Local Festivals and Events in Melbourne

Melbourne has a full calendar of festivals throughout the year. Here you will find information and a description of the events with links to their websites where available...

Melbourne holds a variety of cultural, food, horticultural, LGBT, music, and sport festivals throughout the year.

Tickets for many events can be bought via Ticketmaster either online or over the telephone.

January

Summadayze: Annual dance music festival held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on New Year's Day. Several stages featuring local and international mainstream artists, DJs and bands.

Australian Open: Major tennis tournament featuring some of the world's top players held over the last two weeks in January every year.

Big Day Out: Annual music festival held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne with a line-up of popular contemporary rock music, electronic music, mainstream international acts and local acts.

Midsumma: Annual three-week gay and lesbian festival held across Melbourne to celebrate national and international gay and lesbian art and culture.

Chinese New Year: Held in Chinatown in Melbourne's central business district in late January/early February every year. Festivities include dance, music, cultural performances, children's events and food stalls.

February

Good Vibrations: One-day music festival held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in early February. Incorporates live stages, DJ areas, a chill-out area and a wide variety of food and beverage options.

St Kilda Festival: An annual festival in the bay side suburb of St Kilda, the festival is free of charge and includes live music, street parties and outdoor events.

Tropfest: Australia's largest short-film festival, which is held in Sydney and screened to outdoor locations across Australia including Melbourne's Sidney Myer Music Bowl. The festival is free to attend and also includes live music, food and beverage stands, and an awards ceremony after the film screenings.

March

Australian Grand Prix: The opening race in the Formula One World Championship series is held annually over four days at Albert Park in Melbourne. The event includes V8 supercar shows, air displays, live music, and hospitality in the marquee tents.

Brunswick Music Festival: This ten-day event is held annually in the suburb of Brunswick in February-March and is Australia's only inner city festival of folk and world music. It includes a vibrant street party along Sydney Road.

Future Music Festival: Annual dance music festival held at Flemington Racecourse in March with international mainstream artists in attendance.

L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival: Annual festival celebrating Australian fashion and design. Includes catwalk shows, business seminars, salon demonstrations, and parties at venues across the city.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival: Takes place across Melbourne in early March every year and celebrates Victoria's food and wine culture. Highlights include the 'World's Longest Lunch' and guided tours of Melbourne's most famous eating hubs.

Moomba Festival: One of Australia's largest and longest-running festivals, it is held annually in early March and features a mixture of cultural and sporting events. It also includes parades, a carnival, firework displays and the famous "Birdman Rally", where contestants build their own contraptions to help them fly across the Yarra River. The festival is free and suitable for all ages.

April

Melbourne International Comedy Festival: Takes place every year throughout April and attracts over one thousand local and international comedians.

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show: Australia's largest and most prestigious horticultural and outdoor lifestyle event is held annually at the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival: Held every year over six days in April, this festival features performances from local and international jazz musicians.

Rip Curl Pro: Surfing championship held annually on the world famous Bells Beach near Torquay, Victoria.

May

Next Wave Festival: Biennial festival which showcases the work of young and emerging artists across a broad range of art forms including visual arts, dance, theatre and literature. Events are held at locations across Melbourne.

St Kilda Film Festival: This small but important six-day festival showcases contemporary Australian short films and video with a focus on emerging film-makers and new media. The Palais Theatre and George Cinema are the usual venues and there is also an industry open day for budding film makers.

June

Good Food and Wine Show: Australia's largest consumer food and wine exhibition takes place at the Melbourne Convention Centre in June every year.

July

Melbourne International Film Festival: Held in July/August every year around the city, this festival showcases the best in cinema from around the world, with a major focus on Australian cult and art house cinema.

August

Melbourne Writers Festival: Annual festival held over ten days in August/September and which attracts local and international writers to over 300 events across the city, with Federation Square being the main hub.

September

AFL Grand Final: One of the largest events in Melbourne's sporting calendar, the Australian Football League (AFL) grand final match is traditionally held on the final Saturday in September at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and determines the premiership champions for that year.

Asian Food Festival: Month-long celebration of Asian cuisine which includes food tours, cooking classes, celebrity dinners, competitions and banquets. Events are held at various locations across town.

Melbourne Fringe Festival: Usually starting in the last week of September, the Fringe Festival supports and explores independent art in all its forms. Events begin with the Brunswick Street Parade and then continue with street parties, plays, poetry and spoken word performances.

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week: Week-long fashion event which showcases Melbourne's up-and-coming labels alongside iconic Australian designers and brands.

Royal Melbourne Show: Annual agricultural event held at the Royal Melbourne Showground to promote and display rural produce, merchandise and livestock. The event features sheep-shearing, dog and horse shows, performing pigs, as well as plenty of food and beverage options.

October

Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix: Annual MotoGP race held on Philip Island and one of the last races of the World Championship.

Melbourne International Arts Festival: Informally known as the Melbourne Festival, this annual event is a key feature on Melbourne's cultural calendar with dance, theatre, music, visual arts, multimedia and outdoor events.

Spring Racing Carnival: Horse racing series held annually during October and November. It includes the Melbourne Cup held on the first Tuesday in November, a public holiday in Victoria. Races are held at Flemington, Moonee Valley, Caulfield and Sandown.

November

Melbourne Music Week (MMW): A week-long programme of events dedicated to celebrating Melbourne's music scene.

Queenscliff Music Festival: Held over three days, this event features local and international artists, along with food and wine from the Bellarine Peninsula restaurant.

December

Boxing Day Test: Cricket test match held annually at the Melbourne Cricket Ground between Australia and an opposing national team touring Australia that year. Every four years this match forms part of the Ashes series with England.

Falls Festival: Held annually in Lorne on the Great Ocean Road over New Year, the Falls Festival is best known for contemporary music, but also has dance, comedy, theatre, circus and other art events.

Pyramid Rock Festival: Annual rock festival held in December on a farm in Philip Island.