Nightjar Festival makes its way from the coast to the heart of Geelong

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Nightjar Festival makes its way from the coast to the heart of Geelong

With January at a close, many folks are getting ready to say goodbye to Summer once again. Though we are all back at work and the fun feels like it’s dying off *sigh*, February is the ultimate dessert in the third course of Summer and it’s here with a big fat bang. Every Friday night in February, Johnstone Park will be heaving with delicious food, great booze and avid people as the Geelong Nightjar Festival takes over the area and brings in the very, very good vibes. Known for being the Torquay Nightjar Festival’s ‘little sister,’ the Geelong Nightjar Festival is a touch smaller yet equally as fabulous. Not sure where to start? Here’s our little Forte guide to help you navigate through the Geelong Nightjar Festival.
Location, location, location and the damage to the hip pocket
Where? Bounded by Railway Terrace, Gheringhap Street, Little Malop Street, Fenwick Street and Mercer Street, Johnstone Park is arguably the centre of the Geelong region. You can’t miss it – especially once the Nightjar is set up and you’re enticed by the sound of live music and the scent of the many food trucks. Entry costs are little; $5 for 12 years and over, under 11s free!
Where to park and what time to arrive?
Just like the parking in Westfield during the Christmas chaos, it’s hard to find a spot right near Johnstone Park. There are various spots nearby, like out the front of The Gordon and on the surrounding streets. The Civic Centre Carpark on Little Malop Street may be able to accommodate you as well, but if you live in the area it might be a good idea to walk! Beginning on the first Friday of February (the 2nd) and closing on the final Friday of February (the 23rd), the festivities will kick off from 4pm onwards, giving you plenty of time to dust off the picnic rug, eat some grub, sip on some grog and relax!
Fill the tummy
From the Amalfi coast to the streets of Tokyo, the food is as diverse as it is delicious. With so many choices, try not to get overwhelmed with #menuanxiety. Pizza from The Forge Pizzeria and Pizza De Wheels is a must for lovers of Italian cuisine, but if you’re a traditional Nightjar regular, the Twistto is en route to Geelong. Sweets from Bretzel.Biz, Nordenfine Ice Cream and Honey Dee Loukoumades are the Forte sugar tooth fave.
Don’t just sit! Keep busy, look and shop
We love seeing all the talent at the Nightjar, especially when there are heaps of stalls that are worth having a look at! Jewellery from Yalang A Lang Jewels, threads from Green Ant Clothing and candles from Love.Heart.Home – there is plenty to choose from if you’re simply looking or wanting to purchase a little something!
Forte [hearts] music
Live music is a great excuse to head on down to the Nightjar in Geelong. Musicians unseen at Torquay will be taking to the stage each Friday, the perfect real life playlist for your knock off drinks.
An Aussie indie rock band from Melbourne, formed in 2015. A combination of pop, rock, folk, country and blues formed into one flavoursome musical jam. They’ll be playing on opening night, February 2, so they’ve got to be good!?
A 9-piece, Victorian Surf Coast-bred band inspired by pianist and singer Lucy O’Grady. You can listen to Lucy And The Night Sky on February 9, the second week of the Geelong Nightjar Festival.
Locals MDRN LOVE (who we featured as our cover story a few issues ago) will be at Johnstone Park on February 16 with their heavily influenced sound – an act you have to see for yourself.
Visit for more info.
Written by Hannah Kenny