Events & Festivals in Bendigo
Founded by musician and promoter Colin Thompson, The Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival started in 2011. Over a four days period you can enjoy performances, as well as workshops at various locations around Bendigo and the surrounding area. On the final day, 16 acts perform at a family event at the Bendigo Civic Gardens. For a unique venue, the festival had teamed up with the iconic tourist tram, and you can sit back and enjoy a blues performance while the tram makes its way through Bendigo.
The first Bendigo Easter Fair was held in 1870, but this annual festival is still running strong, although now it is called the Bendigo Easter Festival. It is considered Australia’s longest running festival. Featuring music events, art exhibitions, art and craft market, historic vehicles, a parade, fire truck rides and plenty of family and kids activities. Run over the Easter long weekend each year. Each year the gold rush history is celebrated through displays by the Bendigo Chinese Association.
In collaboration with the Victorian Writers Association, the Bendigo Writers Festival is showcasing an impressive line-up of famous Australian writers. This is your chance to hear the inspiration behind some of Australia’s most famous writers. Whether you are an author or a reader, you will love the workshops held within the Bendigo Writers Festival.
With an increasing interest in viticulture in the area, there are now two wine festivals each year in the area. The Bendigo Wealth Heritage Uncorked, the winemakers of Bendigo have joined forces to create a unique wine festival. Great wines, mixed with gourmet local produce, and set in heritage listed venues, many of which are normally closed the public. Take your time strolling through the streets from venue to venue, sampling wines and great food.
The Stratagem Bendigo Winemakers Festival is held on Easter Sunday each year. There are over 20 wineries represented, often by the winemakers themselves. Live music will be playing while you enjoy the wine in the picturesque surrounds of the Botanical Gardens in Castlemaine. Locally produced food is available from stalls all day, and a free bus operates from Bendigo to Castlemaine every half hour.
In its 11th year, the Bendigo Queer Film Festival is the longest running queer film festival in Australia and is opened by the Bendigo Mayor. Running over three days in April, the festival includes feature films, documentaries, visual art exhibition, and a party! The films are strictly for 18 years and over.
Held during cultural diversity week in March, the Bendigo Festival of Cultures is a weeklong celebration of multiculturalism. Designed to showcase and celebrate emerging talent within the community, the festival includes a range of events including singing, dancing, food, forums, markets and exhibitions.
With a strong sheep farming history and a working woolen mill, Bendigo is the perfect host for the Australian Sheep and Wool Show. Held in July, the Australian Sheep and Wool show is the largest of its kind in the world. More than 5000 farmers make their way to Bendigo each year for the show. It showcases sheep breeding and wool craft. There are sheep sales, sheepdog trials, best breed judging, fleece competitions and wool craft displays.
Bendigo also has its own agricultural show, founded in 1859 and has run every year, except during WWII. The show runs over two days in October and offers family entertainment, attractions and show bags! The show has been located at the Prince of Wales Showgrounds since 1968, an 18 hectare facility. When the show isn’t on, the grounds are used for other smaller shows and events such as Colourbration Alpaca Show, Australasian Dorset Championships, Bendigo Elite White Suffolk Show and Sale and Swap Meets.
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