Set in the rolling hills of small country town Beechworth in Victoria, Beechworth Music Festival is a summer favourite for music lovers. Now in its fourth year, the family-friendly festival itself is set in the surrounds of the now decommissioned Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum farm on the edge of Beechworth, with the stage at the bottom of the Madman’s Gully Amphitheatre.
We came up with a quick guide to prepare you for this regional treasure.
Located in hills of North-East Victoria, this historic gold-mining town is worth the trip. If you are travelling by car, Beechworth is a comfortable three hours north of Melbourne along the Hume Freeway, and four hours if you’re coming from Geelong. You just simply follow the Hume for majority of the trip, before turning off at Wangaratta (South) or Wodonga (North) for the very last half an hour. Perfect for rounding up the crew and making it a roadtrip. Just remember to prepare the pump-up playlist before you go.
If driving isn’t your thing, you can catch the V/Line train service, which runs from Melbourne to Wangaratta Station. From there, there is a simple coach service that delivers you right into the heart of Beechworth. If you are short on time, or coming from a bit further away, there are regular domestic flights that land into Albury Airport, where you can then catch the Wangaratta Coachlines bus service to Beechworth. The festival itself is then located about 1km from the centre of Beechworth.
The music is at the crux of this regional festival. Heading the bill are Victorian sister rock act Stonefield. The four piece released their debut album in 2013 and have since been in the spotlight, embarking on national tours, releasing their second album and even having an upcoming US tour.
Joining them will be the Melbourne six piece The Harlots whose beats will have you out on the dance floor, along with Beechworth local Liv Cartledge – the 18 year old with husky tones and warm melodies.
They’ll be joined by a stack of other names including Gabriella Cohen, The Sugarcanes, My Left Boot, Grindhouse, Danny Walsh, Banned, Defuxe and Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife. On the decks, there will be DJ Mermaid and Emma Peel spinning vinyl, and even a couple of guest DJ spots.
Pitch A Tent
An absolute perk to this festival is the option of free camping. Perfect if perhaps your designated driver fell through, or you want to avoid the late night drive home. All you need to do is bring a comfy swag, tent or even the back of the ute, a sleeping bag or some warm blankets (nights do get cool in the north-east) and of course, clothes, food and water.
If you’re not a keen camper, there are plenty of motel, hotels, caravan parks and B&B’s around the area.
More To See
If you’re a first time visitor to Beechworth, it might be worth spending a few extra days in town and checking out the surrounds. The award winning Burke Museum, Ned Kelly Vault and historic precinct is one of the finest regional museums in Victoria. If it’s warm, head to Woolshed Falls or Lake Sambell and explore the rivers of the area, or if you’re feeling peckish head to Bridge Road Brewery for delicious craft beer and home-made pizza.
When & Where: Beechworth Music Festival @ Madman’s Gully Amphitheatre, Beechworth – January 27 – 28
Head to www.beechworthmusicfestival.com for more details.