Fancy a festival? We have you covered with the best festivals happening in regional Victoria this month

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Fancy a festival? We have you covered with the best festivals happening in regional Victoria this month

Words by Chester Ogilvie

Rocky road, beer and cheese, jousting, vintage markets; the region is sending off Autumn with a bang thanks to these festivals.

May is National Inventions Month, an annual celebration that seeks to promote “the positive image of inventors and the real contributions they give to this world”. Perhaps you think of the wheel, invented by Shabubu de Wheel. Or perhaps your mind turns to the telephone, invented by Lambshanks Telephone. Or penicillin, invented by Persnickety Penicillininny. Or the printing press, invented by German inventor and craftsman Johannes Gutenberg. 

But some out there, those whose minds wander and ponder in the wee hours, might think of the Pet Rock. See, back in 1975 when rocks were at an all-time low in availability due to the rock wars of the 1960s, advertising executive Gary Dahl came up with the Pet Rock. Packaged in cardboard boxes with ventilation holes and straw bedding, the Pet Rock, which also came with a 32-page training manual, became a short-lived wonder. Still, more than one-million were sold at $4 a pop.       

Enjoy your May festivals and events… 

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

Rocky Road Festival

Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery – 1 – 31 May

I love rocky road, so have another triple scoop with me, ow! 

Once upon a time, an everyday person would become legend when they decided to combine chocolate, marshmallows, peanuts, raspberries and coconut. All hail Rocky Road. This May, the Rocky Road Festival is back with 31 flavours to tantalise the tastebuds. You will also be able to taste Rocky Road infused pastries, ice creams, sundaes, waffles and hot chocolates.  

More through here.

Grampians Grape Escape

Halls Gap Recreation Reserve, Halls Gap – 3 – 5 May 

Hey! Got any grapes? 

What did the green grape say to the purple grape? Breathe, dammit, breathe! Listen up grapelles, the wine, food and music getaway that is the Grampians Grape Escape arrives this month. From serious Shiraz and small-batch cider to boutique beers and barrel-aged gin, it has a tipple for every taste. There will also be more than 100 stalls, local produce, tunes, masterclasses and more. Guests include Karen Martini, Tim Bone, Nornie Bero, Matthew Evans and Chefs and Dogs.    

More through here. 

Beer & Cheese Festival

Blackman’s Brewery, Geelong – 4 May

I got beer, cheese and records. What’s it gonna be? 

This is going to be brie-lliant. It’s going to be so gouda, you won’t want to leave. It don’t get much feta that this. Blackman Brewery’s Beer & Cheese Festival returns for another day. Enjoy a day of beer and cheese pairings by Jo Bangles, Head Cheese Master of Splatters and Head Brewer Matt Atkins from Blackman’s Brewery, masterclasses with Renn Blackman and live music all day long.    

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Bendigo Collectables Fair

Bendigo Showgrounds, Bendigo – 4 & 5 May

And now we see eye to eye, that another man’s trash is collectable 

Do you need a new knick-knack? How about some bric-a-brac? Maybe you dig a thingamajig? With more than 120 stalls, the Bendigo Collectables Fair is sure to have something for every room in your house – and even something for the shed.     

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Melbourne Writers Festival

Melbourne – 6-12 May

Life comes from the pen of a writer 

It’s not so much a case of the three Rs as it is the three Is as intellect, imagination and inquiry take the stage at the Melbourne Writers Festival. Your program includes Paul Murray: The Bee Sting, An Evening with Michael Cunningham, Leslie Jamison: Splinters, Year in Review: Australian Politics, Lauren Groff: The Vaster Wilds, Spooky Stories with Joel McKerrow, Viet Thanh Nguyen: A Man of Two Faces, The Ghost in the Machines, A.C. Grayling: Who Owns the Moon?, Rosie Batty: Hope, Bruce Pascoe: Writing Place and Season and Louise Milligan: Pheasants Nest.   

More through here.

BANFF Mountain Film Festival

Melbourne Astor, St Kilda – 7 May

Melbourne RMIT Capitol, Melbourne – 9 May

Peninsula Cinemas, Rosebud – 22 May

Village Cinemas, Geelong – 23 May

Call me king of the mountain 

Launched in 1976, the BANFF Mountain Film Festival is regarded as the most prestigious festival celebrating and rewarding mountain culture, sports and the environment. 35 countries are visited as part of the festival’s world tour, with Australia getting an adrenaline-filled two+ hour feast of explorers, mountain bikers, skiers, paddlers and climbers. 

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Ballarat Heritage Festival 

Ballarat – 17-26 May 

Well, who are you? I really wanna know 

We can live somewhere a long time without ever really knowing where we live. First held in 2006, the Ballarat Heritage Festival welcomes visitors to explore the hidden treasures and untold stories of the historic city. Highlights include Victorian Opera’s family show Parrwang Lifts the Sky, artisanal skills showcase Craft Lab 24, outdoor video installation Monuments, a vintage car show, Heritage Harvest with Julie Goodwin and Darren Purchese and Ballarat Steam Train Rides.  

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Live at the Camp

Camp Reserve, Castlemaine – 25 May

Let’s go camping. Let’s set up for a day and then pack it all away

Dallas Keogh-Frankling passed away following injuries sustained in an U18s football match last year. Known as a true team player with a far-reaching impact, Live at the Camp was created to honour both him and the role community sport can play as an outlet for difficult emotions. Camp Reserve has a rock and roll place in history, having hosted AC/DC and John Farnham. Your line-up is Castlemaine Idyll Band, Fryer, Kian, Logan, Tentendo and Yaob.  

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Vintage Vibes Weekend

St. Patrick’s Cathedral Hall, Ballarat – 25 & 26 May  

Let me be your pin-up girl tonight

Check out that dreamboat in the flip top. Check out that dolly in the shades. Check out this nifty event. The Vintage Vibes Weekend is a celebration of pin-ups with the Australian Pinup Pageant and Miss Vintage Australasia on show. All categories are gender neutral in this celebration promoting confidence, self-awareness and equality. You’ll also find stalls, classic cars and a rockabilly dance, daddy-o.  

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Australian Jousting Championships

Kryal Castle, Leigh Creek – 25 & 26 May 

The thunder of a hoof, only got one tooth

You have been weighed. You have been measured. And you have absolutely been found wanting. It’s that time of year when gallant knights do battle in the annual Keith Ryall Memorial Jousting Tournament. As an added treat this year, the Historical Medieval Battle community will battle it out in full medieval armour, with swords, axes and shields. You also have potion making, axe throwing, archery, face painting and live performances. Huzzah! 

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Remember to wear your winter woolies to these festivals!