So go grab a ticket to one (or more!) of these festivals. After the start to the year we've had, we all deserve to let our hair down!
We’re not playing favourites here. We absolutely believe in our heart of hearts that every festival taking place in February, nay every music event large or small, is worthy of the fabulous title. But we had to pick seven to fit the title.
It was difficult. It took us a very long time and things were said that cannot be unsaid. But we did it. We did it for you. That’s how much you mean to us.
Town Folk Festival
The Bridge, Shedshaker Brewery & Boomtown Winery on February 12
Dja Dja Wurrung Country, Castlemaine
Castlemaine is a small city with a big artist’s heart. Since 1974, it has been home to the Castlemaine State Festival, while Theatre Royal claims to be “the oldest continuously operating theatre in mainland Australia”.
Carissa Nyalu, Charm of Finches, Felicity Cripps Band, Forever Son, Hannah Blackburn, Hugh F, Jess Ribeiro, Juice Webster, Leah Senior, Maple Glider, Oscar Lush, Ruby Gill, RVG (solo), Sweet Whirl (solo) and Snowy Band.
Check-in and wristband collection is at The Bridge’s band room
Music runs 3-11pm, with a dinner break from 5:30-7pm
There are four stages – The Bridge beer garden, Cornish Street, Shedshaker and Boomtown
$60+ff. Under-18s must be accompanied by an adult. Under-8s are free.
Riverboats Music Festival
Echuca-Moama – February 18-20
In 2012, Colin Hay, Mark Seymour and Tex Perkins & the Band of Gold were among the performers at the first Riverboats Music Festival. Staged in the twin towns of Echuca-Moama, the festival takes place under towering red gums next to the Murray River.
Boy & Bear, Weddings Parties Anything, Baker Boy, Vika & Linda, Sarah Blasko, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Shane Nicholson, Liz Stringer, William Crighton, Custard, Kutcha Edwards, Fulton Street, Freya Josephine Hollick, Caitlin Harnett & the Pony Boys and Babitha. Your MC is Brian Nankervis.
Tickets must be exchanged for a wristband on entry at the Aquatic Reserve
Low camp chairs are allowed on the stage side of the walking path
No BYO alcohol, but other food and drink is permitted
Riverboats is a cashless festival
Individual day or weekend passes are available. Children 12 and under are free.
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Ballarat Beer Festival
North Gardens, Ballarat on February 19
More than 150 brews from around the country, plus a selection of regional award-winning wines, will be on offer in 2022. Grab yourself a picnic blanket, pull out your bucket hat, put some cream on your nose and discover your new favourite ice-cold beer.
There will be a ripping line-up of local and Aussie favourites, headlined by Russell Morris. Your MC is Rusty Berther (Scared Weird Little Guys).
There will be two sessions. One from 12-4pm and the other 5-9pm
The Ballarat Beer Festival degustation dinner takes place on February 18
You can combine your ticket with the following days’ Funk N’ Fest
Beer education, blind tastings and trivia games will also feature
General admission and group bookings are available. Teen tickets are also available, but must be accompanied by an adult.
North Gardens, Ballarat – February 20
Whether you enjoy it as a companion to the Ballarat Beer Festival or as a standalone event, this new addition to the festival scene will win you over in a heartbeat. Enjoy a day of the freshest funk, soul and RnB.
Kylie Auldist, Women of Soul, Mayfield, Lake Minnetonka and Moreland City Soul Revue.
The event is kid and dog friendly. Yes, bring your pooch (but clean up if needed)
You can combine your ticket with the Ballarat Beer Festival
General admission and VIP tickets are available.
Bruthen Blues & Arts Festival
Various venues, Bruthen – February 18 – 20
Tucked away in eastern Victoria is the grooviest little festival you’ve (probably) never heard of. Run completely by volunteers that love the festival and love the town, this year the festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary with three days of music, arts, entertainment, food, markets and activities in and around the picturesque township of Bruthen.
The Badloves, Brooke and her stellar band The Poison Spitting Gin Queens, Electric Blues Collective, Julian James, Jimi Hocking, Bill Barber, Charlie Bedford, Raven and the Dove, Black Satin, The South Bound Snake Charmers, Kane Vincent, Todd Cook Band, Barren Spinster, Smoke Stack Rhino, Dan Dinnen and Shorty, Acapella Hackett and the Drug Store Wives.
The epicentre for action is the free music event in the Main Street Gardens and Police Paddock with ‘Blues In The Paddock’.
Bruthen’s Main Street gardens will be host to a street market on the Saturday and Sunday of the Festival.
All events are within walking distance in Bruthen, and a shuttle service is at the ready to pick up and drop off from surrounding towns.
Make sure you book accommodation.
While you’re there, explore the best of the region.
There are free and ticketed events across the weekend, and the option to buy an all-inclusive ticket that gives you access to the entire festival.
So Frenchy So Chic
Werribee Park Mansion, Werribee – February 13
Celebrating the music and culinary decadence of France for the last 10 years, the annual event is an unmissable staple of the summer cultural calendar. Produced and catered by admirers of French culture, the garden party will wine and dine patrons through an eclectic array of European wines, showcasing all things fabulous and French at the lush grounds of Werribee Park
Féfé, Cookin’ on 3 Burners, Mick Harvey, Ali Barter and Nadéah, Lili Alaska, Mike Guerreri, DJ Frank Rodi and So Frenchy festival founder Jean-François Ponthieux.
Indulge in a menu featuring France’s holy food grail with food provided by some of Melbourne’s best French eateries.
Picnic hampers to please even the most demanding gourmand are available.
There are also cocktail and beer pop-ups serving the French wine and cocktails, and stalls pouring flutes of Champagne Lanson, one of the oldest Champagne Houses.
There’s plenty to do beyond feasting and dancing: lounge in a hammock in the resort zone, try your hand at pétanque (French lawn bowls), or join the kids making flower crowns and face painting.
Bring insect repellent, folding chairs, picnic rugs, point and shoot cameras, dancing shoes and a good attitude.
Tickets are on sale via Eventbrite with general admin tix at $89.70. Kids between 2 and 12 are $22, Teens 13-17 $54.95.
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North Gardens, Ballarat- February 27
Since its inception, SummerSalt has continued to deliver the finest Australian artists in some of the most scenic locations around the country. This festival event is set to be a great day out with live music and a vibrant setting.
Missy Higgins, Birds of Tokyo, Xavier Rudd, Pete Murray, The Waifs, The Dreggs and Tulliah
Punters will also find a number of family-friendly activities, local market stalls, food trucks, and a selection of refreshing beverages to see you through
Bring a high back fold up chair (adults cannot use picnic blankets)
Cashless payments only for bars, food and merchandise
Patrons may bring a small esky or cooler bag up to 20 litres.
Tickets are sold out but you can try your luck via resell platform Tixel.