By Sophie Colvin
A Vivid Sydney light display, projected on to the Sydney Opera House. (ABC Open contributor Theresa Hall)
What better way to embrace the chillier months and shorter days than a winter festival?
Australia is treated to plenty of entertainment in its cooler months, with everything from coastal music festivals to light shows, food showcases and community and cultural events on offer.
The ABC Open audience has shared images of its favourite events throughout Australia, taking place from this week until the end of winter.
There are plenty of events worth travelling for, and plenty to be enjoyed right on your doorstep.
Vivid Sydney truly has become the light festival to catch.
Making the most of the darker months, Vivid Sydney is a captivating, free public exhibition of outdoor lighting sculptures, displays, and installations and is accompanied by an exciting line-up of contemporary music performances.
The festival kicks off on May 25 with the lighting of the Sydney Opera House sails and will run until June 16.
“Sydney’s annual event Vivid is perhaps one of the most unique and aesthetically pleasing,” Anthony S said.
Undoubtedly the highlight of Tasmania’s winter calendar, Dark Mofo, the brain-child of MONA, is a winter festival that dives head-first into ancient winter solstice rituals, exploring the connection between old and new mythology, people and their environment, and, in true MONA fashion, birth, death and renewal.
Dark Mofo runs from June 15-24 across Hobart and its surrounds.
“Dark Mofo in Hobart was incredible. A week of winter entertainment for everyone,” Rachel M said.
Festival Of Voices
A light projection as part of Festival of Voices in Hobart, Tasmania. (ABC Open contributor Katy Morgan)
Festival Of Voices is exactly what it says on the label — a celebration of all things human voice.
The 17-day festival features events around Tasmania, and brings together international, national and local artists, choirs and audiences for a (very loud!) celebration of song.
No matter your preferred genre, you’ll find something to listen to, partake in and enjoy.
Kicking things off on June 29 on the state’s east coast, and closing with a spectacular Finale Concert in Hobart, it is the perfect excuse to karaoke car trip around Tasmania.
Darwin Festival is a celebration of music, comedy, food, visual art and much more.
Hosted in the heart of Darwin at Festival Park, and a few other scattered locations across the city, it is a free event held over 18 days.
Running from August 9-26, the festival brings Darwin alive and is the time to visit.
Alice Springs Beanie Fest
If ‘community’ is what you look for in a festival then the Alice Springs Beanie Festival has your name on it.
The festival has been running since 1997 and was originally started to showcase beanies handmade by Aboriginal women, however has now expanded to showcase (and sell) marvellous creations from throughout the community.
Everyone is welcome to participate — creations just need to be handmade, keep your head warm and be wearable.
Running from June 29 to July 2, you can find all the information you need here.
” Just loved all the programmes, the atmosphere, everything was conducted in a very professional manner. The beanies were nothing you could imagine a beanie to be. It was WOW.” Ellen Gough said.
North West Festival
A musical act at the North West Festival in Port Hedland, Western Australia. (ABC Open contributor Ivan Gibbs)
The North West Festival runs from August 25-26 in Port Hedland, in the heart of the North West Pilbara Region of Western Australia.
Now in its seventh year, The North West Festival is the Pilbara region’s most exciting music event.
The line-up for 2018 has not been released yet, however keep your eyes peeled here and if past years are anything to go by, it’s set to be the perfect festival to beat away the winter blues, in a stunning part of the country.
Regional Flavours Festival
An exhibit at the Regional Flavours Festival in South Brisbane, Queensland. (ABC Open contributor Malcolm Wells)
Regional Flavours Festival is best described as Queensland on a plate.
Held in Brisbane’s Southbank Parklands from July 21-22, Regional Flavours will offer up free entertainment from celebrity chefs and industry experts, delicious food, beer and wine, and live music.
The highlight of the festival is the Marketplace, a producer market showcasing more than 80 stalls of all your favourite treats.
“Our whole family just loved Regional Flavours. The range of food was incredible,” Andrew C said.
Head On Festival
One for all photography enthusiasts from across the spectrum of experience and talent.
Head On Festival runs from May 5-28 and the Festival Hub at Paddington Town Hall in Sydney is the epicentre of the events.
Featuring exhibitions, artist talks, panel discussions, workshops, and screenings, festival goers will be exposed to over 800 local and international artists at over 100 venues around Sydney.