Apollo Bay’s multidisciplinary dark arts festival, WinterWild, returns this August

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Apollo Bay’s multidisciplinary dark arts festival, WinterWild, returns this August

Victoria's answer to Dark Mofo is back for 2022 with live music, theatre, comedy, gourmet food, installations, swims, cemetery tours and more.

Wrapped in the darkness and elemental power of the Victorian winter, the boundary-pushing dark arts, food and music festival WinterWild is returning to Apollo Bay this August.

Far from your average festival, the annual event will take place over two wintery weekends, August 12-14 and August 26-28, bringing live music, theatre, gourmet food, outdoor performance, installations, beachside bonfires, comedy, swims and cemetery tours to the dark heart of the Otway Coast.

The key takeaways

  • WinterWild is back over two weekends August 12-14 & August 26-28
  • The festival will feature a program of music, performance, feasting in a celebration of dark winter energy centred in Apollo Bay.
  • The full program and tickets are available online now

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

Beyond the glitz of Lorne, the untamed, rugged landscape of the Southern Otways will provide a backdrop for ambitious music, food and arts programming destined to bring adventure-seeking audiences to the far reaches of the Great Ocean Road.

Showcasing the wild power of winter: the bitter winds, the vastness of the Southern Ocean, the black mystery of the rainforest.

Keeping Apollo Bay’s live music tradition running, WinterWild boasts a program of powerful, unfettered live music once again, this year featuring the likes of Amyl and The Sniffers, Cash Savage and The Last Drinks, ORB, Kee’ahn, Leah Senior and Floodlights, as well as Apollo Bay’s own Sid O’Neil, ensuring the talent on offer rivals even the country’s biggest festivals in integrity and stature.


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A post shared by WinterWild Apollo Bay (@winterwildab)

For the first time following last year’s cancelled event, WinterWild will feature comedy across the first weekend, while both weekends will feature a Wild Feast on the Apollo Bay foreshore with fresh local produce cooked with dizzying immediacy on open fires in the elements. Worth braving the cold for, Apollo Bay Fishermen’s Co-Op bring hibachi grills, cauldrons and open flame to the village feast where punters can dine on fresh crayfish, abalone and scallops mere metres from the wharves where daily catch is hauled from the ocean.

Of course, at the throbbing heart of WinterWild is fire. And nothing embraces, sculpts, worships and glorifies fire quite like the festival’s centrepiece ‘DogWatch’. The ominous outdoor performance will see local artists partner with internationally renowned producers like Aphids Theatre, Long Prawn and Finucane & Smith as the Otways community lend their time and talents to ensuring the town comes alive with magic and mystery. Going down each Saturday night, this is the event that the festival begins and ends with – that defines it, energises it, enflames it.

Each day indoor and open-air performance art abound, the program also features cemetery tours conducted by the local historical society, Qigong, sunrise cold water immersion (no wetsuits allowed!), group somatic sound walks, healing workshops, and yoga combined with live music by the sea. Plus an ocean amphitheatre built to behold a late night water polo match held in an inky, ten-degree ocean with illuminated balls as giant stingrays pass underneath.


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A post shared by WinterWild Apollo Bay (@winterwildab)

WinterWild’s programming is not for the faint-hearted in any sense, with full intention to embrace the elements instead of hiding from them. Flanked by rainforest and wild ocean, the thick fog of the ‘Otway Blanket’ descends on Apollo Bay at night and WinterWild has every intention of celebrating –instead of shunning – its master.

“We’re stoked to be emerging from two years’ hibernation with the biggest WinterWild yet” says Festival Director Bill Hurley Fraser.

“The unique nature of the Otway Coast has always been our guiding force, and every corner of this year’s vast festival program highlights that, showcasing some of Australia’s best musical talent, genre bending performance art and incredible local produce cooked on beachside bonfires – all underpinned by the elements of the local environment at its extreme.”

With previous incarnations described as ‘dark, wild and a little bit dirty’, WinterWild is Victoria’s answer to Dark Mofo, and it’s well worth travelling down the Great Ocean Road for.

WinterWild will run across two weekends, from August 12–14 and from August 26–28. To see the full program, head here