A culinary tour of the continents is coming to Bunjil Place all throughout March

Words by Anthea Riskas
Images supplied

No need to pack your passport, Global Flavour Feast at Bunjil Place is bringing a world of food and entertainment to you!

This family-friendly series of outdoor events will take you on a culinary journey every Friday night in March, to discover the tastes and entertainment offerings from a different continent each week.

Friday 3rd March – Americas

First up is the Americas, with vendors bringing the heat of Caribbean jerk-style cooking, fried chicken and ribs and traditional dishes from Chile and Argentina via social enterprise Wellsprings for Women, who train women from refugee and migrant backgrounds in hospitality skills. Add some live Latin music via Los Locos and you’ve got yourself a fiesta!

Friday 10th March – Australasia

Week 2 will be closer to home, with the theme being Australasia and showcasing the best of Polynesia and Samoa alongside the humble, but classic sausage sizzle – guaranteed to be better than Bunnings.

Bunjil Place

Friday 17th March – Europe

Week 3 you’ll head to Europe with not just food but dance performances and workshops from Greece, Turkey and beyond.
Australia’s largest Greek dance school, MANAISS will be performing traditional dance and also teaching workshops for those who would like to learn some traditional moves.

Friday 24th March – Africa

The final destination on this delicious journey, is Africa, with a huge line-up that will let you experience taste sensations from South Africa, Morocco, Sudan and Egypt as well as enjoy the exuberant beats of West African drumming and dance.

There’s never been a better excuse to avoid cooking on a Friday night!


Who: Global Flavour Feast
What: Outdoor Food & Entertainment
When: Every Friday in March, 5.30-9.30pm
Bunjil Place Plaza,  Narre Warren
Cost: FREE
More Info: Bunjil Place

We wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Hunt Gather Gander gives country markets a fresh spin

Words by Anthea Riskas
Images supplied

It’s a big call to promise a line-up of never-before-seen stallholders, but if anyone has the confidence and expertise to pull it off, it’s the producers of Hunt Gather Gander, a new series of events, put together by a family who’ve been staging craft markets around Victoria since 1975.

The premise is simple: Gather with friends, have a gander at the entertainment on offer and hunt around for a bargain.

The promise is that there will be live music, kids’ activities, lawn games and a mash-up of stallholders that will include handmade, vintage and secondhand goods, designer and boutique brands, and food and drink.

The idea is that by expanding the exhibitor criteria to facilitate a broader range of retailers, introducing all-day entertainment, and providing picnic tables, the organisers are hoping to invite a younger, curious audience to come and visit and take part in an experience, rather than just wander around some stalls.

The organisers are hoping that by expanding the exhibitor criteria to facilitate a broader range of retailers, introducing all-day entertainment, and providing picnic tables, visitors will enjoy an experience that takes the country market to a whole new level.

With dates locked in for 3 different locations in 2023 – Mornington, Yarra Glen and Werribee – there’s a heavy focus on the uniqueness of each Hunt Gather Gander event. The region itself will dictate the line-up and ambience, by focusing on the best of what the local producers, creators, artists, makers, growers and small businesses have to offer, as well as leaning into the natural surrounds.

The first Hunt Gather Gander is set to take over Mornington Racecourse on Saturday 25th February, with Yarra Glen Racecourse to follow on Saturday 8th April and then a Springtime re-emergence on Saturday, October 28th amongst the grounds of the majestic Werribee Park Mansion.

Entry to the first seaside day out is $10, with parking and kids under 12 free.

And if you’re a local vendor, applications are still open, so get in touch via the details below if you want to be featured as part of this exciting new endeavour.


Who: Hunt Gather Gander
What: A new series of outdoor shopping and entertainment events
When: February, April & October 2023
Various locations around Victoria
How much: $10 with kids free
More Info: Hunt Gather Gander

We wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Midsumma Festival hits the regional road

Words by Anthea Riskas
Images supplied

Since debuting in Melbourne in 1988, Midsumma Festival has evolved into an internationally recognised, queer cultural institution, renowned for representing and gathering the best and most diverse LGBTQIA+ artists, performers and audiences as part of their programming.

With the organisation’s renewed strategic focus on increasing engagement across broad sectors of the community, this year’s events extend far beyond the city and the 2023 line-up has been heavily funded to include the Regions.

Some towns have been working on their involvement and projects since November 2022, so now it’s time to hit the road and celebrate LGBTQIA+ communities statewide!


Ballarat Frolic Festival

The Frolic Festival is jamming 12 events, into 4 days, across Ballarat that range from cabaret to Indigenous-led bushwalks, history tours, a warehouse party and much more.

Frolic warmly welcomes youth, ND folk and any solo attendees, as well as organising return transport for locals who want to take part in Victoria’s Pride street party in Fitzroy on Sunday 12th February.

WHAT: Frolic Festival
WHERE: At various locations across Ballarat
WHEN: 9 – 12 Feb 2023
MORE INFO: Frolic Festival




Gippsland Day OutGippsland Pride Initiative Inc presents the first ever, family-friendly, 1-day, outdoor festival Gippsland’s Day Out!

This celebration of Gippy’s LGBTQIA+ community will play host to two stages of live music and DJs, Drag shows, kids’ entertainment and activities, as well as providing an indoor sensory chillout space and food and drink vendors from around the region.

WHAT: Gippsland’s Day Out
WHERE: Gippsland Performing Arts Centre
WHEN: 11 Feb 2023
MORE INFO: Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc



Pride BallIn another first, GV Pride are hosting Shepparton’s Inaugural Pride Ball and with a “Glitz and Glamour” dress code, guests can be sure to enjoy a fabulous and fun night that includes live Drag entertainment, a two-course meal and DJs to help dance the night away.

WHAT: Pride Ball
WHERE: The Woolshed, Kialla
WHEN: 11 Feb 2023
MORE INFO: Humanitix





Midsumma Regional VACCA presents Queer & Koorie: A Showcase of LGBTQIA+ Mob, a multi-generational and family-friendly day of connection and storytelling through art, music and creativity.

This event will create a safe, inclusive, accessible and sustainable space aiming to bring together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal LGBTQIA+ community with wider Community and allies, to enjoy traditional dance and other Cultural activities like basket weaving and painting.

WHAT: Queer & Koorie: A Showcase of LGBTQIA+ Mob
WHERE: Morwell Town Common (Elgin Street)
WHEN: 4 Feb 2023
MORE INFO: Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc 

For the full rundown of Regional events head to Midsumma Festival.

We wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

New festival is heading to Flinders in February curated by celebrity milliner Melissa Jackson

Words by Richard Cornish
Images supplied

This February, for three days and nights, the seaside town of Flinders will be home to some of the nation’s most talented artists and performers in a brand-new festival curated by celebrity milliner Melissa Jackson.

From February 17 – 19, 30 different performances, events, walks, talks and workshops will be taking place around town in different venues from the iconic Flinders General Store, historic St John’s Anglican Church, Flinders Ocean Beach and the Flinders Hotel.

Some of the highlights include appearances by Melbourne Opera and Soul Circus plus a new work called DIRT by internationally renowned cabaret performer, pianist, and composer John Thorn. This is a clever and witty collection of songs exploring the existential crises we all face in these first decades of the 21st century. With titles such as Why Are We Here? And Inconvenient Fruit this is a good chance to see this talented man in action.

Also performing is Sunny Reyne, daughter of musician and presenter David Reyne, with her smooth summery songs. She will be singing at the Flinders Bowls Club as will young artist Holly Hebe, known for her beautifully introspective and thoughtful songs. This is also the venue for a screening of a documentary made about the Flinders General Store called House of Commons. Made by local filmmaker Tasma Pittock it tells the story of local storekeepers Frank and Olive Commons who ran the store in the mid-20th century, a time when the fire brigade siren was inside the back door and people made their doctors’ appointments at the counter.

Foodies will not be disappointed as ABC breakfast TV star Alice Zaslavsky will be appearing at a literary lunch at the Flinders Hotel. Flinders Pier’s famous resident weedy sea dragons will also be celebrated with the creation of giant weedy sea dragon puppets by master puppeteer Ian Cumming.

With beach foraging, choirs, kite-making workshops and even former Sale of the Century host and Flinders local Tony Barber hosting a British pub singalong this is a beautiful celebration of place and people. Artistic director Melissa Jackson, a person with strong ties to the area, says “The festival will celebrate the beauty of the Mornington Peninsula’s natural environment and create economic benefits and opportunities for … local artists living on and frequenting the Mornington Peninsula. This event is truly diverse, and people of all ages will be excited by the mixed music and creative arts program on offer. There will be something for everyone.“


What: Brand new festival in beautiful Westernport village
Where: Various locations around Flinders
When: Fri 17 – Sun 19 February 2023
Who: The Mornington Peninsula’s best artists plus some talented out-of-towners
Why: Stunning landscape, some free events, great performers, summer on the Peninsula!
More Info: Flinders Fringe Festival

We wish to acknowledge the Bunurong people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Top regional music festivals to head to in February 2023

Words by Anthea Riskas
Images supplied

If you’ve found yourself having to work across the traditional Summer break or you just can’t bear the thought of holiday crowds in peak season, save the dates below and book your tickets now for some of the best regional musical offerings in February.


Ben HarperSummerSalt is a touring line-up that takes big-name acts to small-town stages all around Australia and are presenting not one, but two shows in Victoria, across the first weekend of February.

You can choose a beachside backdrop to watch Ben Harper, Angus & Julia Stone, City and Colour, The Rubens and more at the Torquay Common, or kick back amongst the vines at Rochford Wines in the Yarra Valley.

Both locations are family-friendly and will feature a Kids’ Zone with roving entertainment and face painting, food trucks and world-class wines and beers from local suppliers.

WHAT: SummerSalt
WHERE: Yarra Valley & Torquay
WHEN: February 4th – 5th
MORE INFO: SummerSalt 2023


NinchfestCelebrating its 6th year, NinchFest is a community-based music festival run over two days on Boon Wurrung Country, at St Andrew’s Beach on the Mornington Peninsula.

Proudly grassroots, the line-up features homegrown acts from the local area, as well as more recognisable names on the bill and spans genres from hip-hop to hard rock, psychedelic to soul and everything in between.

Picnics, picnic rugs and all-ages are encouraged to enjoy the tunes, and there will be free shuttle buses to and from Rye foreshore, as well as the best food and drink vendors from the surrounding beaches.

WHAT: NinchFest
WHERE: St Andrew’s Beach, Mornington Peninsula
WHEN: February 10th – 11th
MORE INFO: NinchFest

OK Motels

Regional Victoria FestivalsCult favourite OK Motels is heading back up the Calder freeway in February to host the Charlton Pool Party, after the October 2022 shows were cancelled due to the huge impact of flooding in the area.

This post-modern take on a 70s-style “dinner and a show” except with bands, has grown since its inception in 2018 and the entire town now gets involved with extended op-shop opening hours, garage sales, CWA Devonshire teas, farm visits, lawn bowls, pop-up shops, exhibitions and lots more.

In addition to the musical line-up – CIVIC, Party Dozen and Frente to name a few – the Charlton Motel also hosts a Locals Vs Blow-Ins Pool Competition, a disco, friend speed-dating and a secret headline act.

Past OK Motels shows have become the stuff of rock’n’roll legend, and this year the town’s economy is eagerly awaiting visitors, so be prepared to buy a ticket before the main draw card is even announced.

WHAT: OK Motels
WHERE: Charlton
WHEN: February 17th – 19th
MORE INFO: Charlton Pool Party

Riverboats Music Festival

Riverboats Music FestivalFlooding has also meant that the annual Riverboats Music Festival has had its decade-old location turned into a natural wetland in Echuca-Moama, but the 2023 show will go on!

Victoria Park Reserve will now host this award-winning weekend of acts, with organisers promising lots of shade, incredible food and drink and top-notch tunes, including Marlon Williams, Spiderbait, Alice Skye, Bones & Jones and The Whitlams amongst others.

Head to the mighty Murray with the whole family for what promises to not only be a great time but a huge support for local businesses and accommodation who are looking forward to welcoming tourists again after years of challenging conditions.

WHAT: Riverboats Music Festival
WHERE: Echuca-Moama
WHEN: February 17th – 19th
MORE INFO: Riverboats Music Festival

We wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

The Blues Train just announced their fresh lineup for 2023

After a sell-out season this spring, The Blues Train is set to depart in 2023, with a host of fresh blues and roots talent on board.

Australia’s longest-running dedicated Blues and Roots venue, the iconic Blues Train, which runs along the Bellarine Peninsula, is turning over a new leaf and embracing the future of homegrown talent with their special Next Generation Concert Series, returning in 2023.

The series has been confirmed for several dates in January, February and March—with more to be announced soon—after its incredible success in the latter half of 2022. It’s the first time The Blues Train has turned its gaze towards up-and-coming local musicians, providing a platform for both established and emerging acts to play alongside one another; albeit it in separate carriages.

The Blues Train founder and curator Hugo T Armstrong said, “I was amazed at how quickly the Next Generation Concert Series sold out, proof of the appetite there is for Blues Train regulars and contemporary blues and roots lovers in general to hear emerging artists in the scene perform.”

Throughout 29 years of Blues Train rides, some of the best local and international blues musicians have played in the region, many of whom will be returning to accompany the fresh faces. Established artists back on the tracks for 2023 include Jimi Hocking, George Kamikawa, The McNaMarr Project, Damon Smith, Anna Scionti and Brian Fraser.

This season, however,  is all about the newfangled. Billed to perform are 2020 International Blues Challenge Finalist Aaron Pollock, Ocean Grove’s family of musicians The Von Robertsons, duo Miss Lou’s Blues, blues singer/songwriter and guitarist Jonno Zilber, blues guitarist and singer Jarrod Shaw and the mesmerising Willie J & the Bad Books.  For some artists, like blues guitarist Kathleen Halloran and Texas born/former New York local Bret Mosley, it will be their first time plucking strings on the Blues Train, though it’s unlikely to be their last.

“Finding the right balance of high-profile artists, while still providing the opportunity for emerging artists to gain employment and profile, combined with valuable gig experience is a real challenge – and I am so pleased to know that we have hit the mark,” Armstrong said.

Kicking off it’s journey in Queenscliff, the Blues Train meanders in it’s classic, steam-train style across the Bellarine Peninsula, skirting edges of the coast and through the country brush. As per tradition, four different acts—a soloist, a duo, a trio and a full band—bring their blues grooves to the carriage. Punters can sit, stand, or boogie as the iron horse journeys onward. Pit stops at stations allow the patrons to shuffle into the next carriage where the next act awaits.

It’s a full evening—the train pulls back into Queenscliff station at 11.30pm—so a layover is necessary. Just a short drive from Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula has plenty of quality accommodation options for a weary head. Why not make a weekend of it and discover all that Bellarine Peninsula has to offer: from tasting trails to panoramic views of the ocean. 

Tickets for the Blues Train shows are available now, and are strictly limited. The inspector is blowing their whistle; better hurry!

WHAT: The Blues Train: Next Generation Concert Series
WHERE: Queenscliff
WHEN: April 2023 now on sale (more dates to be announced soon)
MORE INFO: The Blues Train

Everything you need to know about the MFWF Gippsland takeover

Words by Tehya Nicholas
Images supplied

Each year, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival celebrates the produce and the people that make eating in Victoria great. But it’s not just merrymaking in the CBD. As part of this years Regional Edition, the festival is pitching up in Gippsland’s tiny town of Thorpdale for one weekend of food, fun and wonder.

You may not have heard of Thorpdale. Home to just 180 humans (and a few more potatoes), you’d be forgiven. But when MFWF comes rolling in on Saturday 19 to Sunday 20 November, there’ll be nowhere in the state with as much culinary star power. The grassy hamlet will host two very full days of activities, demonstrations and tastings, with some of the biggest and brightest stars in Victoria and Australia’s culinary scene. So strap yourself in for our full rundown of this weekend of indulgence.

The Village Feast

First stop on this extravaganza: The Village Feast. This is the “umbrella event” from which all good things flow. This ticketed event—purchased as individual day passes via the MFWF website—is almost like a country fair, but with next level food and drink. Punters can stroll through the 19th Century town (which we hear has been given a fresh lick of paint), stop by the various pop-ups, markets, and stalls to fill up their tummies and tote bags with top-tier produce.

An exceptional array of Gippsland food, wines, beers, ciders and spirits will be flowing across the day and across locations. Beloved Argentinian-born, Gippsland-championing chef Alejandro Saravia from Farmer’s Daughters and Victoria will be dishing up his deli classics with a twist. Danielle Alvarez, former head chef of Sydney’s Fred’s restaurant, will be slinging her famous choripan, a decadent hot-chorizo-on-a-bun type situation. Tasmanian chef and How Wild Things Are author Analiese Gregory will be cooking up a storm on the grill. While Trout tartare with Baw Baw wild herbs and gaufrette potatoes will be grilling on charcoal under the guidance of Hogget chef Trevor Perkins.

And that’s just for starters. There’ll be desserts and other sweet treats made by the talented Patti Chimkire from Mali Bakes. Gippsland wines will be poured by the experts at a pop-up wine bar inside the former general store. And some of Thorpdale’s homegrown heroes are set to be baking pies and potato bread at the Thorpdale Bakery.

Of course, no day in Gippsland would be complete without sampling some of the region’s famous dairy. Sallie Jones from Gippsland Jersey is at the helm, accompanied by The Fromagerie by Loch Grocer and That’s Amore Cheese to dole out milkshakes, cheese platters and cannoli.

While you let the food settle, you can head off to one of many Meet the Maker booths dotted around the main drag to learn about the region’s produce from the growers and makers including a paint n sip’ express workshops from acclaimed Gippsland artist Lucy Hersey. Or try your hand at creating a bouquet at a flower market setup by the ladies from Pepperberry Flora and Quite Contrary Flower Farm .

The Community Table, hosted by our very own Richard Cornish, will bring together chefs, farmers and special guests to share their knowledge. Hands-on experiences are encouraged.

Live Music

No country fair is complete without live music, so MFWF has partnered with Always Live to corral a hoard of talented acts to play across the The Village Feast.

Saturday 19th features Grace Cummings, a folk-rock musician whose recent album has earned her a global audience. Her set comes mid-afternoon at 2.15pm. Also featured across the day: avant-garde electronic duo Tim Shiel and Mindy Meng Wang, South Gippsland-born singer-songwriter William Blackley, and epic jazz eight-piece Jazzparty.

The darling of Triple j, Mia Wray, whose powerful voice has seen her indie-pop ballads skyrocket in popularity, is playing a mid-afternoon set on Sunday 20 November. Also on Sunday, Melbourne’s cult band Dorsal Fins, now a trio, are playing their horn-infused funk-pop at 2.15pm. They’re supported by Pirritu, proud Wangaaypuwan mayi of the Ngiyampaa clan, whose songs are stories: sad and sweet. And Australia’s answer to HAIM, Little Quirks, is playing a folk-pop set at 1pm.

The Village Feast Weekender

If all this excitement has got you thinking “I need to book accommodation in Gippsland and stretch this out for a full weekend” you are in good hands. The festival has organised four extra food and wine adventures to max out your weekend. Breakfast, lunches, dinners prepared by the most celebrated chefs are now available to book.

On the evening of Friday 18 November, Embla x Hogget Kitchen is kicking off the feast with a mighty city-country collab in Warragul. Dave Verheul is joining his country cousin Trevor Perkins to create a fresh, flame-grilled, farm-to-table feast. Enjoyed in stand-up, family-style way, this romp will leave your belly full and eager to enjoy the rest of the festival.

The Gippsland Farmers’ Grazing Brunch will ease you into Saturday morning. A general admission ticket will see you enter the Warragul Farmers’ Market at the leafy Civic Park and sample some of the regions spoils at the hot breakfast buffet and grazing tables.

An epic lunch is set to be served at Thorpdale Town Hall on Saturday, with Provenance, Fire & Wine by Alejandro Saravia. The celebrated chef, whose love for Gippsland produce is evident at his restaurant CBD Farmer’s Daughter, is cooking a five-course menu over a campfire. A scrumptious blend of European technique, his Latin American heritage, and the finest Gippsland produce, this is one not to be missed.

Seize the last day of the festival with Wake Up With A Winemaker where wine from A.R.C Wines, Bandicoot Run, Cannibal Creek Vineyard, Fleet Wines and Lightfoot Wines are poured by the winemakers themselves, alongside a European-style breakfast banquet. Arranged by one of Gippsland’s most charming eateries Meeniyan’s Trulli Pizzeria & Bakehouse, there will be fresh pastries, charcuterie, cheese, bacon and egg burgers, breakfast focaccia, yoghurts and fruit.

Tickets for each event are selling fast and accommodation options are also filling up quickly. You can head to Visit Gippsland or Airbnb to find available spaces.

WHAT: Village Feast & The Village Feast Weekender from MFWF
WHERE: Gippsland
WHEN: Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 November
TICKETS: $32 Early Bird price / $45 Full Price 
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

We wish to acknowledge the Gunaikurnai people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

SenseFest: A mind-blowing festival combining food, wine, music and art

Words by Richard Cornish
Images Supplied

This is a mind-blowing festival that combines food, wine, music and art and questions how we perceive those experiences all by examining how our senses work.

It’s the brainchild of Berlin-based Hong Kong Canadian piano virtuoso Avan Yu. A lover of the Yarra Valley and its wines he workshopped a three-day festival with local chefs, winemakers and artists to create an event that goes beyond the consumption of food, wine and music.

SenseFest is immersive, exploratory and a lot of high-level fun. “It seems to me that there could be a lot more involved in an event, rather than people just sitting there and listening to music,” says Avan. “All our senses are more or less engaged all the time, and it can be really rewarding to consider how these various stimuli interact and work together.”

The three-day event will be held at Seville Estate with four performances in the Seville Estate Barrel-room by Avan Yu showcasing his own talents and exploring the capabilities of a Fazioli grand piano, where he’ll be joined on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon by highly-regarded local musicians Wilma Smith (violin) and Zoe Knighton (cello).

They’ll be playing evocative 19th and early 20th-century compositions selected especially for their capacity to stimulate the imagination. In two successive concerts on Saturday afternoon, Avan Yu will perform the entire repertoire of Maurice Ravel’s works for solo piano—a feat not previously attempted in Australia, and equivalent to a double marathon.

Australia’s premier wine writer Max Allen takes centre stage on Sunday 20th November. The highly-esteemed author, academic, journalist and mandolin player Max Allen takes participants through a sensory exploration of subjectivity, involving 6 related but unique episodes of live music, different wines, and on-the-spot art-making, interrogating the interplay between our thoughts, our feelings, and our senses.

With food and wine for sale between events, this is a beautiful location for a stunning and elevated event.


What: Multi-Sensory Food, Wine, Music, Art, Environmental Festival
Where: Seville Estate, 65 Linwood Road, Seville
When: November 18-20
Why: Mind-blowing event for eaters, drinkers and thinkers
More Info: SenseFest

We wish to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Almost Summer Music Festival is kicking off summer festivities in Bendigo

Words by Tehya Nicholas
Images Supplied

As the state begins to peel back their layers of duffel down, cast aside the woolly hats, and reveal their vitamin-D deficient skin to the sun, so too is the planning for warmer days ramping up. Musical festivals are often the first cab off the rank in the booking-up of sunshine months and Bendigo has gifted us a new ripper: Almost Summer Music Festival.

The regional festival is exploding into its inaugural year with a huge lineup of local and national acts. Its headliners include Kardajala Kirridarra—the incredible all-female First Nations act from the Red Centre—singer-songwriter extraordinaire Gabriella Cohen, and critically acclaimed Melbourne five-piece Bananagun. Punters can also expect to catch a range of other artists across almost every musical genre: Geoffrey O’Connor, Pookie, PhoebeGo, Cool Sounds, Greatest Hits, Sunfruits, Freeds, Suzi, Carissa Nyalu, Nadia Phillips, Flora, and Aplegate all feature. To keep you dancing into the night, DJs Joey Lightbulb and DJ Friday are on deck with their original mixes of disco, house, funk, and more.

All acts will take to the one outdoor stage, located right beside historic Capital Theatre, across three days. The event is family-friendly and has been curated by experts to keep the vibes high. Plenty of locally sourced food and drinks are available for a pitstop in between boogies, and Bendigo Vinyl will host a pop-up record store throughout the event if you’re hoping to add to your record collection.

Creative Director of Hear Them Holler, the independent agency behind Almost Summer, Lior Albeck-Ripka says, “Curating Almost Summer Music Festival has been a dream come true. We’re getting to put on a festival that we want to go to! We’re beyond excited to have booked Kardajala Kirridarra — a band I’ve personally fawned over and who haven’t played in Victoria for over four years. Whilst we’re all experiencing one of the coldest winters ever in Victoria, we are busy planning this super fun all-inclusive festival of great music and food. We want the experience to be easy, relaxed and fun, and we’re thinking of all the things audiences will want so we have them on the ground ready to go.”

Almost Summer is a part of Victoria’s celebrated new statewide Always Live program centred on bringing world-class live music events to hungry gig-goers. Other acts include Dua Lipa at the Palais Theatre (sold out), Toro Y Moi at Northcote Town Hall, and many more.

Tickets to Almost Summer are limited to 500 per day to keep the shows intimate and to ensure plenty of dancing room. Punters can choose to purchase a pass for the entire three-day event or to pop in on individual days/nights. The full timeline of acts can be found on the Almost Summer website linked below. Tickets are available now.


WHAT: Almost Summer Music Festival
WHERE: View St, Bendigo VIC
WHEN: November 25-27 2022
MORE INFO: Almost Summer Music Festival

We wish to acknowledge the Dja Dja Wurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Mega event series brings live music to the regions

Words by Gwen Luscombe
Images Supplied

Not that we need an excuse to take a road trip, but this summer the Victorian Government has kicked off a mega lineup of musicians with a gig series you’ll want to travel for.

While the city will see artists like Billy Joel and Dupa Lipa filling the inner-city venues, regions such as Hanging Rock will be hosting other notable artists like Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Iconic Aussie band Crowded House will set up a stage on the banks of the Murray River in Wodonga supported by Boy & Bear, Angus & Julia Stone and Zambian rapper Sampa The Great.

All up, more than 150 artists will appear at more than 90 events spread out across Victoria when Always Live kicks off in November. 

The state-wide celebration is the brainchild of the late music mogul Michael Gudinski, whose son Matt Gudinski has stepped into the role of chairman for Always Live.

“Always Live was a dream my late father had to reassure our state’s live music roots and I am proud to be part of the team making it a reality,” he said in a recent statement.

“It’s exciting to see the program for Always Live bought to life, a new major event which reaffirms Victoria as the music state of Australia and Melbourne as one of the leading music cities of the world.”

The concept aims to create a permanent home for contemporary live music amid both regional Victoria and Melbourne’s live events calendar.

The full program will feature not only concerts but regional festivals, pub gigs, industry workshops and more beginning from late November well into mid-December this year. Shows have so far been confirmed in Melbourne as well as regional areas Geelong, Queenscliff, Echuca, Macedon Ranges and the Goldfields.

In addition to the live show, a 10-episode Always Live podcast series has kicked off hosted by musician Alex Lahey in a further celebration of Melbourne’s iconic live music scene.

The podcast will feature the people, the venues, the artists and music moments that have shaped the state’s cultural story. The podcast can be found on most podcasting platforms. 

Here’s our program highlights taking some of Victoria’s regional areas:

Macedon Ranges

Nick Cave will be joined by The Bad Seeds Warren Ellis for two nights only (25 and 26th of November) at the incredible Hanging Rock for a spectacular performance that shouldn’t be missed.

Details here.

High Country

Alpine Valley Vibes will hit the High Country region on November 12th featuring Jessica Mauboy at Pioneer Park in Bright. The one-day community festival event will also have a line-up of incredible rising stars and local talent in the Alpine Valley. 

Take a look here.


Featuring Australian rapper and artist Baker Boy, former lead singer of The Preachers Isabella Manfredi, alt-indie rockers Middle Kids and Melbourne’s RVG, the Queenscliff Music Festival’s three-day event typically attracts more than 10,000 music lovers of all ages annually.

Event spaces along Queenscliff’s iconic streetscape will be pumping out sounds as well as performances across three main festival stages as part of the Festival ‘First Plays’ program.

More here.


On November 13th, classic Aussie band Crowded House will be joined by Angus & Julia Stone and Boy & Bear at Gateway Lakes. Near Echuca on December 4th, X Factor winner and Australia’s Eurovision representative Isaiah Firebrace will perform in the Murray region as part of Hometown, a concert series that sees celebrated First Peoples performer’s journey back to their hometowns for special one-off shows alongside rising local talent. 

Get tickets here.


Also as part of Hometown, award-winning Wergaia/Wemba Wemba singer-songwriter, Alice Skye will return to her hometown for a one-off special show on December 10th at Sawyer Park Sound Shell supported by local talent.

Learn more.

Bendigo and Carisbrook

The inaugural Almost Summer Music Festival will bring a diverse range of incredible talent to the goldfields region in early December with pop disco, dance, edgy hip hop and more.  

With seventeen bands and four DJs over three days, it’ll include some of Bendigo’s best local talent mixed with established Australian acts.

Held at the Capital Theatre Loading Dock & Engine Room, some performers will include The Aplegate, Bananagun, Black Cab, Carissa Nyalu, Cool Sounds, Gabriella Cohen, Geoffrey O’Connor, Greatest Hits, Flora, Freeds, Kardajala Kirridarra, Nadia Phillips, Phoebe Go, Pookie, Sunfruits, Suzi and DJs Joey Lightbulb, DJ Friday & Triple J’s MC Pip Rasmussin.

Also expect a pop-up indie record store from Bendigo Vinyl and local favourites Boomtown Wines, East Bendigo Brewery and tasty local eats to keep festivalgoers fuelled.

Find out more here.

Carisbrook will host the three-day Chopped Festival bringing together hundreds of cars and motorbikes with more than 25 rock bands including Aussie pub rockers Amyl and the Sniffers.

Churchill Island

The family-friendly Ocean Sounds one-day festival will see Tash Sultana at Phillip Island for a sunset concert with Pierce Brothers, Kim Churchill, Kee’ahn, Little Green and Mark Howard. Expect picnic rugs, local wines with gourmet food, incredible music and a great day out at what is likely to be Tash Sultana’s only Victorian gig this year. 

Details here.

Stay up to day with performance announcements, links to getting your show and event tickets, gig news and more by visiting the Always Live site here

WHAT: Always Live
WHERE: Statewide
WHEN: Late November to mid-December
MORE INFO: Always Live

We wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.