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Melbourne could well be called The Festival City.

The wide range of ethnic communities that have settled in Melbourne, and an inbuilt desire of many residents to 'get out and do something' means that festivals of all sorts abound in Melbourne.

If you are out and about in Melbourne during a weekend, it is difficult  not to stumble across a community festival, street party or happening of some sort.

The only warning is - don't expect the festival you enjoyed last year to be happening again this year. Some festivals get hijacked by special interest groups and lose the interest of the wider community. Some don't take enough account of the local community or traders. Others are poorly managed and go into receivership.  Some are so anxious to appeal to the 'now generation' that they find that the events they have to plan 6 months in advance don't work because "we're so over that!". All have been hit hard by the enormous rise in insurance costs. Some have simply run their course. Some festivals that seem to have gone down one or more of these paths (and possibly disappeared) include the Brunswick Street Street Party, the Chapel Street Festival and the Lygon Street Festival (or Festa) which has has had an on-again off-again existence in recent years. Commercial festivals are subject to the vagaries of the marketplace and despite a taxpayer subsidy of over $400,000 the Melbourne International Festival of Music and Blues was abandoned after only two seasons.

But never mind. As soon as one festival disappears in Melbourne it is replaced by another organised and funded by a new and vibrant community group. Just keep your eyes open or subscribe to our newsletter.

Some of our favourites include the Latin Festival (previously called the Spanish Festival) in Johnson Street,  the various Chinese New Year Festivals, and the various activities surrounding events such as the Grand Final and Melbourne Cup.

For those with an interest in the performing arts, there is always The Melbourne Festival and its associated free activities.

Garden Festivals and Events

Art & Music Festivals

Shakespeare 400 Melbourne

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

We usually do not cover political rallies on this site. However various government funded sites such as Vicnet provide extensive coverage for events promoting socio-political causes.

Some favourites

Mainstream tourists

Backpackers, budget mainstream tourists & guide book followers

Lifestyle program followers

Independent travellers & White Hat subscribers

Melbourne International Arts Festival

St Kilda Festival

Melbourne Fringe Festival


Royal Melbourne Show

Melbourne International Arts Festival

Echuca Steam Rally

Various smaller ethnic festivals

Useful links for those who enjoy the mainstream tourist experience:
Visit Victoria
Useful links for those who enjoy the backpacker experience, budget mainstream tourism experiences or guide book experiences:
Useful links for those who like doing the sorts of things promoted on lifestyle programs:
For independent travellers and those less interested in the pre-packaged experience and more more interested in mixing with the locals, you will find lots of useful information on this website and in our free newsletter


You can find a comprehensive guide to markets around Australia at The White Hat Guide to Markets in Australia.