This Victorian winter festival is brightening up cooler days and longer nights with 100+ events

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This Victorian winter festival is brightening up cooler days and longer nights with 100+ events

Words by Benjamin Lamb

There’s no question the arts have had a tough slog over the last few years, with pretty much everything in the industry grinding to a halt. But necessity is the mother of invention, and the East Gippsland Winter Festival, with its micro festival format, nailed it in 2021.

With arts fans opting for different ways to experience performances in this day and age, the East Gippsland Winter Festival (back in its second year) delivers a 100+ events format spread over the many beautiful locations across the region. Showcasing the amazing local talent and whilst attracting headline acts from other parts of the state, lured to the festival by the unique venues, breathtaking nature and different performance formats.

Founder and Co-Director, Adam Bloem breaks down a couple of the not to be missed events in 2022, including the opening weekend’s Beers, BBQ & Beats in Laneway3875 on Saturday 18 June where you’ll be lit up by light laneway projections, amazing local produce, locally brewed beers and a great line-up of DJs and tunes. Keen to attract crowds from far and wide there’s an easy to enter competition valued over $1200 including accom, experiences, food and beverage.

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

Melbourne-San Remo based singer/songwriter Steph Strings performing live at Eight Acres in Lakes Entrance with glamping and cabin packages for overnight stays in high demand, but still available for those who get in quick.

“I’m pretty excited about Steph Strings coming to East Gippsland for the Winter Festival.” touted Adam. “The event at Eight Acres will be pretty special. It’s a beautiful little farm-stay venue with a glamping village and super cute animals. We’ll have some food trucks there, wood-fired pizzas, mulled wine by Wyanga Park Winery just down the road, local beers and a spectacular fire show.”

Adam explained “It’s encouraging when we see people visiting during winter and the festival highlights just how beautiful the region is in cooler months, also showcasing EG’s world-class creative talents, produce and rich cultural heritage.”

There’s everything from food and wine events, to art installations and lantern parades, theatre performances, creative making sessions, film making and wellness workshops and live music. No matter what you’re into, the East Gippsland Winter Festival has something up your alley.

This festival also aims to attract visitors to small towns and villages across the region, boosting the economy of areas that were severely impacted by the 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfires, before rolling straight into Covid-19 lockdowns. “It’ll be great to spread the love across the various towns, rather than just having a festival in one town for one weekend,” Adam continues.

For lovers of craft beer, the ‘Deep in the Weeds Festival’ by Sailors Grave Brewing in Orbost is a must! The festivities by the famous Snowy River will run over three days from Friday 8 – Sunday 10 July with the main event taking place on the Saturday night (9 July) at the Sailors Grave Brewery. Teaming up with Bodriggy Brewing and Meatsmiths from Melbourne, the brewery event will feature weird and wonderful beers, great food and a stellar line-up of live music from Exek, Birdsnake, Sledgehammer, Timothy Wolf and Timepoor, plus DJs Mike Wale, Floss Dogg, Dr Condiments and Sophuli.

For anyone unsure about heading to the festival, Adam has a message;  “Whether you’re into art, live music, food and wine, or craft beer, we’ll have something for you” he notes. “There’s also lots of free, family-friendly events including lantern parades, live ice carving and a medieval bonfire night.” Adam adds.

Or if you just want to get away to unwind and relax, the festival program also features candlelit yoga classes, nature walks and plenty of workshops including 3 weeks of wellness experiences at the highly anticipated (soon-to-open) Metung Hot Springs. Ticket holders get early access and a sneak preview before it opens to the public later this year.

“We’re just really grateful to see people heading back to East Gippsland after a few challenging years – come and explore from mid June!”

The East Gippsland Winter Festival kicks off from June 17. Check out the full program and plan your trip here.

Want more? Enter this sweet $1200+ value launch weekend competition and make the most of the region during the festival.

This article was made in partnership with East Gippsland Winter Festival.