27 unmissable festivals and events happening across Victoria this October

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27 unmissable festivals and events happening across Victoria this October


A handy little guide to some of the best entertainment coming your way this month.

In October of 1972, wedged between Michael Jackson’s Ben and Johnny Nash’s I Can See Clearly Now, Chuck Berry had his only #1 Billboard hit with novelty track My Ding-a-Ling. The song caught the ire of conservative activist Mary Whitehouse, who wrote to the BBC Director General to complain about the song following a performance on Top of the Pops. Still, the song earned Chuck $200,000 at the time which, according to USinflationcalculator, is a touch more than 1.4 million today.

Silver bells hanging on a string, enjoy these festivals in the season of spring…

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

Bendigo Uncorked Wine Festival

Bendigo – October 1-16
Open it up and let it breathe

Unable to go ahead in 2021, the Bendigo Uncorked Wine festival returns with a bumper 16-day festival of the good stuff. One highlight is the inaugural Spring Fiesta event celebrating 2022 vintages, which will be held at Garden for the Future on October 15.

More through bendigowine.org.au

Melbourne Fringe Festival

Melbourne – October 6-23
Life can be better on the fringes

Where to begin, where to begin? With more than 450 events, it’s hard to know. So, we’ll give you some basics and encourage you to take a look at the website for the full picture. There will be Signature Events, the festival’s ‘big ticket items’. There are Fringe Guarantee Events, so called because if you are not completely satisfied with your experience, they’ll spot you some freebies to something else. There are Fringe Binge Discounts, where if you buy tickets to three or more events, you get a sweet discount. And you have Deadly Fringe, the festival’s First Nations program.

More through melbournefringe.com.au

Windfire Music Festival

Geelong – October 7-16
Sacred music for its intrinsic merit

Music at the Basilica’s Windfire Music Festival is a celebration of sacred music. Several festival concerts will take place throughout the event, with a ‘Silver Pass’ enabling your choice of any four (with the exception of the opening night’s performance).

More through musicatthebasilica.org.au

Art of the Minds Festival

Surf Coast – October 9-16
Here’s to good mental health

Coinciding with National Mental Health Week, Art of the Minds Festival aims to reduce the stigma around mental health through a variety of events. They live by their 5 C’s: Celebrating Creative Community Conversations and Connections in mental wellbeing.

More through artoftheminds.org.au


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Ballarat & Bendigo Holistic & Psychic Expo

Ballarat Table Tennis Association – October 9 & Strathdale Community Centre – October 23
What do you seek?

Take a look at your future at the Holistic & Psychic Festival, featuring psychics, palmists, astrologists and tarot readers. Attendees will also be able to speak to alternative health practitioners and maybe even pick up some associated products.

More through bodyandsoulmarket.com

Bendigo Comedy Festival

Bendigo – October 12-16
A funny thing happened on the way to…

Back following a two-year absence due to Covid, the Bendigo Comedy Festival kicks off with a Gala on Wednesday, October 12. Solo and group performances will follow, including Pride Comedy Show and Women of Wit. Performers include Daniel Connell, Patti Fawcett, Ash Greblo, Poppa, Urvi Majumdar, Josh Earl, Rachel Rayner, Bronwyn Kuss, Charles Lewin, Daisy Webb and Jordan Barr.

More through bendigoregion.com.au/arts-culture-theatres

Guts Touring showcase

The Vine, Bendigo – October 13; Skyy Bar, Shepparton – October 14; Macedon Railway Hotel, Macedon – October 20; and The Dart and Marlin, Warrnambool on October 23
Beaut music, beaut places

Tracy is one of the baddest buses in town, a mean machine capable of doing 7000 kilometres through four states with 19 bands. Guts Touring is back. The line-up for each show is available through the listed website.

More through gutstouring.com.au


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West Set Festival

Melbourne – October 14-30
Free festival of live music

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. It’s happening from October 14 until October 30;

More info can be found here.

Melbourne Fringe Festival x Geelong Arts Centre Takeover

Little Malop Street venue Westend Geelong – October 20 – 22 
Colourful and wonderful action

Geelong will become abuzz with nine performances of six incredible Melbourne Fringe Festival shows, celebrating artistic exploration and creativity through dark comedy, melodic storytelling and daring self-expression. The local venue will host six curated shows with a lineup including the ever-so-sassy Miss Cairo, satirical genius Scout Boxall, the brash and brilliant Lou Wall, hilarious humourist Nicolette Minster, rising comic AJ Lamarque and the critically acclaimed Andrew McClelland, along with ever-eager accompanist Martine Wengrow.

More here.


The Timber Yard, Port Melbourne – October 21-23
Let the fun beGIN

First you take Juni, an abbreviation of gin’s signature botanical juniper. Then you add Palooza, a party celebration or festival. What do you get? Junipalooza brings together more than fifty gin distillers under one roof to discuss their love of the spirit and serve up some samples. Each guest goes home with their own keepsake tasting glass.

More through eventbrite.com.au

Vegan Festival

Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne – October 22
Meatless, but not treatless

According to trulyexperiences.com, Australia has the third-highest percentage of vegans per capita globally. In the lead up to World Vegan Day on November 1, the Vegan Festival will serve up a day of delicious food and fun activities as they spread the word about veganism.

More through eventbrite.com.au

Antipodes Festival

Lonsdale Street, Melbourne – October 22 & 23
You’re all family

Organised by the Greek community of Melbourne, more than 90 stalls, three entertainment areas, roving performers and children’s rides and activities make up Melbourne’s largest Greek cultural celebration. And, of course, there will be plenty of food, glorious food.

More through antipodesfestival.com.au

Surf Coast Kite Festival

Fisherman’s Beach Foreshore, Torquay – October 23
How high can your kite fly?

The Jan Juc Preschool has a philosophy that children should be encouraged to learn through play-based curriculum, and the Surf Coast Kite Festival is a major fundraiser. The free community event is for the young and old who marvel at the sight of these wonderful, colourful flying machines.

More through surfcoastkitefestival.com.au

Poppykettle Children’s Festival

Geelong Arts Centre, Geelong – October 25 (kinder and prep) & October 28 (5-12y.o.)
I don’t wanna grow up

There is something pretty amazing about the way a child’s mind works. The Poppykettle Children’s Festival knows and loves it, providing theatrical experiences that will help shape minds, engage bodies and fuel creative expression.

More through geelongartscentre.org.au

Festival of Women, Wine & Song

Piano Bar, Geelong – October 27-30
Fine wine and strong songs

Raise a glass and dance your cares away to the inaugural multi-day all-female festival, Festival of Women, Wine & Song. Performers throughout the event include Grace Knight, Nikki Bennett performing the acclaimed Invincible: The Helen Reddy Story, Kara Ciezki, Elysia Gomez, TIANA, Kate Daley, Iris, Shandelle Cooke and Soul Sister Swing.

The festival also features a selection of the best female winemakers from the region.

More through pianobar.com.au/geelong

Maldon Folk Festival

Maldon – October 28-31
Good folk playing good folk

The folk feast includes Albi & the Wolves (NZ), Michael Waugh, Khristian Mizzi, Rich Davies & the Low Road, Leroy Johnson & the Waterbag Band, Smith Allen Peterson (USA), Claymore, Greg Champion, Enda Kenny, The Weeping Willows, Margaret & Bob Fagan, Kaurna Cronin, Loren Kate, Saoirse, Sadie Mustoe, Sarah & Silas, Matt Glass, Charm of Finches, The Humbuckin’ Pickups, Fiona Ross & Shane O’Mara, Gallie, Hannah Schmidli, Mick Coates & the Shallow Gravediggers, Knot o’ the Gate, The Jam Tarts Trio, Tinman, Eric Purdie, Kevin McCarthy’s Crocodile Country, Characters You Don’t Meet Every Day, Whimsical Tricycle, Musike D’ Jour, The Brass Harpies, Victorian Folk Music Club Billabong Band, Brewers Own Bush Band, Bush Sessions and more.

More through maldonfolkfestival.com


Barwon Club, Geelong – October 29
They’re doing a monster bash

The spooky season hits Geelong. Headlined by Envenomed, Melted also welcomes The Ascended, Fall & Resist, Detach Me, Miseryguts, Lay Low, Viperthrone and Neuritis.

More through barwonclub.com.au


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Reggae Fest

Johnstone Park, Geelong – October 29
Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme

The good vibes will flow freely with a line-up that includes Flames Eye, Ras Jahknow, MPress Kandace, Nicky Bomba & Bustamento and Juice Boxx. Other activities include chilli and crackers eating competitions, African drumming and Jamaican dancing.

More through reggaefestau.com

Pull Up Selector Festival

The Thorn, Thornbury – October 29
Peace, love and unity vibes

Hosted by Rasta Lion Wear, the Pull Up Selector Festival is an all-ages reggae celebration. Headlined by dancehall star Ce’cile and reggae-dancehall artist Dynamq, the day also features four live bands, some twenty DJs and workshops and dance classes, as well as a bouncing castle and face painting for the little ones.

More through rastalionwear.com.au

Bendigo Yoga Festival

Find your flow
Dudley House, Bendigo – October 29-30

Find your inner calm with a weekend of yoga, music, workshops and mindfulness. It doesn’t matter if you are a new or experienced yogi, the fourth annual festival is all about undertaking a personal journey of awakening at your own pace. The different forms of yoga offered include Vinyasa, Hatha, Yoga Nidra, Yin and Kundalini.

More through bendigo.yogafestival.com.au

Le Festival Français

The Heights Heritage House and Garden, Newton – October 29-30
Prendre Plaisir!

One for the Francophiles, Le Festival Français is a loving serving of France next door. Market stalls will be dotted across The Heights selling treasures, wares and food with a French flavour, while roving entertainment and a kids’ corner will add to the atmosphere.

More through geelongaustralia.com.au

Ballarat Dog Listening Weekend

The Waggery, Ballarat – October 29-30
Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog

We may love our dog, but sometimes the pesky fella can test our patience. Tony Knight, dubbed ‘The Dog Listener’, leads the Dog Listening Weekend where dog owners can learn the language of their four-legged pal.

More through allevents.in/ballarat/ballarat-dog-listening-weekend

Castlemaine Festival of Gardens

Castlemaine – October 29-November 6
How does your garden grow?

For a quarter of a century, gardeners in Castlemaine have opened their gates to allow the public to see the result of their hard work. This year, 21 gardens have been selected across Castlemaine, Newstead, Barkers Creek, Muckleford and Maldon.

More through festivalofgardens.org

The Grass is Greener

Geelong Racecourse, Geelong – October 30
Keener for greener

The Grass is Greener spreads its wings to Geelong. Your line-up is Alok, Aluna, Boo Seeka, Brux, CRUSH3D, Jordan Burns, Little Fritter, Market Memories, Mashd N Kutcher, Maya Jane Coles, Mikalah Watego, Mood Swing & Chevy Bass, Noy, Onefour, Piero Pirupa, Pnau, Sidepiece, Sticky Fingers, TDJ, Ty Dolla $ign, VNSSA, Walker & Royce, Wongo, YG, Zero (UK) and Zhu.

More through thegrassisgreener.com.au

Geelong Record Fair

Little Creatures Brewing, Geelong – October 30
Hey, Mister Record Man

Local and interstate sellers will load themselves up with vinyls, CDs and other music goodies for your browsing and buying pleasure. Food and drink will be available, too.

More through littlecreatures.com.au

Melbourne International Dumpling Festival (Postponed until March 2023 now)

Queen Victoria Market (rear of 513 Elizabeth Street) – October 31
I have to tell you dumpling

Loosen your belt buckle because the Melbourne International Dumpling Festival is returning following a two-year break. And they have it all – xiao long bao, pierogis, manti, mandoo, khinkali, pelmeni, momos, matzah balls, ravioli and more. If it’s a delicious encased bundle of culinary joy, they have it.

More through eventbrite.com.au

Bendigo, Geelong, Shepparton and Warrnambool Shows

Bendigo – October 21 & 22; Geelong – October 13-16; Shepparton – October 7-8; and Warrnambool – October 28-30
Have they got a show for you!

It’s that time of year, folks. The magical time when there are corndogs, hot chips and fairy floss as far as the eye can see. The magical time when you can unleash your inner daredevil for rides that make your stomach queasy and your head uneasy. The magical time when a plastic bag filled with goodies is a gift from the heavens. You can’t help but smile.

More through bendigoshow.org.au, royalgeelongshow.org.au, sheppshow.com.au, warrnamboolshow.com.au