northcote Rise is a precinct stretching from James Street to Robb’s Parade. The family-friendly festival features local artists, outdoor dining and bars from local restaurants, mini stages, and stalls from local traders. From James Street to Separation Street, Northcote’s famous High Street and surrounding roads will be closed to traffic and opened to pedestrians as retail stores, entertainment venues, street vendors and artists take over the suburb. While north Melbourne festivals often centre around wild techno-filled nights, the Northcote Rise Festival focuses on a more laidback, family friendly experience.

The festival, which is making an exciting comeback, aims to help revitalise local businesses and reignite the local arts industry with a range of activities and events. With five main stages and five main zones to rotate through, they’ll be something in store for everyone.

The best Victorian and Melbourne festivals in March

Brunswick Music Festival

  • Brunswick

Brunswick Music Festival brings the best lesser-known performers to our shores. It’s one of the main Melbourne festivals that’ll let you catch bands before they become the next big thing, so make sure you get on this one.

For close to four decades now, the Brunswick Music Festival has been a staple of the culture within the titular Melbourne suburb. A breeding ground for talent, creativity, and a love of the arts, the annual festival never fails to deliver.

SummerSalt

  • St Kilda, Torquay

You almost had to rub your eyes to believe it. People walking with deckchairs on the side of the road, thousands of cars parked on a loping hill, punters getting their bags checked, a freakin’ stage with live musicians. This is SummerSalt Festival.

SummerSalt delivers feel-good music to unique and picturesque destinations around the country, with a family-friendly atmosphere perfect for making memories. This event is the perfect place to bask in the sunshine with live music and a vibrant setting. Sun-drenched days and a sparkling haze of good times while you kick back or dance the day and night away.

Electric Gardens

  • St Kilda Beach

At the heart of Electric Gardens is a commitment to showcasing the pinnacle of electronic music talent, curating a lineup that pushes boundaries and electrifies crowds. Each year’s roster features a stellar array of house and progressive DJs and producers, promising an immersive journey through the sounds of the global dance scene.

Melbourne Celtic Festival

  • Mission to Seafarers

If you’re keen on immersing yourself in a culturally rich celebration of Celtic culture, you can jump on the Port Philip Ferry or Searoad Ferries to get your fix. The Melbourne Celtic Festival presents concerts across the four days. The program includes dance, theatre, literature readings, masterclasses and more.

Get your mates together to enjoy a stellar line-up of Celtic musicians across three indoor stages and a garden stage at this community event that promises the best Craic in town.

Sonder Festival

  • Tallarook

The word Sonder, for those of you wondering, is a term that refers to the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. Sonder Festival, meanwhile, is an independent three-day electronic music and arts festival taking place over the Easter weekend. Featuring left-field dance, electronic, and percussive musicians and DJs from both around the world and locally.

It’s being organised by 188naarm, who regularly throw parties at The Third Day. Sonder is a place of connection through music, in an intimate setting of Victorian/Taungurung bushland, the old Boogie festival spot. Previous lineups featured the likes of Moktar, C.Frim, Ajak Kwai and more.

Dekmantel Festival

  • Footscray Park

In an electrifying turn of events for techno enthusiasts in Melbourne, the cult-favourite Dutch techno festival, Dekmantel, has returned to the list of Melbourne festivals for a four-day party. Known for pushing the boundaries of electronic music and curating cutting-edge lineups, Dekmantel has become a global beacon for techno heads.

Dekmantel, originating in Amsterdam, has gained a reputation for to showcasing the best in underground electronic music. As one of the most coveted contemporary techno festivals in the world, it only makes sense for it to be part of the growing list of Melbourne festivals.

New Bloom Fest

  • Melbourne Pavilion

Get ready to usher in a new era of alternative rock and punk with the highly anticipated NEW BLOOM FEST, a fresh touring festival giving international bands a chance to debut in Australia. With a focus on shining a spotlight on the brightest up-and-coming artists, this festival’s inaugural event featured the likes of Citizen, Movements and Touche Amore.

Aireys Inlet Music Festival

  • Multiple locations

Some of Victoria’s favourite festival acts including Matt Walker and Ashley Davies, Henry Wagons and Kylie Auldist have previously played.

The boutique festival takes place in six venues across the town, including the Aireys Pub, Great Ocean Road Gin Tasting Room, Sunnymead Hotel, The Captain of Aireys and the Lighthouse Tea Rooms. Great Ocean Road Mini Golf will once again will host the best local developing bands on the Push FReeZA stage.

FUSE Festival

  • City of Darebin

FUSE is the much-loved contemporary, multi-arts festival presented by the City of Darebin that turns the community into a stage for local artists and entertainers to highlight their innovative and rich artistic skills.

The City of Darebin, known for its vibrant arts scene and diverse cultural offerings, hosts standout events including Out of the Park Picnic,  interactive spaces and more, showcasing some of the best creative local talents

Melbourne Fashion Festival

  • Melbourne

Australia’s largest consumer fashion event, the festival offers a 15-day program of over 100 unique events, featuring a mix of premium and independent runways, talks, exhibitions and performances, workshops and tours, shopping and screenings.

The Melbourne Fashion Festival features world-class runways with Australia’s most loved designers, making this an event not to be missed.

Treaty Day Out

  • Ballarat City Oval

Every March, fans will gather at the Ballarat City Oval for a huge celebration of First Nations music and culture. Organised by The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, the democratic voice for First Nations Peoples, this event is not just a celebration but a powerful platform for fostering awareness and understanding.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, entry is not only encouraged but complimentary. Simply enrol with The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and register for your free tickets. For everyone else eager to be a part of the festivities, tickets can be purchased here.

Port Fairy Folk Festival

  • Port Fairy

Much has changed since 1977 when the first festival ran off the back of a truck by the river Moyne. With the 50th anniversary fast approaching those early Geelong Folk Club members wouldn’t recognise today’s event. The quiet seaside town near Killarney in the Shire of Belfast where now short-stay accommodation, gourmet coffee roasters and day spas dominate the streetscape.

Yet the mystical, alchemic mix of the artists, their stories, the punters (from five to eighty-five),  the chronically cheerful volunteers (many of whom are community people) and the professional organisation always combine for something special. Port Fairy Folk Festival always boasts superb headline acts.

Pitch Music and Arts

  • Moyston

Pitch Music and Arts is back with a bang, featuring music from electronic icons from across the world. On top of that, there’ll be many other events and installations on the site, so there’s more than music.

Pitch Festival has grown renowned over its relatively short lifetime for showcasing a dazzling array of international electronic talent, often boasting the premier techno showcase of the year among Australian festivals.

An ode to self-discovery, creativity and inclusion; the People of Pitch will once again reunite and embrace meaningful connection over four indulgent days of music, arts & camping.

Surrounded by the prodigy of nature, the festival is humble to be able to call the open fields at the foothills of the Grampian Mountain Range home.

Touch Bass

  • Melbourne Pavilion

Get ready for bass you can feel in your bones, because Australia’s annual bass showdown Touch Bass is now apart of the list of Melbourne festivals. It’s previously featured the likes of Flowdan, Kanine and Wilkinson. Still setting the pace on all things low-end, some of the key subgenres of bass music include dubstep, drum and bass, trap, future bass, bass house and grime, to varying extents.

Esoteric

  • Donald

Over 105 talented international and local artists across seven stages cause chaos throughout the Esoverse with many beats, blends and drops to suit all sonus tastes.

Expect jaw-dropping visuals, art, forest lighting, décor, food and market stalls, lifestyle workshops, exciting secret areas and most importantly bigger and badder banging tunes in the thumping temples of stomping, featuring cutting-edge acts.

PHOTO 2024

  • Melbourne

Australia’s largest photography festival, PHOTO 2024 International Festival of Photography presents an art trail of 100 free photography exhibitions and outdoor art installations to explore across Melbourne and Victoria, presented in partnership with over 50 museums and galleries.

Melbourne festivals are normally photographed by expert photographers in the industry, but this festival promises to expose the inner-workings of these photographer masterminds, potentially fuelling your interest to take some pictures of Melbourne festivals yourself.

Ability Fest

  • Birrarung Marr

Ability Fest is the brainchild of local legend Dylan Alcott and his Dylan Alcott Foundation, who made this one of the most accessible festivals across the country.

A music festival first and foremost, but with the added perk of incorporating more accessibility features so that everyone can enjoy the universal love of live music. Melbourne festivals often pride themselves on inclusivity, but Ability Fest goes the extra mile to ensure these promises are implemented.

The event has all of the hallmarks of a great festival and then some. First, a prime location – hosted in Birrarung Marr, the mainstage had the stunning background of the city skyline and was only a short stroll down the river from Flinders Station.

It’s previously featured the likes of Alex Lahey, The Journey, Sampa The Great, Hilltop Hoods, Daine, and many more.

Knotfest

  • Flemington Racecourse

Australia doesn’t have too many international metal festivals any more, so it’s exciting to see a brand-new one make its way to our shores. The popular festival has sold out grounds across the world, and now it’s Melbourne’s turn. It’ll feature music from artists like Slipknot, Megadeth and Trivium.

If you need a refresher, Knotfest is Slipknot’s own self-curated, destination festival brand, currently held in eight international locations; the US, Japan, Mexico, Finland, Germany, Colombia, Chile and Brazil.

Designed as an immersive, unforgettable, ‘dark carnival experience’, the event invites you into Slipknot’s apocalyptic underworld where stunning visuals, fire breathers and nightmarish creatures on stilts set the stage for an intoxicating and memorable weekend of live music.

Golden Plains

  • Meredith

It’s the festival that has featured music from the industry’s biggest names – Ween, Mogwai, Dinosaur Jr, and Public Enemy – just to name a fraction. Happening at the popular Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, there really isn’t anything else on the Victorian festival landscape to compare Meredith and Golden Plains to, such is the transient nature of the local festival scene.

Nolsey’s Long Blink – this wonderful moment of respectful jubilation that sits nicely within an immersive Welcome to Country – really sets the tone for what makes this festival so utterly special.

With only one stage, so no timetable clashes, Golden Plains Festival is known primarily for its great music and great culture – the reason that we love the Melbourne music scene so much in the first place.

Moomba

  • Melbourne

Everyone’s favourite free Melbourne festival returns for a five-day celebration of food, drinks, fun, and lots more.

A slightly cringy highlight of the Melbourne cultural calendar, the iconic Moomba festival features fireworks, interactive art, live music, festivities, workshops, film screenings, sporting events and so much more, the festival is a do-not-miss for anyone on the hunt for a good time.

The family-friendly program is truly packed with so much goodness – it’s worth giving it a thorough browse to make sure you don’t miss out on any special moments.

Chillout Festival

  • Daylesford

One of Victoria’s most popular festivals, Chillout Festival is a celebration of “queer country pride,” with its regional location being a highlight for queer festival goers for years.

Taking place in regional Victoria’s LGBTQIA mecca of Daylesford, this festival is an inclusive experience for everyone.

The full festival program features over fifty events running over five days around the villages of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs in Central Victoria’s spa country.

Events will range from large late night outdoor dance parties, circus, drag and comedy shows, and a Sunday morning street parade, to the more intimate, like art gallery exhibition, social drinks, speed dating, all gender sport events, and rainbow storytime. 

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

  • Melbourne

There’s no questioning that Melbourne does food and drinks unlike many other cities out there. So much so, there’s a festival celebrating it, showcasing the best produce this side of the equator. Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s website is one of the best to peruse too, allowing you to find something in your price range and food tastes.

More than three decades on and this is one festival still firmly positioned as the premier Australian event on the international food and wine calendar.

Previously featuring local talent such as Dan Hong, Neil Perry, Lauren Eldridge, Ellie Bouhadana, Joel Bennetts and Michael Greenlaw, this festival always features an exceptional lineup.

Another highlight is the World’s Longest Lunch event – a mammoth event attended by up to 1,800 guests, with a menu expertly curated by local legends.

Port Phillip Mussel & Jazz Festival

  • Cecil Street, South Melbourne

The much-loved Port Phillip Mussel & Jazz Festival brings seafood and live jazz to Cecil Street, creating an event renowned for its delicious seafood offering.

The street will be closed to traffic and the market will come alive with a two-day seafood street party celebrating our favourite mollusc, set to a soundtrack featuring the city’s best in jazz and soul musicians.

If seafood is not your thing, don’t despair, as there will be a diverse range of food stalls at the festival, plus the entire Market will be open during the day, so you can feast on Market favourites including French pastries, porchetta rolls, German street food, cannoli and more.

Did you know over six tonnes of mussels are consumed at the festival? That’s a lot of shells! South Melbourne Market partner with The Nature Conservancy all year round to recycle oyster, scallop and mussel shells so they don’t end up in landfill.

Sandford Bush Music Festival

  • Sandford

The Sandford Bush Music Festival is always a hit for country lovers, featuring a wide array of bush music, folk, gospel, Celtic, reggae, bluegrass and Aussie country music.

Performed by professionals, semi-professionals, amateurs and hopefuls, including some very talented younger performers, the festival’s stage hosts heavy-weight acts to small, local legends.

As well as programmed music there are heaps of fantastic jam sessions, workshops, walk-ups, bush poetry, country crafts, art exhibitions and demonstrations.

The organisation is a registered not-for-profit organisation, so you can enjoy some quality country music while also contributing towards a good cause.

Picnic In The Paddock

  • Bright Brewery

Picnic In The Paddock is a laid-back festival at Bright Brewery,  with a hand-picked roster of musicians from near and far, previously featuring artists such as Little Birdy’s Katy Steele and Kim Churchill. All you have to do is grab a seat or lay out your picnic rug, unpack your goodies, and unwind to an afternoon and evening of soothing live music right on the banks of the Ovens River.

Festival-goers can expect to have Bright Brewery’s selection of beer available to purchase with some of the crowd favourites, Alpine Lager and Bright Pale Ale, on offer. What’s more, the seasonal beers that exist in high rotation will be available to purchase as well, better known as the backcountry limited-releases.

Located on the idyllic banks of the Ovens River in Victoria’s high country, the location at Bright Brewery is the optimal destination for an afternoon spent with loved ones revelling in the musical serenades.

An afternoon that will be richly filled with fun and enjoyment, Party in the Paddock will truly be an extension of summer.

The High Country Hop

  • Beechworth

Join Bridge Road Brewers in beautiful Beechworth as they celebrate the Victorian hop harvest at The High Country Hop, one of Victoria’s favourite beer and music festivals. Previously featuring some truly impeccable artists, such as Bob Log III (USA), The Burnt Sausages and Jarabi Band, this festival combines brilliant beer with even better music.

The festival centres around the brewers of the Victorian high country, with a spotlight on a series of unique ales made using fresh, locally-sourced hops from year’s harvest. Joining the fantastic artist lineup are some of the best stars of the craft beer game, ensuring the highest quality beer, curated for your consumption.

A festival food experience should never be grim, so, we’re bringing in the heavy hitters – Hand-picking a selection of wholesome eats for all tastes.

Whether you’re looking for a weekender, a day trip or a chance to explore your backyard, The High Country Hop will provide you with a journey to remember.

The best Victorian and Melbourne festivals in April

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

  • Melbourne

Melbourne is lucky to be home to one of the world’s biggest comedy festivals. Each year, thousands of comedy fans head to our many stages, bars, and pubs, to check out the best icons in the world of comedy.

This festival is not only extremely popular, but it’s also inclusive and accessible – with attendances of up to 770,000 it has grown to be Australia’s largest cultural ticketed event.

When the Melbourne Town Hall precinct is converted into a giant comedy hub, there is something for every comedy lover, from the very best local and international comedy acts in venues of all shapes and sizes.

This festival is committed to bringing the art of comedy to as many patrons as possible, while at the same time ensuring those who want to get into the game have every opportunity to develop their skills.

Bluesfest Melbourne

  • Melbourne

Taking place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Bluesfest Melbourne brings the popular Byron Bay festival to Victoria’s capital.

With multiple indoor theatres and stages, an array of food and drink, family entertainment and much more, this event is the ultimate Bluesfest experience, transforming the banks of the Birrarung into a full weatherproof festival precinct. With a range of ticket options to suit everyone, tickets are bound to sell out fast.

Having featured artists including The Doobie Brothers, John Butler, Buddy Guy, Paolo Nutini, and many others, this festival spoils audiences with some stunning musical talent.

It’s hard not to dance when Melbourne is taken over by blue’s infectious 12-bar grooves.

Sunset Sounds

  • City of Stonnington

This superb event has established itself in the City of Stonnington’s annual calendar for good reason. Showcasing both established and emerging artists in blues, RnB, soul, folk and more, this sun limned festival presents a night full of guaranteed fun for music lovers of all ages.

Known for its picturesque green grass setting and beautiful summer vibes, the Sunset Sounds festival takes place within the golden hour, which evokes an idyllic quality to the experience.

It also regularly showcases a selection of Melbourne’s delicious food trucks, providing plenty of opportunities to satiate those food cravings you’ll get mid-way through a set.

Rainbow Spirit (previously Rainbow Serpent)

  • Lexton

Each year, people travel from all corners of the globe to join thousands of other like-minded groovers in the dusty hills of the annual Rainbow Spirit Festival. The epic open-air music and arts festival is known for its exciting electronic music acts.

The festival regularly hosts niche eclectic lineups of underground and international artists, performing all types of music along the whole gamut of the electronic genre.

Focusing on providing a space for people to experience an alternative way of life, the sense of escapism engulfs this euphoric event, situated far away from the anxieties and negativity that often plague our everyday lives.

Ultra Australia

  • Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne

Recognised as one of the most internationally-reaching music festival brands in the world, curating diverse lineups of award-winning DJs and globe-trotting talent, ULTRA Worldwide has cemented itself as the leader in the electronic music arena for live events, making the Australian iteration of the festival one you can’t miss.

In past years, over 40,000 Australian fans have witnessed impeccably produced events with stand-out performances by high-profile artists who have dominated the international music charts such as The Chainsmokers, Martin Garrix and Marshmello.

Every year, this festival continues to deliver an unforgettable experience.

Groovin the Moo

  • Bendigo

Since the inaugural Groovin the Moo was held in Gloucester (NSW) in 2005, the all-ages festival has become a favourite on the Australian festival circuit, bringing a slab of iconic acts to regional stages around the country.

This iconic festival is a cornerstone of Australian music festivals, having hosted some of the biggest names in music such as Billie Eilish and Hilltop Hoods.

CresFest

  • Creswick

CresFest Folk and Roots Music festival delivers a weekend of revitalising musical encounters, situated in the forested gold rush town of Creswick, between Daylesford and Ballarat.

From local treasures to national stars to international legends of the folk and roots scene, the festival provides the stage for artists of varying points in their career. This gives audiences the opportunity to witness big hitters to up and coming acts alike.

Accompanying the incredible live music are other smaller events such as whip-cracking and special light displays, enriching the country town experience.

Taking place at a variety of locations – from gold-rush era buildings and local pubs to cafes and outdoor venues – this event is definitely a highlight among Australia’s large list of music festivals.

Sound Tracks

  • From Southern Cross to Rochester

Sound Tracks is an unforgettable experience, taking visitors on a curated road-trip-slash-music-festival taking place on a fully restored 13-carriage steam train, offering possibly one of the most unique festivals in the country.

This innovative blend of live music and tourism roars through the state, taking passengers from Southern Cross to Rochester on a fully restored sleeper train. Passengers will overnight in style, enjoying cocktails and canapés, mingling in the Martini Bar, and dancing the night away in the Click Clack Club.

As the train pulls up next to the Murray, passengers will have the chance to greet the sunrise in picturesque surroundings.

A great example where the joy is in the journey, not the destination. 

Melbourne Muster

  • Scoresby

Some of the best Australian rock and country artists headline this enthralling event – but this event’s offerings isn’t limited to just music.

Wild activities such as rodeo riders, monster trucks, mechanical bulls and more also make up the list of Melbourne Muster’s range of wild antics to partake in. 

Previously hosting ARIA award-winning artist Lee Kernaghan and the widely-acclaimed Kingswood, the musical acts are sure to impress.

Alongside the quality tunes, the day will also include delicious bites from some Victoria’s best food trucks, alongside a slew of beers, wines, spirits and cider from the award-winning local breweries.

The best Victorian and Melbourne festivals in May

Tilde Film Festival

  • Footscray Community Arts

With a curated program of films by trans and gender-expansive storytellers, the Tilde Film Festival celebrates diversity and inclusivity in screen experiences, providing a place for film lovers of all walks of life to converse.

With a strong emphasis on community, this film festival was started by a group of dedicated volunteers. It has carved out its own niche among the celebrated list of film festivals in Victoria, making it a must-see event for film enthusiasts of all backgrounds.

A festival that principles itself on progressivism and inclusion, it not only presents screen works that provides diverse perspectives but also facilitates conversation through panel discussions and holding space for the community to connect with each other.

No matter where you’re from, or what group you identify with, this film festival promises an enriching experience of entertainment and education rolled into one.

YIRRAMBOI

  • Melbourne

YIRRAMBOI – which means ‘tomorrow’ in the local languages of the Boonwurrung and Woi-wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nations – celebrates and showcases some of the most exciting First Nations creatives locally, nationally and internationally; giving the stories of ‘now’ back to the lands that have held them for over 80,000 years.

Set to unearth new talent and amplify First Nations voices, YIRRAMBOI supports the creative development of First Nations artists, highlighting their artistry to the audiences of Victoria.

Deeply rooted in purpose, YIRRAMBOI spans beyond the western term of ‘Art’. This festival platform expressions of culture, identity, unity and truth through evolutionary and experimental practices, breaking away from preconceived ideas of First Nations ‘Art’.

Melbourne Writers Festival

  • Melbourne

At the Melbourne Writers Festival, the greatest literary minds from across the world are showcased in Melbourne’s iconic venues.

Every year the festival promises to be a treat for book lovers and aspiring writers alike. Previously hosting Pulitzer and Booker Prize winners, New York Times bestselling authors, and exciting debut guests from around the globe, the level of literary quality is on another level.

With a wide range of events, workshops, and discussions exploring diverse themes and perspectives, the Melbourne Writers Festival promises a week of intellectual stimulation, creative inspiration and meaningful conversations.

Book enthusiasts and literary aficionados won’t want to miss this enriching and thought-provoking experience.

Southside Festival

  • Frankston

With world-class arts, performances, visual arts, comedy and family-friendly fun, this festival aims to inspire, engage and transform perceptions. Boasting over 45 events and shows on offer, there is a slice of creative experience for everyone.

The south-east city of Frankston’s picturesque location by the beach proves to the perfect location for such a festival.

Events range from amazing light displays, to unique shopping opportunities, to engaging musical performances.

The best Victorian and Melbourne festivals in June

RISING Festival

  • Melbourne

RISING is one of the biggest Melbourne festivals, and it most definitely deserves the reputation it has developed. Presenting an epic array of art, music, parties and theatre, the city of Melbourne briefly transforms into the entertainment capital of the country.

There’ll be rock’n’roll stories, acclaimed theatrical debuts, boundary-pushing film events and a sprawling day party around the CBD.

This festival certainly makes the most of the city, as it’s known to feature the most awe-inspiring venues. It will take you through the labyrinthian tunnels beneath the CBD and transform St Paul’s Cathedral and Melbourne Town Hall into heaving dancefloors.

The successor to Melbourne Art Festival, RISING most certainly meets the already incredibly high-standard set by its predecessor.

East Gippsland Winter Festival

  • East Gippsland

The East Gippsland Winter Festival has everything for the perfect winter escape.

You’ll be able to experience a month long celebration of what makes the region special, there’s a bit of everything on offer, from local art, to food vendors, and nature. Within the festival there’s a bevy of smaller events taking place.

Coinciding with the Victorian school holidays, the festival’s family-friendly events ensures there is something for everyone, with free events providing welcome distraction from the cold winter.

Originally created in response to the devastating 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfires by festival founder Adam Bloem, East Gippsland Winter Festival has become a spirited celebration in the community, and is an event that cannot be missed.

Melbourne Magic Festival

  • Melbourne

For 14 days, be dazzled by the extreme visual theatre of The Melbourne Magic Festival, with special events, workshops and live shows.

As the name suggests, the Melbourne Magic Festival dives into all things sleight of hand, illusions, and more. There’s something for everyone – with shows ranging from child-friendly to adults-only.

The Melbourne Magic Festival not only stands out on the list of Melbourne festivals, but among the entire bottom half of the globe. It has gone on to become the largest festival of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Attracting magicians from all over Australia, as well as top international guest magicians, there are an extensive list of unique shows for everyone to enjoy.

Gifting the Australian public the opportunity to give Melbournians the opportunity to see world-class magic acts in a theatrical environment, The Melbourne Magic Festival was created in 2008 by The Australian Institute of Magic.

St Kilda Film Festival

  • St Kilda

It’s everyone’s favourite film festival. The St Kilda Film Festival always features incredible premieres, special events, showcases, and more.

St Kilda Film Festival is Australia’s longest running short film festival and has been showcasing Australian short films since 1983. It’s no wonder why this festival has been around for so long, as it consistently provides some of the highest quality short films.

The festival’s awards provide upcoming filmmakers the opportunity to make it big, with some of the industry’s biggest filmmakers having their earliest works showcased at the festival.

Newport Folk Festival

  • Newport

This one is for the folk fans!

This festival celebrates all things folk, hosting events that feature live music, jam sessions, workshops and children’s activities.

Key to this festival’s aim is to provide a space for the local community to celebrate, participate and enjoy local music. It also exists for members of the Newport Fiddle and Folk Club, which is the club that founded the festival.

If you’re after a festival with a community feel, then the Newport Folk Festival is the one for you.

Castlemaine Jazz Festival

  • Castlemaine

Every time the Castlemaine Jazz Festival sets upon us, it never fails to unveil an impressive selection of jazz aficionados set to swing into town. Taking place at all the iconic venues in Castlemaine’s town centre, it’s the perfect way to spend the weekend.

Offering a range of talents, Castlemaine Jazz Festival is full of established jazz names as well as newcomers to the scene, so whatever you’re into, there’s something guaranteed to please your tastes.

Running over the King’s birthday weekend, escape the chill of the winter by heading to Castlemaine to be warmed up by some smooth jazz. This festival’s musical offerings include the whole gamut of jazz music, including mainstream, big band, contemporary, traditional and fusion.

 

Woodend Winter Arts Festival

  • Woodend

Experience four days of music, words, and ideas at the Woodend Winter Arts Festival, set in the picturesque Macedon Ranges during the King’s Birthday long weekend.

If you’re a classical music enthusiast, come to Woodend Winter Arts Festival to be privy to witness some musical genius. But this festival also offers something for the intellectuals, with a range of engaging debates taking place on challenging issues.

Taking place within the relaxed and intimate village setting, this festival grants the rare chance to see world class performers who normally play at large concert halls.

While you’re at it, be sure to go and explore the beautiful pastoral wonderland of the Macedon Ranges.

Mornington Winter Music Festival

  • Mornington

The Mornington Winter Music Festival brings the streets of Mornington to life with a vibrant celebration of music, arts and heritage, offering a diverse range of entertainment for all tastes.

Originally starting out as the Mornington Winter Jazz Festival, the festival rebranded to widen appeal as it began to attract more visitors. The festival is predominantly a venue-based event with small 30-seat restaurants up to large music venues all jumping on board with free events supporting the live music scene.

Catch a small band at a local bar for a free show to shelter from the cold chill of the peninsula, or partake in one of the engaging activities the festival has along the street.

The street showcases eight music zones and kid’s activities including face-painting, music workshops, dancing and more.

Firelight Festival

  • Docklands

Every year, Melbourne’s captivating winter festival, Firelight, takes over Docklands for three vibrant nights. It features fire displays, live music, delightful culinary experiences and more.

Firelight Festival also offers a diverse range of pop-up entertainment, including fire performers, roving brass bands, Bollywood dancers, and hip-hop acts.

Of course, fire takes centre stage at this festival. Marvel at the mesmerizing fire sculptures, drums, jets, and cauldrons that grace every corner. Aside from the warmth of the flame, expect to be transported to another world with intimate storytelling sessions.

With free admission, this festival ensures everyone can come along.

The best Victorian and Melbourne festivals in July

Wanstock

  • Doncaster

A festival featuring all things rock, Wanstock is sure to please those avid classic rock evangelists, having previously hosted hard blues icons The Animals, New Zealand hitmakers Dragon and Aussie legends Ted Mulry Gang.

This one day festival starts in the afternoon and roars on late into the night, appealing to those who’d rather their festival experience to go down in one huge night rather than spanning across a couple of exhausting days.

Wanstock has emerged over the past five years to become one of Melbourne’s regular throwback treats, putting on consistently excellent displays of some legendary Australian talent, blended nicely with emerging bands and contemporary favourites.

Head on down to the Shoppingtown Hotel when Wanstock is on, and you’re sure to have a rocking time.

Be Hear Now

  • Ballarat

With the Be Hear Now festival, Ballarat warms up every winter, showcasing the hottest bands and artists emerging from the regional town’s live music scene.

This festival has a specific focus on highlighting the potential of emerging bands that otherwise may fall through the cracks. Led by Creative Ballarat, the program aims to find, foster and develop local artists as they start out their music careers.

Audiences can expect to witness the community’s very best, as each program is expertly curated to showcase a select roster of emerging talent.

A free event that anyone can register to attend, this networking and showcasing conference is an opportunity for regional music communities to meet and learn from each other.

Sleepless Footscray Festival

  • Footscray

Independent music and arts festival Sleepless Festival takes place in Melbourne’s inner west with a vibrant showcase of music, performance and art and installation.

Celebrating the depth of culture and talent existing in Melbourne’s west, Sleepless Festival highlights the suburb’s potential as a thriving arts community with a vibrant nightlife.

The two week festival features a diverse lineup of immersive experiences, unique performances and art installations, and sees hidden alleys transform into inviting nightscapes, familiar venues host adventurous events, and unused buildings be reimagined as creative hubs of art and performance.

Replay Festival

  • Melbourne

For those who missed out on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, then Replay Festival is the next best thing in the world of comedy.  This festival offers the chance to witness standout performances, while also creating opportunities to support the local arts community.

One of the most interesting aspects of Replay Festival is the all-star event Best In Show: Award Winners and Nominees Showcase that will collate MICF’s high achievers. This show is a one-night only event.

If you miss out on that too, don’t fret, as Replay Festival also features a Specials Filming Week, where hour-long stand-up specials will be filmed for your convenience.

Leaps and Bounds Festival

  • City of Yarra

Leaps and Bounds Festival has been described as a “music-lover’s dream” for good reason. This 10-day festival lights up venues across Fitzroy, Collingwood, Abbotsford and Richmond, putting the City of Yarra’s best talent on the forefront.

What’s great about Leaps and Bounds is that it makes the month of July (typically the quietest in terms of festivals) feel like one of the summer months, as venues all around are packed with plenty of shows to attend. Melbourne festivals normally showcase industry stars or big pop players, but Leaps and Bounds Festival aims to uncover the raw talent emerging from the northern suburb’s punk and alternative scene.

The festival offers a dynamic showcase of exciting talent, from the raw and raucous punk bands of the northern suburbs to the moody music of soul and funk artists.

With tickets selling at a cheap price point of around $10-25, Leaps and Bounds caters to all audiences.

The best Victorian and Melbourne festivals in August

Melbourne International Film Festival

  • Melbourne

The premier Melbourne festivals for all things movies. This festival is one of the country’s most iconic celebration of arts and film. Aside from movies, there’s also an exciting range of talks, masterclasses, premieres, and a whole lot more. There’s bound to be something up your alley.

The festival’s status as the Southern Hemisphere’s leading and longest-running film festival is firmly cemented with the MIFF Bright Horizons Competition.

This festival marks an incredibly exciting time of the year for Melbourne, as it graces audiences with the very best things happening in the film industry at the moment.

Be sure to catch this one at the many cinemas in Melbourne’s CBD.

WinterWild

  • Apollo Bay

With previous incarnations described as ‘dark, wild and a little bit dirty’, WinterWild is Victoria’s answer to Dark Mofo. Travel down to the Otway Coast to experience this magical festival.

These cooler months make a lot of us stay in but this event comes along that leans into that. It makes going out sound great. The Winterwild festival lights up the Apollo Bay region in August annually, with events that’ll warm you.

Channelling the elemental power of the wild wintery weather, this festival brings live music, theatre, gourmet food, outdoor performance, installations, beachside bonfires and more to the dark heart of the Otway Coast.

At the core of WinterWild is the all-encompassing free The Wild Feast, which is located within the Festival Brazier. Here you’ll find roaring fire-pits and char-grills, bubbling cauldrons and giant smokehouse barbeques.

Moama Lights

  • Echuca

The beautiful red gum bushland and the Murray River provide a gorgeous backdrop for Moama Lights, one of the most exciting outer Melbourne events and festivals on offer.

Production and lighting company Mandylights are the brains behind the immersive experience, which takes place in Horseshoe Lagoon. Follow the trail of lit-up red gums and venture into the bushland towards a triumphant finale.

This three-week celebration of art, light and all things Moama will see the Murray River come to life once again in a dazzling, glowing wonderland, showcasing stories from across the region through state-of-the-art installations, projections and cutting edge moving-light technology.

Inspired by the ever-changing natural light and ancient environment, Moama Lights is an unforgettable, world-class event.

Now or Never

  • Melbourne

Now or Never Festival is an awe-inspiring festival which explores the intersection of art, ideas, sound and technology. It’s daring, experimental and ethereal, promising an experience unlike any other for attendees.

Melbourne’s most iconic venues are transformed with mind-bending performances, stellar audio-visual projections, hovering celestial constellations and thought-provoking presentations.

Having previously featured the likes of Eartheater, Ben Frost and Erika De Casier this festival regularly hosts high-profile artists.

Not only does Now or Never offer some of the industry’s most exciting musicians, but it also showcases some incredible light shows and augmented reality experiences. Its another reason why Melbourne festivals are the country’s best.

The best Victorian and Melbourne festivals in September

Listen Out

  • Melbourne

Listen Out festival stays true to its genre-focused lineup of international and local hip hop and electronic artists, providing a place for those looking for a festival specifically focusing on hip hop and electronic genres.

You can expect guaranteed big time artists performing at this mammoth of a festival, with stars such as Ice Spice, Skrillex and Lil Uzi Vert having performed at the festival in recent years.

This festival also brings in a stellar cast of local favourites too, so be sure to catch them while you get lost in a trance of electronic and hip hop soundscapes.

Transmission Festival

  • Flemington Showgrounds

If you’re an electronic fan, this is the festival for you. Transmission Festival is home to some of the most mind-boggling audio-visual shows that will leave you speechless. Many Melbourne festivals take place at the Flemington Showgrounds, but Transmission possibly utilises the large open space to its full potential.

Previous acts include Marlo, Rank 1, Vini Vinci, and plenty more, which is a testament to the show’s organiser’s consistent ability to draw in huge headliners.

This festival build anticipation each year with an exclusive theme that sets the stage for a captivating storyline and immersive journey through the night.

A truly innovative and revolutionary festival experience, Transmission Festival also introduce each artist with custom intros, adding extra layers of excitement and expression as each artist’s personal identity is evoked through these personalised moments.

Tesselaar Tulip Festival

  • Silvan

If you’ve ever wanted to see around 1 million tulips, you’ll feel right at home with the Tesselaar Tulip Festival. On top of flowers, attendees will be able to enjoy live entertainment, quality food, and much more.

It’s taking place in the gorgeous pastoral fields of the suburb of Silvan, just past the Dandenong Ranges, perfect for a scenic drive.

Over 100,000 people make their way to Silvan to witness the fabulous floral displays each year, feast on some delicious food and drinks, and partake in the multitude of entertainment options for children and adults.

Rounded out by live entertainment each day, picnic areas, retail therapy including Habitat Nursery, souvenir shops and market stalls, free parking, and millions of photo opportunities, this festival stands as the perfect excuse for a roadtrip.

The best Victorian and Melbourne festivals in October

Out On The Weekend

  • Williamstown

From travelling troubadours to rolling ramblers, music lovers will be two steppin’ their way to the Seaworks stage at Out On The Weekend.

This Americana extravaganza showcases the finest in country and Americana genres, having featured the likes of Jenny Don’t and The Spurs, Summer Dean and Nat Myers.

There are plenty of ways to make your Out On The Weekend journey complete, from coach rides to the Cripple Creek Ferry plus plenty of good food and drink options at the greatest day of the year for us all down by the water.

Be sure to get out at Out On The Weekend and sing to your heart’s desire!

Melbourne International Games Week

  • Melbourne

The leading games industry event in the Asia Pacific region, the Melbourne International Games Week, brings together local game developers, publishers, platform holders and investors, providing local creatives the unique opportunity to pitch their games to the international market and sell their games to the world.

It’s fitting for the list of Melbourne festivals to include such an event, as Australia is renowned for creating some of the hottest and most innovative games in the world. With the Melbourne International Games Week, celebrate this achievement and channel your inner-gamer.

Leading global publishers such as Devolver Digital, Raw Fury, Oculus Publishing from Meta, Team17, Massive Monster, Fellow Traveller, Akupara Games, Landfall, ASTRA Logical, UltraPlayers and PlaySide Studios have previously signed up to the event.

Try out new up-and-coming games at this huge event!

The Eighty-Six Festival

  • Along the 86 tram line

Running along the titular tram line through Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs, The Eighty-Six Festival sees a staggering concentration of live music venues take part in this huge festival stretching from Westgarth to Preston.

The centrepiece of The Eighty-Six is undoubtedly Super Saturday. While Melbourne festivals can be expensive, this is a free event, so if you’re not a seasoned gig-goer, you can still dip your toes in without committing to much.

With over 40 curators, this event promises a musical journey like no other. From bars and nightclubs to record stores and bocce courts, the entire area will be alive with the sounds of more than 200 of Victoria’s finest live acts and DJs, going strong from early A.M. until sunrise.

Beyond Super Saturday, The Eighty-Six has an array of satellite events to keep the festivities going. Independent Music Exchange, brought to you by Efficient Space and Butter Sessions, celebrates the crucial role of independent record labels in promoting and exporting homegrown favourites.

Interstellar Groove

  • Ngambie

Interstellar Groove Festival is Victoria’s annual celebration of music, art, love, light, and cosmic delight. In its permanent Nagambie home, the three-day electronic camping festival promises and promises renowned international DJs and a packed roster of local talent.

Nestled in the beautiful Victorian countryside, enjoy three days of meticulously curated immersive experiences, workshops, and immense dance floor sessions to keep your feet moving and your smiles wide. Though Melbourne festivals are normally located in the city’s centre, this rural retreat promises a break from the bustling culture of Melbourne.

Aside from the continuous stream of electronic music, this festival also offers some great food and drink options, meaning you can eat well while you camp out in your tent, awaiting the next set.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival

  • Melbourne

At this joyful jazz event, jazz stars from Australia and abroad hit the stage with their unique virtuosic talents and original music. The Melbourne International Jazz Festival offers 10 huge days of jazz treats.

If you like to get your swing on, then this is the place for you to gawk in awe at the mountains of talent that will be showcased. With the number of artists in the hundreds, this festival is so packed with ingenuity that it’ll be hard to pick who to see first!

Previous selections of performers include Lalah Hathaway, Mononeon and local performers like Emma Donovan and Ex-Olympian.

Grapevine Gathering

  • Victoria

If you’re after a premium festival experience, look no further than Grapevine Gathering, a festival combining sophisticated sounds with wonderful wines.

Taking place in some of the most picturesque settings in Victoria, the event gives visitors the chance to indulge in a luxurious and laidback weekend of fine local wine and cruisy music.

Get lost in the crowd dancing to local and international acts, then take a break from the music and wander through the vines, soaking in the serene atmosphere. Some previous standout acts include the likes of Peking Duk and The Veronicas – so you know the music will be just as good as the wine.

Don your sommelier suit and sample crisp chardonnays, cool climate pinot noirs, full-bodied shirazs and all the rest of it.

Luliepalooza

  • Abbotsford

As the name suggests, Luliepalooza takes place at the popular Lulie Tavern in the heart of Abbotsford, transforming the pub (and a massive chunk of Lulie Street) into a rock ‘n’ roll street party.

In the past, this festival has also showcased some rad skating showcases, with the crew from Fast Times Skateboarding leading a pack of skaters along a unique obstacle course.

If you’re hungry, the bars will be fully stocked with a range of local brews, spirits, classics and house cocktails freshly shaken from open until close. Freddy’s Pizza will offer delicious wood-fired pizzas, and Lulie’s burgers will be sizzling on the grill all day.

West Set Festival

  • Footscray

If you’re not looking to spend any money, but still want to get a taste of festivals, West Set festival is a free celebration of music. Coming to stages across Melbourne thanks to the ‘On the Road Again’ initiative, there’s an awesome array of music covering genres like jazz, rock, pop, and many more.

West Set Festival celebrates the musical community of the west, but also brings in some awesome international acts, blending together underground artists with mainstream contemporaries for an epic experience.

This festival has previously showcased local businesses such as the recording studio and bandroom Kindred Studios, and music school and shop Chasing Sound.

Its partnership with the Melbourne International Jazz Festival ensures this inner-west event is stacked full with the best musical acts around.

Oz Kink Fest

  • Collingwood Town Hall

Oz Kink Fest provides a unique and welcoming environment for Australian alternative lifestyle and fetish communities, showcasing all it has to offer, providing a very inclusive – but naturally adults-only – event that celebrates Australia’s kink and fetish community over 10 days of entertainment, demonstrations, education and fun.

The festival is open to everyone, whether you’re active in the community or entirely uninitiated, who want to explore new possibilities, meet new people and have as much fun as possible.

With activities ranging from marketplace stalls to BDSM performances and demonstrations, this wild festival is a must-see for those active in the fetish community.

Melbourne Fringe Festival

  • Melbourne

At the Melbourne Fringe Festival, the wacky and wonderful graces our stages with hundreds of experimental events across the program, taking place across an enthralling three-week adventure.

Expect groundbreaking new events, art and bold ideas (and just a dollop of mischief and mayhem) set to re-invigorate the cheeky and artistic spirit of Melbourne.

Largely a celebration of the amazing art born here in Victoria, majority of the events are made by Victorian artists, making this festival a uniquely Melbournian experience.

The Melbourne Fringe Festival is all about reminding everyone of something that kids innately know: that fun and play can be found around every corner.

Alter State

  • Melbourne

Taking place across the wonderful Arts Centre is Alter State, a festival set out to change the entire industry.

Inspired by disability, Alter State offers a revolutionary program inclusive to all, proposing a powerful future for the arts. There’s a number of events crossing genres, dancing, talks, workshops, and plenty more.

Its uniqueness is encapsulated in a simple statement by Rodney Bell, one of the Foundation Artists behind the festival: “For disabled, by disabled”.

This festival may be exactly what you’ve been looking for. Whether you live with a disability or not, Alter State is a diverse event that delivers an experience unlike any other.

Antipodes Festival

  • Lonsdale Street

Celebrating all things Greek culture, Antipodes Festival transforms Lonsdale St into a mecca of food, entertainment and shopping. There’s something for all the family to enjoy, including kids rides and music.

The festival has a huge offering of over 90 stalls to peruse, plenty of Greek food to gorge out on, and some infectious dance performances that’ll have you swaying your hips in no time.

Melbourne is home to one of the largest Greek diasporas in the world, so you know a list of Melbourne festivals will inevitably include the Antipodes Festival. It’s an absolute blast of a time celebrating the glorious culture of Greece.

Melbourne Fashion Week

  • Melbourne

Melbourne Fashion Week shines a spotlight onto many of the greatest designers across the country, making it a highly celebrated event among the fashion enthusiasts of Melbourne.

A whole week’s worth of focusing on fashion brings more exposure to the innovative designers of the city, fuelling the diverse fashion culture to continue to grow.

Each year, the fashion runways take place all over the city, from hidden alleyways to open-air rooftops, making this highly-anticipated event as exciting as it is engaging.

Mode Festival

  • Port Melbourne

Springtime electronic music and arts festival Mode brings acclaimed DJs and producers from around the world to Melbourne and Sydney, turning the Port Melbourne Industrial Centre for the Arts into a thundering venue.

The list of acts and festivals that have been at PICA in its relatively short history range from major rock bands like Smashing Pumpkins to beloved hip hop festivals like Homegrown, all the way to rave-culture staples like Boiler Room.

Mode is the latest in a series of electronic festivals and events that have made Port Melbourne one of the thriving centres of Melbourne’s electronic music scene.

The best Victorian and Melbourne festivals in November

Ridin’ Hearts

  • Caribbean Gardens

Be sure to dust off your cowboy hats and shine those boots when you go to the much-anticipated Ridin’ Hearts festival.

For the country fans, this event promises a foot-stomping good time, consistently boasting star-studded lineups of country heartthrobs that’ll have you two-stepping from dawn till dusk. Set against the backdrop of summer’s impending warmth, the rustic charm of country music is spread throughout the city during this event.

With glowing reviews from fans, industry insiders, and artists alike, Ridin’ Hearts promises an unforgettable experience for all attendees. Melbourne festivals are incredibly diverse, so its fitting for a country music festival to be one of the state’s biggest.

From epic market stalls to mouth-watering food and beverage outlets, plus entertainment like silent discos and giant games, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

A3 Festival

  • West Gippsland Region

A3 Festival is major techno festival in Victoria set upon the pastoral plains of the West Gippsland Region. Cultivating an electronic music, design and art haven, A3 festival will be carefully curated over three days just 75 minutes, making this festival a fleeting, transient event not to be missed.

This electrifying techno festival has previously featured Amelie Lens, Adam Beyer, X CLUB., Patrick Topping and more, so you can be sure to catch some of techno’s biggest names at this event.

Plus, A3 offers three days of carefully fractious and rewarding programming as a conduit to open artistic expression, cross-cultural collaboration and boundless connection. At both its centre and its periphery, a series of innovations across aural, visual and spatial disciplines culminate – all as vital to the festival, as music itself.

The Marysville Music Weekend

  • Marysville

Held annually in the charming town of Marysville, Victoria, this event has become a much-anticipated highlight on the region’s cultural calendar. Victoria’s favourite boutique festival has brought the best of Americana, blues, folk, and classic Aussie artists to the picturesque mountain town of Marysville since 2015.

This festival’s foundations are strongly rooted in community – following the destruction of the 2009 bushfires, the town of Marysville banded together to create something special to look forward to.

And the festival historically has seen the greats of Australian jazz and blues artists take to the many stages of the festival weekend, but a name change in 2020 to Marysville Music Weekend has seen the broadening of the festival for more accessibility to audience and artist.

Immerse yourself in the thriving community of Marysville at the Marysville Music Weekend.

Festival X

  • Flemington Racecourse

Festival X kickstarts the summer with a huge event, boasting some crazy lineups featuring a number of the best artists who have graced the hip hop and dance worlds over the last decade.

What’s more is this event’s long list of accomplished alumni. Previously featured artists include Calvin Harris, Don Toliver and Luude. Bolstering the lineup are an expertly curated selection of homegrown Aussie artists who are ready to make the leap onto the big stage, showcasing the extraordinary talent this country has to offer.

If big-time industry players and huge stage setups tickle your fancy, then Festival X is one you must catch.

Euroa Festival

  • Euroa

This festival will require a bit of a journey outside of the city circle, but it sure as hell is worth it. you’ll be planning your trip to Euroa. With an aim to provide music fans with a friendly and safe live music festival experience, this festival makes for the perfect destination for a family road trip.

The one-day shindig is dedicated to celebrating Aussie music and local food and wine, all within the surrounds of a charming heritage town nestled at the base of the Strathbogie Ranges.

Kicking off with a free street party filled with music from local artists, and plenty of regional hospitality providing food, drinks and merry times that one can only expect from a beautiful country community such as Euroa.

For regional road trippers, camping is available next to the festival site at Euroa Showgrounds and if pitching a tent isn’t your thing, the township has an array of accommodation from motels to caravan parks and everything in between.

Queenscliff Music Festival

  • Queenscliff

The Queenscliff Music Festival is undoubtedly known to always bring good music and good vibes to the region. It has previously featured music from artists such as Baker Boy, Fanny Lumsden, Isabella Manfredi and Maz Green, among many more.

It’s Victoria’s favourite beach festival and the premiere summer music event of the Bellarine. With its trademark killer mix of Aussie music talent seasoned with a sprinkling of international flavours, this festival always boasts a brilliant lineup spanning rock, indie, folk, blues, country and beyond.

Known for its family friendly feel, the festival always provides a range of entertainment options for the kids, leaving the parents with more time to soak in the beautiful Queenscliff vibe.

Queenscliff Music Festival is a great excuse to pack your bags for the weekend – or just plan a day trip – for a memorable festival experience in an historic, beachside town with unique performance spaces, great festival stages and a relaxed vibe.

Melbourne Queer Film Festival

  • Melbourne

The Melbourne Queer Film Festival is the LGBTQIA+ centred version to the widely acclaimed Melbourne Film Festival, and it features a selection of the world’s greatest LGBTQI+ content. Melbourne festivals are all about showcasing the diverse population of the city, and this one does exactly that.

By platforming Melbourne’s vibrant queer community in the film industry, this festival ensures anyone can express themselves through the emotions of film and cinema. Taking place at ACMI, the festival showcases the brightest and best in Australian queer filmmakers.

This inclusive event is not only limited to the sprawling cityscape of Melbourne. Having already visited Geelong, Bendigo and Shepparton, the MQFF will continue delighting regional audiences in Morwell and Ballarat in the coming weeks, taking to Ballarat’s Regent Cinema and Morwell’s Village Cinema.

East Malvern Food and Wine Festival

  • East Malvern

The East Malvern Food and Wine Festival returns to the region that has featured a deal of the world’s nicest wineries and food vendors. It’s a free event, but there’ll be extended Premium tickets for a cost, including branded wine glasses and tastings.

With a wonderful selection of Victorian wineries, including Mount Avoca, Petronia Wines, Clarnette Wines, Michelini Wines and Noble Red Wines, even the most seasoned wine tasters are sure to find something new.

Local producers also make an appearance, offering gourmet condiments and other artisanal treats to feast upon. A list of Melbourne festivals wouldn’t be complete without a food-based event!

To top it all off, live music pop ups will grace the streets, providing a soundtrack to your food and wine adventures.

Mind Body Spirit Festival

  • Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre

This festival is one of Melbourne’s most popular festivals, having taken over the Melbourne Exhibition Centre for many years now. There’ll be around 200 vendors of health and wellbeing-related items and services, so you’ll be able to find something that’ll be up your alley.

Featuring spiritual healing workshops, dance performances, a soul food kitchen and an artisanal marketplace, it’s an easy way to spend an afternoon. Plus, entry is free, so there’s no barrier to checking out what’s on offer.

Another attraction is the live music offerings and group changings, which are designed to get your body in touch with the spiritual world.

The Soul Kitchen stage will feature cooking tips and tricks on how to make delicious plant-based, gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free meals.

ALWAYS LIVE

  • Various venues across Victoria

Grab your earplugs and get your ticket-clicking fingers ready, because Always Live is a festival that features famous musical acts, delivering unforgettable performances in venues that span from the CBD to Castlemaine.

Besides, in previous years, it has featured high-profile appearances such as TLC and Dua Lipa, and has visited more than 60 big stadium venues. If that doesn’t show the enormity of this festival, then nothing will.

This event is the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, so make sure you don’t miss it.

Strawberry Fields

  • Tocumwal

Okay, it’s in New South Wales, but if your inflatable raft floats far enough across the Murray then you’re enjoying it from Victorian territory and we’re claiming it.

Even before you consider all of the music, art, performances, workshops and food, just on the basic levels of design, scale and location, Strawberry Fields is just nuts. Like any festival worth its weight, it has a distinctive vibe, a combination of the expansive, beautiful setting on Yorta Yorta bushland on the banks of the Murray River, and the way that its layout has been designed to complement those natural surroundings.

An annual celebration of art, sound and creative expression across three days in the wildlands of Tocumwal, Strawberry Fields has been ranked among the world’s greatest music festivals for a good reason.

On top of all this, Strawberry Fields aims at being accessible for everyone with its affordable discounts for punters who can prove they can’t afford a standard entry ticket. If you’re considering to go to a bush doof, this is the one to attend.

Inward Goods

  • Briagolong

Inward Goods Festival, in its enchanting home of Briagolong, is one of Victoria’s most community-focused festivals, focusing on bringing together local and Naarm-based artists to showcase our creative landscape in the foothills of the Mooranappa Forest.

As a not-for-profit, the festival is fuelled by the community it attracts. It works to provide an inclusive space for these people to connect with and develop arts/cultural practices, whilst giving back to the local community in which it is rooted.

Expect to encounter some of the most highly talented artists from the country at Inward Goods, all while knowing you’re contributing your money to a great local cause.

The best Victorian and Melbourne festivals in December

Falls Festival

  • Lorne

Falls Festival is arguably Australia’s biggest NYE festival. Anyone who’s attended this iconic event, whether it was at its usual regional location in Lorne, or if it was in Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl, will be able to vouch for it.

Melbourne festivals are known to host some epic NYE events, and Falls Festival definitely validates that claim.

With an array of big-name musicians, up-and-coming artists and triple j favourites, spanning a plethora of genres and styles, the festival’s lineups always impress.

Capitalising on that adventurous camping experience, Falls Festival requires some prior planning, so make sure you come prepared!

Palm Tree Music Festival

  • Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Palm Tree Music Festival returns to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in December with an EDM heavy lineup. The inaugural Aussie edition, headlined by Tiësto and Kygo in 2023, was a slam dunk for this universal brand, with Australia joining the fray alongside Hawaii, the Hamptons, Mexico, Croatia, and more.

Developed by Kygo, lineups have also featured the likes of Chainsmokers and Alesso, among others.

Good Things

  • Flemington Racecourse

This is Australia’s metal music moment. Having previously hosted Bring Me The Horizon, Gojira and Limp Bizkit, Good Things is a festival that doesn’t muck around when it comes to delivering the big-timers in the metal scene.

With the Flemington Racecourse as its location, the open fields offer plenty of room to mosh to your hearts desire.

Knight and Day Festival

  • Ballarat

Another huge rock and metal festival braces Victoria in December. The Knight and Day Festival takes place at Australia’s only medieval adventure park, Kryal Castle in Ballarat. Pretty fitting location if you ask me. While metal centred events aren’t as prominent in the list of Melbourne festivals, we’re pretty lucky to still have one of the best metal concerts here in the state of Victoria.

The Knight and Day Festival has previously hosted some of Australia’s biggest metal bands such as Parkway Drive, Polaris, and Make Them Suffer. It’s also had Aussie pub-rock giants The Chats.

Furthermore, this festival promises some of metal’s heaviest hitters and is definitely a must-see event for those deep in the core scene. But, this event doesn’t offer camping, so attendees should opt for the local accommodation options instead.

Grinchfest

  • Collingwood

This end of year festival offers a community celebration to kick off the holidays. Grinchfest, featuring awesome music, delicious food from the finest caterers, and drinks from the best breweries, always ensures it’s a fun night out.

Taking place in the Collingwood Town Hall, this event will be a Christmas feast, not only in the gourmet food, but also in the exceptional range of musical performances to catch.

Ensuring enjoyment for everyone, the Collingwood Town Hall and stage is fully wheelchair accessible, making this event one that is inclusive to all.

NYE On the Hill

  • South Gippsland

If you’re looking for that regional NYE festival experience, then look no further than NYE On The Hill.

And this event takes place over three days, with a wide array of activities to partake in. Amazing bands and DJs take to the stage to deliver the best music, field games gets the blood pumping, and sophisticated art installations engage the mind.

Tickets are limited to 3,000, putting this event in the sweet spot between too small and giant in size. Make sure you get in early then, because this festival has sold out all previous editions.

Meredith Music Festival

  • Meredith

One of Australia’s favourite music festivals, the Meredith Music Festival features bands of past and present, appealing to all tastes and playing into its reputation for curating diverse lineups.

Moreover, it’s a transcendent and intangible experience that’s often referred to as the greatest music festival on the planet, the culture of the festival is a true testament to the strength of Melbourne’s own music scene.

Its held on the family property of one of the festival’s organisers, a farm complete with a Ferris wheel, an Ecoplex Cinema, the extremely popular Pink Flamingo Bar and famous nude running race, The Meredith Gift.

With only one stage, so no timetable clashes, Meredith Music Festival is known primarily for its great music and great culture – the reason that we love the Melbourne music scene so much in the first place.

Beyond The Valley

  • Barunah Plains

Beyond The Valley is another one of Australia’s highly anticipated festivals, set in the beautiful landscapes of the Barunah Plains.

Think the type of homestead you would see on a postcard, fully decked out with a sparkling dam, cottage and shearing shed – reinvented to host thousands of eager festival goers. It’s like a country getaway paired with a heaving summer party.

BTV is also home to the exciting and highly mysterious Schmall Klub – a hidden party with spontaneous sets that you have to discover.

Nothing beats the freedom of gathering your mates, hopping in the car and heading west to a huge NYE festival.

Spilt Milk

  • Ballarat

Australia’s fastest-selling music, food, and arts festival, continues to ignite the festival scene each year.

A festival experience that is widely spoken about among Victorians, and is known for its mammoth roster of homegrown and international stars. Set in the beautiful town of Ballarat, this festival continues to attract thousands of attendees each year for good reason.

It’s hosted the pop powerhouse Post Malone and Australian house music staple, Dom Dolla, making this festival one to see if you’re hoping to catch the big industry acts.

And it’s also got a reputation for selling out within hours, so set your alarms for when the tickets go on sale, because if you snooze, you’ll lose.

Mornington Country Music Festival

  • Mornington

Country music, good vibes, camping chairs, food trucks, and affordable drinks. If this sounds like a virtuous time, then the Mornington Country Music Festival is definitely worth adding to your calendar.

The one-day music festival is located within the natural amphitheatre and surrounds of The Briars on the Mornington Peninsula. It showcases some of Australia’s best and emerging country-styled musicians.

Alongside the quality tunes, the day will also include an abundance of amusement rides, delicious bites, alongside a slew of beers, wines, spirits and cider from award-winning local breweries.

Ocean Sounds Music Festival

  • Phillip Island

Ocean Sounds is an all-Australian music festival that takes place on Phillip Island, celebrating the musical icons that make up our unique scene.

Attendees are invited to bring their family, friends, good vibes and enjoy a memorable experience of quality music in a relaxed, atmospheric and picturesque environment.

Alongside some of Australia’s best live acts, Ocean Sounds will also showcase local wines, cheeses and gourmet food vans.

Wild Horses

  • Carapooee West

The Wild Horses Festival is a celebration of music, arts and nature. It’s a three-day festival set to be an experience – with limited tickets, you’ll be sure you can get up close and personal to the music.

The electronic music event doesn’t shy away from its generosity. It prides itself as an event that is ‘from the people – to the people.’ This event marks itself as an inclusive, safe event for all.

With an overarching sprawling rooftop and gigantic dancefloor, you can expect to boogie until you drop. But be sure to get your tickets as soon as they’re available, as this event is only limited to 2000 people.

Christmas Festival

  • Melbourne

The aptly titled Christmas festival includes a number of fun events across the city, celebrating the gift-giving fervour of Christmas and all the fun times brought along with it.

A selection of the events includes Santa’s workshop, a pop-up playground, and even a Christmas-themed maze. It regularly brings up to five million people into the CBD – practically everyone seems to be going!

This event always promises fun for everyone, so be sure to come down next summer and celebrate at the Christmas Festival in the Australian heat.

Jamaican Music and Food Festival

  • Williamstown

Melbourne is a melting pot for different cultures, thousands of people from hundreds of different backgrounds head to our shores and share their amazing stories, food, and customs with us. The Jamaican Music and Food Festival is here to showcase this vibrant multiculturalism that defines Melbourne.

Local Jamaican and Caribbean community organisations and businesses support this festival through the Festival Friends network. The festival is consistently a hit with punters, regularly bringing in around 10,000 attendees.

Activities have previously included reggae performances, food stalls and exciting parades. For the kids, carnival rides, bumper cars, face-painting and photo booths are also on offer.

Summer Camp 

  • St Kilda Marina

Get ready to dance, sing, and celebrate, because Summer Camp always promises an unforgettable experience for music and art enthusiasts.

In true Summer Camp style, the festival’s lineup always offers a playful and inclusive array of musical genres and performance acts that will have everyone, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation or star sign, dancing the night away.

Among the festival’s alumni  are the UK disco sensation Jessie Ware and drag superstar DJ Trixie Mattel, who delivered truly unforgettable performances.

Folk Rhythm & Life

  • Eldorado

After kicking off in 1996, the Folk Rhythm & Life never expected to morph into what it has today. Nestled into the gorgeous Bilyana natural amphitheatre, the event began as a fundraising effort for Mittagundi Outdoor Education Center.

Offering a long weekend of music, arts and community, this event has become a cherished date on the summer calendar.

Hailing from the tiny town of Eldorado, the Folk Rhythm & Life festival is different to most. Every act is a headliner, every ticket holder is a VIP. There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’. You might even see your favourite artists volunteering.

It’s this communal feel, combined with the serene environment of the Victorian countryside, that makes this event an amazing one to behold.

Tanglewood

  • Thornton

Tanglewood Music & Arts Festival brings over 30 hours of artists found in your own backyards and bands of a wide range of musical styles. All supported by amazing art galleries and installations, roving performers, dance troupe, workshops, bar market and street food.

It prides itself on providing punters with the opportunity to have a safe and affordable New Year’s bash away from the chaos of the city. It offers a more intimate festival experience.

It’s also curated by volunteers, and all the money raised goes straight back into the event. This event doesn’t discriminate on genres either. Highlighting Victoria’s amazing musical talent with a versatile lineup including blues, metal, hip hop, reggae and good old fashioned rock’n’roll, Tanglewood promises an experience that fans of any genre can enjoy.

Check out Melbourne’s most comprehensive gig guide here.