A music meets wrestling tour to a unicorn festival: 22 Victorian festivals happening in April

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A music meets wrestling tour to a unicorn festival: 22 Victorian festivals happening in April

GTM Bendigo 2019. Photo by Mackenzie Sweetnam

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

Where are all the Easter songs? Mr Cool Stuff over there in December has plenty of them, but with Easter the pickings are slim. There’s no Last Easter. There’s no Easter in Hollis. There’s no All I Want for Easter is You. Mariah Carey would make a killing. Maybe Beastie Boys’ Egg Man should get the nod.

Sure, it was written about the trio’s liking for throwing eggs at people, which isn’t cool, but perhaps if this egg was chocolate and filled with a surprise it is something one could get around? Easter needs something, that’s all.

Take a break from your Easter egg hunting for a festival or two…       

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Macedon Ranges Autumn Festival

Macedon – throughout April

You in your autumn sweater 

Following their 2022 ‘Events and Festival’ Victorian Tourism Award win, the Macedon Ranges Autumn Festival is back to show they’re worthy winners. The month-long festival features free and ticketed events, including the Autumn Gardens Trail, Pie and Tart Trail, Edgy Veg Trail, Creatures of the Night and Gardener Puppets.  

More through visitmacedonranges.com

Growing Our Future Festival

Bellarine Secondary College, Drysdale – April 6

From little things, big things grow

Farm My School is a not-for-profit organisation that transforms unused school land into regenerative market gardens that provide food to the local community. Special guests include Costa Georgiadis, Matt Germanchis (Captain Moonlite) and Jo Barrett (Little Picket), as well as music from Formidable Vegetable.

More through humanitix.com/au

Easter Blues Bender 

Bendigo – April 6-9

I’ve got the blues for you

There is so much blues coming your way this Easter that you are going to wish for more time – which you have, with four days full of the good stuff. Your line-up includes Grim Fawkner, Liz Frencham & Co., Rory Phillips, Bill Barber, Out of Abingdon, Georgia Rodgers, Jarrod Shaw, Sherri Parry, Jay Howie Band, Charlie Bedford, Mariah McCarthy Trio, Funk Junkies, Sons of the Blues, Nathan Schifferle, Luke Harrington, Rhyley McGrath, Chenai Boucher, The Ratbags, Jared Healy, The Rattlers, Mia Mazzarella, Jake Fry and Sam Pollock.

More through facebook.com/bendigobluesroots

Bendigo Easter Festival

Bendigo – April 7-10

Here comes Peter Cottontail 

151 years old and still going strong, the Bendigo Easter Festival is a joy for all ages. Across the Easter weekend, Rosalind Park and surrounding streets will be filled with family-friendly entertainment, including the always popular Bendigo Gala Festival Parade on Easter Sunday. The Good Friday egg hunt will involve 80,000 chocolate goodies, while the Easter Saturday Torchlight Procession includes a fireworks display. Don’t forget about Carnival Central, either. 

More through bendigoeasterfestival.org.au

The free Chinese-inspired Bendigo Easter Festival returns for 2023

Unicorn Festival

Kryal Castle, Ballarat – April 7-22 

They’d run around free while the earth was being born

A wise man once said, never play leapfrog with a unicorn. The most magical of mythical creatures is getting a festival that will fill the world with sparkling delight. Unicorn petting, unicorn-themed arts and crafts, themed food, face painting, live performances and showbags will be part of the wonderland.     

More through kryalcastle.com.au

Sunset Sounds

Torquay Common, Torquay – April 8

Sunsets over the beaches 

Ten of Australia’s long-time greats are heading to Torquay for a one-day festival that will take you back to your summer compilation tapes. Your line-up is Daryl Braithwaite, The Black Sorrows, Russell Morris, Richard Clapton, Ross Wilson, Wendy Matthews, Eurogliders, Jack Jones, The Chantoozies and Matt Finish.    

More through empiretouring.com.au

Beachside festival Sunset Sounds is bringing Aussie music legends to Torquay in April

The Great Barwon River Duck Race

Barwon River Mouth – April 8

Rubber duckie, you’re the one

There are more than 130 species of ducks worldwide. And while some may argue a yellow plastic duckie is not one of those, the Great Barwon River Duck Race values good times and a good cause over facts. Cost per duck for the charity raiser is $10, with prizes awarded to the first ten place-getters. This year, a Quaker Kids category is open to primary school children and under. The cost is also $10, but here the ducks are a cool blue. 

More through allevents.in

Bluesfest Melbourne

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre – April 8 & 9

I guess that’s why they call it the blues

NSW isn’t having all the fun anymore, with Melbourne getting a weekend of Bluesfest bliss. Your line-up for the inaugural event is Ash Grunwald, Backsliders, Buddy Guy, Chain, Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram, C.W. Stoneking, The Doobie Brothers, Eric Gales, Eugene Hideaway Bridges, Fools, Geoff Achison & the Souldiggers, Greensky Bluegrass, Henry Wagons, Kaleo, Kasey Chambers, Keb Mo, Lucinda Williams, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Paolo Nutini, Robert Glasper, Shaun Kirk, The Soul Rebels, Talib Kweli, GZA, Big Freedia, Southern Avenue, Steve Earle and Xavier Rudd.   

More through bluesfestmelbourne.com.au 

Malamiya Mang Art Festival

Dudley House, Bendigo – April 12-17

You’re standing on solid rock 

From paintings to weavings, jewellery to artefacts, the five-day Malamiya Mang Art Festival is a showcase of Aboriginal art, design and culture. Experience and learn about the history of the Dja Dja Wurrung people as you enjoy a festival of arts, stories, workshops and markets. Support local Indigenous artists by purchasing direct from the artist.   

More through eventbrite.com.au


Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne – April 15

It starts in my feet, reverbs up to my brain

The electronic music festival juggernaut Ultra Music Festival has their passport ready for another visit to Australia. Your headliners are Hardwell, Deborah de Luca, Timmy Trumpet, Darren Styles and Sub Zero Project, while other performers include Ferry Corsten, Jonas Blue, Sneijder, Acraze, Juliet Fox, Ben Gold and Solarstone. They will be ably supported by a huge crew that includes Sarah Thomson, Dean Dee, Teddy Cream, No Chasa, Eric Sidey, Fluke, Brynny, Ian Buller and Isabelle Deltore.   

More through ultraaustralia.com


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Australian Heritage Festival – Shared Stories 

Throughout Australia – April 18 through May 18

So you look into the land, it will tell you a story

For more than four decades, the National Trust and the Australian Heritage Festival has celebrated built, natural and cultural heritage. It’s about sharing stories, what makes them important to us and how they can help shape the future. Events will take place in Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Warrnambool, Castlemaine, Maldon and more. 

More through nationaltrust.org.au

Geelong Pride Film Festival

Pivotonian Cinema, Geelong & Platform Arts – April 20-30

Your true colours are beautiful like a rainbow 

Another bumper program of screenings and events are in store for the 6th Geelong Pride Film Festival. The shorts-fest Rainbow Shorts will kick off the festival, while other screenings include Best in Show, The Accidental Archivist, Esther Newton Made Me Gay, Lonesome, Manscaping, Of An Age, NextGen+ Shorts, In Her Words, Gender Frontiers, Lesbian Shorts, The Venus Effect, Where Butterflies Don’t Fly, Will-o’-the-Wisp and Happy Endings Shorts.   

More through gpff.ferve.tickets

Boardwalk Country Music Festival  

Kryal Castle, Ballarat – April 22

Moving to the country 

One World Entertainment is behind the new travelling festival Boardwalk Country Music Festival, where a Cattleman is not compulsory, but it doesn’t hurt. Your line-up features international headliners Gavin DeGraw and Jimmie Allen, as well as Kasey Chambers, Busby Marou, Shannon Noll, The Wolfe Brothers and Darlinghurst.   

More through oneworldentertainment.com.au

New Boardwalk Country Music Festival brings Jimmie Allen, Gavin DeGraw and Kasey Chambers to Ballarat


Flemington Racecourse, Flemington – April 22

Dream baby dream

Under the umbrella of global event promotor Insomniac, Dreamstate is dedicated to trance music. Your line-up is Cosmic Gate, Infected Mushroom, MaRLo (tech energy set), Ciaran McAuley, Ben Nicky presents Emotional Havoc, Maddix, Blastoyz and Achilles.  

More through insomniac.com

Bendigo Winemakers Festival

Rosalind Park, Bendigo – April 22

More wine, waiter please

The end of vintage will be celebrated in the heart of Bendigo. Sample the region’s best wines and learn from those who make them. More than 100 wines will be available to taste, while a generous selection of food, entertainment, competitions and music will keep the day rolling nicely.  

More through bendigowine.org.au

Stars & Bars Festival  

Palling Bros Brewery, Heathcote – April 22

You must be their lucky star 

The hospitality of Heathcote will be on full display as they host the latest instalment of the Stars and Bars Festival. Your line-up is The Seven Ups, Karl S. Williams, Leslie D. King and the Trembling Shakes, Jungle Jim Smith, Nathan Seeckts, Riley Catherall, Rhianna Fibbins and Pete Daly. 

More through starsandbars.com.au

Returning to Heathcote in April, Stars & Bars Music Festival is part country music festival, part mystery bus tour

The World is a Vampire 

PICA, Melbourne on April 22 and 27 & Kryal Castlemaine, Ballarat – April 23  

Get on board like a bullet with butterfly wings 

Music meets wrestling as Smashing Pumpkins deliver their The World is a Vampire tour to ten cities around the country. Jane’s Addiction will be along for the ride, as will local favourites Amyl & the Sniffers, RedHook and Battlesnake. Wrestling matches between NWA and WAOA will also feature. 

More through oneworldentertainment.com.au

Whisky Live 

St Kilda Town Hall – April 28 & 29 

Where streams of whiskey are flowing 

Whether you know your regions like the back of your hand or you’re just entering the whisky world, Whisky Live is the perfect place to experience the spirit world. Your ticket price includes access to top-shelf whiskies from around the world, a quality glass to sample, multiple classes and an assortment of food on which to graze. 

More through whiskylive.com.au

The Bubbles Festival

Bells Hotel, South Melbourne – April 28 & 29

A champagne supernova in the sky 

Here’s a festival that’s all about Champers, The French Burp, the Golden Gargle, Millionaire’s Mouthwash, Rapper’s Delight. We’re talking champagne. Ticket price includes tasting sessions, a tasting introduction by The Bubbles Review founder, Natalie Pickett, your very own Riedel champagne tasting glass, canapés and more.  

More through thebubblesreview.com


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MICF Roadshow

Kyneton Town Hall, Kyneton on April 28; Geelong West Town Hall, Geelong on April 29; and Ballarat Mechanics Institute, Ballarat on April 30

I started a joke

For those who enjoy bang for your buck, the MICF Roadshow is a cracker of a sampling plate. Now in its 25th year, the Roadshow will be delivering some of the best and brightest as they work their way around the country.  

More through comedyfestival.com.au

Groovin the Moo

Prince of Wales Showgrounds, Bendigo – April 29

Everybody’s moovin’, everybody’s groovin’, baby 

Groovin the Moo has been going strong since 2005, steadily growing into one of the country’s favourite festivals. Your line-up is Alt-J, Amy Shark, Ball Park Music, Barkaa, bbno$, The Chats, Choomba, Confidence Man, Denzel Curry, Eliza Rose, Fatboy Slim, Laurel, Luude, Ocean Alley, Omar Apollo, Royel Otis, Skegss, Skepta, Slayyyter, Slowly Slowly, Sophie May, Teen Jesus & the Jean Teasers, Teenage Dads and Teenage Joans. Lex and Pookie are your hosts.       

More through gtm.net.au

Two huge headliner changes for Groovin The Moo festival


Cherry Bar, Melbourne – April 30

They’ve got the way to move you, Cherry 

After an absence of four years, Australia’s only dedicated street rock and roll festival returns. And, as Vern Tessio can attest, cherry is the greatest flavour. At the time of writing, your line-up consisted of Mudhoney and Cosmic Psychos. Keep an eye out for more, but that is a solid start.  

More through cherrybar.com.au