castlemaine boutique accommodation

7+ Best Castlemaine Festivals and Events

With a rich history of gold mining, this convenient two-hour drive from Melbourne is a hot spot for year-long festivals. We can’t wait to reveal Victoria’s best-kept secret in Castlemaine and promote its strong reputation for creative expression. Within our list of the top 7 Castlemaine festivals, we’ve also included two bonus community events that might not even be on your radar.

castlemaine

Besides festivals, Castlemaine is a great weekend destination, packed with fantastic foodie spots, museums, and art exhibitions. Regardless of how you connect with the creative inside you, find the perfect festival weekend to explore in Castlemaine, Victoria! 

Castlemaine Festivals

Castlemaine State Festival

The first Castlemaine State Festival happened in 1976. Today, it’s recognized as Australia’s longest-running flagship regional arts festival. While the event has already taken place this year, highlights include performances from Jaguar Jonze, KIAN, The Bulletes, and Lizzy Welsh with the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra. Visual and literary panels and experiences included a multichannel video installation titled Essays on Earth, and discussions with Alice Zaslasvsky and Jane Grylls.

castlemainejazz
(source: castlemainart.com)

The Castlemaine State Festival is always a fun and exciting experience perfect for friends or families. Taking over downtown Castlemaine with visual art exhibitions, guests are swept up in the joy and camaraderie of supporting artists in local venues.

Castlemaine Fringe Festival

The Castlemaine Fringe festival is the younger sister of the state festival. It recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.

The festival promoted inclusivity, accessibility, and community involvement. We acknowledge that our stages are located on Dja Dja Wurrung land. We pay respect to the traditional owners, local elders, and emerging leaders.

The festival happened from March 17 to April 2nd. It had guests like Carmel Bird, and performers like Luke Warm and Jadebyrd. The closing party happened at The Tappy beer garden. There was a fun vibe with music by Oliver and the Elsewheres, Out of Abingdon, and art by Liminal Treats.

Castlemaine Jazz Festival

The annual Castlemaine Jazz Festival takes over downtown filling the streets with rhythmic melodies and brass. Taking place on the Kings Birthday Weekend, we recommend booking accommodation now to avoid disappointment. Completely organized and operated by volunteers, this Castlemaine festival started with a discussion among musicians in 2012. It took a few years to understand the collective vision, but this year marks the seventh Castlemaine Jazz Festival and the future only promises more growth.

jazz festival

Last year’s highlights included three separate stages with jazz musicians like Melba Big Band, Brooklyn ‘86’, and Jon Magill’s Groove Congress. This year, there will be performances on six stages with returning acts and first-comers.

The Castlemaine Jazz Festival next held will be 7th to 9th June 2024. Applications will close on 31st December 2023. Explore now!

Castlemaine & District Festival Of Gardens

The Castlemaine Festival of Gardens occurs every two years with the next scheduled festival taking place in 2024. Aligning with Melbourne Cup Week, private and historical gardens open their doors to the public for two days only.

This festival in Castlemaine has been happening for 26 years and keeps a record of all the gardens on its website. Visitors will see the gardens’ beauty and learn about the property’s history and the birds that visit the bushes. From cozy cottage plots to expansive and breathtaking historical properties, every anthophilous in Australia will save the date!

Next held: 2 to 10 November 2024

Address

P.O. Box 490

Castlemaine Vic 3450

Castlemaine Pride Festival

The Castlemaine Pride Festival began in 2018. It started with a Pride Picnic. The picnic was organized by Martyn Shaddick, Sherene Clow, and Marion Yates. The purpose of the picnic was to show appreciation to those who supported the queer community during the marriage equality discussion. Mark the calendars this year for April 29th to May 6th, and connect while celebrating with your rainbow-chosen family. Come together and learn the history surrounding the art of drag or sign up to watch the Queer Film Festival.

We believe in standing proud and supporting our community now more than ever. Volunteer opportunities are available.

Castlemaine Documentary Festival

Calling all brand-new or senior documentary enthusiasts! This Castlemaine festival is scheduled for June 16-19th and is a weekend dedicated to the love of film.

The documentary festival used to be in July, but now it’s in June. This gives festival-goers a chance to enjoy art activities for the whole month of June. The festival schedule is not confirmed yet. However, we do know some details about it. There will be eight documentaries featured. Additionally, there will be an augmented reality showcase. Lastly, a new Yurt will be available for families and youth to enjoy.

The Castlemaine C-Doc Club is responsible for the annual festival, plus they organize workshops throughout the year to connect with the community. These workshops held throughout the year include learning new skills for video editing, and a Masterclass on Storytelling.

Read more: Castlemaine Weather: Best time to visit Castlemaine

Castlemaine Agricultural Show

horse
source: Castlemaine show

The VAS or Victorian Agriculure Shows promote the community and movement of Australia. Passed down through generations we are meeting the next generation interested in activities relevant to the Agricultural Show movement. Unlike the other festivals mentioned above, the VAS hosts a feature show in April and then the Main Show takes place November 3-4. At both shows, you can expect Victoria’s excellence and events in beef and dairy cattle, sheep, saddle horse championships, and much more! Besides livestock events, there will also be home crafts, photography, and fleece competitions.

Read more: Best things to do in Castlemaine

Check Out These Honorable Mentions In Castlemaine Festivals 

For guests not afraid of the dark, the annual Goldfields Gothic Festival of Dark Ideas takes place for three days in August 2023. As per the organisers, the festival is inspired by, “the dark undercurrent of the 1850s Victorian Goldfields and intriguing stories of the past.” Upcoming highlights include cemetery tours and workshops, and the dress-up encouraged Maldon Gothic and Victorian Picnic.

Read more: Castlemaine markets and local produce

Lock In Castlemaine Festival Accommodation With Castlemaine Boutique Booking

Castlemaine Boutique Accommodation prides itself on aligning with properties that showcase a rich heritage to our guests while they explore Victorian manors and dive into the Castlemaine festival experience. From large to quaint, Castlemaine Boutique Accommodation continues to offer guests exclusive listings of properties in Castlemaine. Our team focuses on bespoke accommodation in Castlemaine that is carefully selected and double-checked for charm and luxury around every corner. 

The Castlemaine Boutique Accommodation guarantee is to provide luxurious and comfortable options ranging in size for groups of solo travellers to 90 guests. Choose from restored Victorian manors to modern cosy apartments. With round-the-clock check-in available, free Wi-FI, complimentary parking, and modern amenities, your home away from home awaits to be unlocked.

See more: Bromley&Co Collection at the Old Castlemaine Gaol

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