Melbourne: a city of festivals

Melbourne is often dubbed the cultural capital of Australia, and for good reason. The city has confidently embraced this mantle by hosting some of the country’s leading creative festivals.  Each year, these world-class events attract talented artists across a range of disciplines and bring people from all walks of life to the city to appreciate and enjoy their work.

In case you needed another reason to visit Melbourne, why not plan your next visit to coincide with one of these feature events.

Laughs a plenty - Melbourne International Comedy Festival

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is  Australia’s premier comedy event and the largest stand-alone comedy festival in the world. Typically running through March and April each year, the event attracts hundreds of local and international comedy artists, who perform a wide variety of acts at venues across the city, including stand-up, cabaret, sketch shows, plays, improvisational theatre and more. Some of the most popular events included the televised Gala, the Great Debate, the Opening Night Super Show, and Upfront, an event comprising of female only comedians.

Foodies rejoice - Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is a grand celebration of Victoria’s abundance of innovative chefs, expert winemakers and exceptional, locally grown produce and wine. Held in March each year and running over two weeks, over 250 events can be found all over the city and in surrounding regional areas. The festival traditionally opens with the World’s Longest Lunch, where guests sit at a 500 metre long table serving up three courses all made from locally grown produce and wine.

A fashion mecca – Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival

Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival is Australia’s largest consumer fashion event and attracts talented local, national and international designers to the city in March each year.  While the festival’s main hub can be found in the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton. Self -described as an annual celebration of fashion, arts, ideas and creative endeavour for everyone to enjoy’, the festival combines events featuring world-class creative talent, including runway shows beauty workshops, retail events, industry seminars, forums, live entertainment and more.

On the fringe - Melbourne Fringe Festival

Melbourne Fringe Festival brings together artists and festival goers from all walks of life for 2.5 weeks of unobstructed creative expression and appreciation. An annual event held in September, Fringe transforms Melbourne into a platform of wonderfully diverse art. As a proponent of ‘cultural democracy’, the festival is uncurated in order to promote open participation and prides itself on its open access and inclusion policies. You’ll find Melbourne’s most diverse creations across a wide range of mediums; from traditional theatres and galleries to laneways, libraries, living rooms, restaurants and cafes.

A leader in the arts - Melbourne International Arts Festival

Melbourne International Arts Festival brings the city to life each year in October as one of Australia's leading creative endeavours. Its reputation for offering festival goers outstanding and unique events covering a wide range of artistic pursuits draws large crowds to the festival each year. Shows, events and presentations cover dance, theatre and music to visual arts and multimedia events. The festival events are held in venues scattered across the city, including Federation Square, theatres, museums, art galleries, tents, churches and trams.

Feeling inspired? Start planning your next trip to Melbourne with Virgin Australia's great value domestic fares.


Words by Rebecca Walker. Image by Ben King and licensed from Visit Victoria - Published 18 September 2019
Quick Facts 
Population Approx 3.73 million
Area 2,254 km2
Time Zone GMT +10
Languages English (official)
Currency Australian dollar (AUD)
Electricity 220 – 240v 50Hz
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