Vacation season will be fast upon us, and that means festival season. Most of the world’s most famous festivals are located in the United States and Europe however the land Down Under hosts a superb variety of their own sun splashed events. From comedy, to music, to arts to food and wine, Australia boasts a dizzying lineup of great spring and summer activities. If you’re not a native, upon your arrival, get your Budget car hire quickly taken care of, so you can start hitting the circuit fast. Here’s an overview of some of the best.
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Founded in 1987, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) proudly calls itself the third largest comedy festival in the world, and one of Australia’s biggest cultural events. This year’s festival runs from March 26th through April 20th, 2014. Last year’s festival featured nearly 500 performances which focus on cabaret and stand-up acts, but also range anywhere from improv to sketches to musical shows. This year MICF hosts Greg Behrendt, Paul Foot, Sara Pascoe and Kyle Kinane among many others.
Noosa International Food & Wine Festival
The Noosa International Food and Wine Festival located in Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, figures prominently as one of Australia’s premier gastronomic events. This year the festival runs from May 15th through May 18th and offers a billing of 200 of the world’s highest profile national and international chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers, as well as stars of food and wine media. People converge from across the country and world to indulge, sip, taste and talk over degustation menus, extended lunches, guest dinners and a variety of other events.
Vivid Sydney might arguably be one of the most breathtaking experiences Australia’s festivals have to offer. Taking place from May 24th to June 10th, Vivid Sydney puts on its best face, as it showcases an art spectacle, complemented by a variety of other musical acts and art events. The main attractions and iconic building of Sydney are used as a canvas to splash brilliant light shows across. The most popular attraction is the Sydney Opera House, as it reflects its glory in rainbow colors. Make a night of it by walking through the city to see the various presentations. The American band The Pixies also perform this year. Best yet, the festival is free.
Splendour in the Grass
Many people have been to or have heard of Big Day Out. If you’re looking for something with less fanfare, but just as much fun, in beautiful setting, try Splendour in the Grass. The festival runs from Friday, July 25th to Sunday, July 27th, offering dozens of nationally and internationally known acts. Set in the Belongil Fields, just outside of Byron Bay (New South Wales), the venue boasts gorgeous scenery for the weekend, while showcasing rock, electro, hip-hop and alternative music. Polyphonic Spree and Mumford and sons were a couple of the headliners in 2013.
Good Food and Wine Show
This traveling festival brings the best of Australian wine and cheese, among other culinary delights, to Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. For various weekends from June to October, the Good Food and Wine Show highlights the finest Australian winemakers, vintners, sommeliers, cheese producers and cheese mongers from across the country. If you’re not one to try the creamiest brie or sharpest Blue cheese from the country, have no fear, you can always kick back and relax in the beer and cider BBQ area.