11 Festivals & Events in Melbourne this Winter

It’s safe to say Winter has arrived with chilly mornings and grey skies every other day, but that doesn’t mean you should hibernate till Spring. There are plenty of Winter events in Melbourne to slot in your calendar for this year. Here are a few top picks happening in the city.

1. Groove on Over to the 1960s

Before there was #MeToo, before there was the Yellow Vests movement, there was the 1960s. It was a decade when feminism, anti-war and civil rights made their mark both in Australia and overseas. Head over to Revolutions: Records & Rebels at the Melbourne Museum to see this exciting decade through the lens of youth culture and rock n’ roll. Combining artefacts from the V&A in London as well as from our own Victorian collections, it’s a psychedelic journey to the past.

Dates: Until 25th August


2. Party Night at the Museum

This week is the return of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and there’s plenty of smooth sounding events to choose from. One notable entry is the Nocturnal evening at Melbourne Museum. Featuring live performances from Jazz superstars, you’ll also have the chance to explore the museum at your leisure – including the Records & Rebels exhibition mentioned earlier.

Dates: Jazz Fest from 31st May-9th June, Nocturnal on Friday 7th June


3. Open Your Eyes with Film

How does a society enlightened and engaged through film sound? That’s the mission statement of Melbourne’s International Film Festival (MIFF). Celebrating independent film, Australian filmmakers and the potential to see our world through a new perspective, MIFF is up there with Cannes as one of the longest running film festivals in the world. Festival passes are available now for any returning film buffs and single tickets will be released mid-July.

Dates: 1st-18th August

Photo by shannon VanDenHeuvel on Unsplash

4. A Boutique Tea Market

The Melbourne Tea Festival brings together some of the finest teas in all the land. This isn’t your run of the mill black tea, basic breakfast blend or plain old green. This is where true tea lovers congregate to share their passion for the leaves that form their favourite brew. With dozens of stallholders filling the market and educational sessions on offer, this North Melbourne event is worth waiting for.

Dates: Sunday 21st July

5. The Good Kind of Mouldy

Staying on the food train for a moment, as Melbourne loves to do, there’s another culinary experience headed our way. Mould: A Cheese Festival celebrates Australia’s artisan cheesemakers in the classiest way it knows how. There are over 50 cheeses to sink your teeth into, a fully stocked bar with wine, whisky and all your favourite drinks, plus cheesy food stalls to please the masses.

Dates: 16th-17th August

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

6. Namaste Your Worries Away

Only a few weeks from now the Mind, Body & Spirit Festival makes its biannual return to Melbourne. With hundreds of stalls dedicated to health, wellness and spiritual guidance there’s sure to be an enlightening experience worth your time. Seminars and workshops run throughout the 4-day event so check the schedule to make sure you don’t miss out on your top picks. Entry to this event is free which is another great reason to give it a go. 

Dates: 7th-10th June


7. A Gift Givers Galore

Once upon a time there was a little tiny market celebrating the best of Australian independent craft and design. In the 10 years since it began, Finders Keepers has transformed into a national phenomenon bringing together some of the most unique creations to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne twice each per year. The Autumn/Winter market for 2019 will be running for one weekend in July so if you have birthdays or housewarmings to buy gifts for, or gifts for yourself in mind, start putting money aside now.

Dates: 12th-14th July   


8. A White Winter for All Ages

Combining our obsession with a snowy Winter and our love for rooftop bars, Fed Square has placed a Winter Village on top of their carpark. It’s open day and night for everyone to enjoy and features food, drinks, an igloo village and even ice skating. With stunning views of the city and plenty of activities to fill your time, it’s possibly the best use of a carpark rooftop that there ever was.

Dates: Until August 2019

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

9. Fill Your Friday’s at the NGV

The NGV’s Friday Nights events have been going for a while now but this year they’ve stepped up their game. There’s the usual art and bands, plus a popup Hutong Dumpling bar to satisfy your Friday night food cravings. Feed your mouth with dumplings and your soul with an art exhibition of China’s terracotta warriors alongside contemporary works by renowned artist Cai Guo-Qiang. Their line-up of musicians is currently online so be sure to check that out before deciding when to go.

Dates: 31st May-11th October


10. Late-Night Art in the City

Did you find yourself waiting for White Night this Summer only to be disappointed? Turns out you were early to the party in 2019. White Night Reimagined is Melbourne’s end of Winter art extravaganza with all the things you loved about the original event at a new time. This year White Night will run across 3 nights instead of just one.

Dates: 22nd-24th August


11. Shine Bright in Stonnington

Think of this one like the younger sibling to White Night. It’s a festival that happens throughout Stonnington with art and immersive experiences for an exclusive run. There isn’t much information for the GLOW Festival 2019 but you can always sign up to their newsletter to be kept in the loop. Based on previous years, it’s definitely worth your time, so watch out for updates in the coming months.

Looking for more activities or events in Melbourne? Check out my Living Melbourne posts for more ideas.