2018 Victorian major events guide

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

From the Australian Open in January to the Boxing Day Test, Victoria prides itself on its ability to draw a crowd. Our 2018 major events planner lists our biggest happenings in sport, music, culture, food and the arts, so check it out to make sure you don’t miss out. You can read right through or click on the links below to fast-forward to each month.

January 

Australian Open, 15 to 28 January

Tune in to Melbourne’s January sound­track: the thwock of tennis balls being hit by the world’s top-ranked players. 
ausopen.com

Pop-up Globe
Pop-up Globe

Pop-up Globeuntil 3 February

Shakespeare the way it was intended. The world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of one of history’s greatest theatres. Next door to the iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
popupglobe.com.au

Lorne Pier to Pub, 13 January 

The world’s largest swim in open water. Cheer participants as they swim 1.2 kilometres from Lorne Pier to the beach in front of the Lorne Hotel. 
lornesurfclub.com.au

Midsumma Festival
Midsumma Festival

Sand Sculpting, until 25 April

Head down to the Frankston foreshore to see what can be created from more than 3500 tonnes of sand. This year’s theme for the sand sculptures is the Arabian Tales, including Aladdin, Sinbad the Sailor and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
sandsculpting.com.au

Midsumma, 14 January to 4 February

Join the rainbow celebration at Melbourne’s leading queer arts and cultural festival. More than 170 events feature throughout the festival, including the Midsumma Youth Spectacular, Carnival, Pride March and VicTennis Glam Slam.
midsumma.org.au

Zoo Twilights, 26 January to 18 March

See some of the best local and international artists perform at the Melbourne Zoo at dusk. Bring a picnic and learn about the fight against wildlife extinction. Performers include The Cat Empire, The Preatures and Grizzly Bear.
zootwilights.org.au

February 

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, 3 February

A community event that brings together quintessential Melbourne attributes: laneways and live music. This year, performers will include Father John Misty, Mac Demarco, Amy Shark and Wolf Alice.
melbourne.lanewayfestival.com

Lonsdale St Greek Festival, 10 to 11 February

A celebration of Greek culture. Revellers can enjoy Hellenic food, dance and entertainment.
greekcentre.com.au

MSO Sidney Myer Free Concerts
MSO Sidney Myer Free Concerts

MSO Sidney Myer Free Concerts, 7 to 14 February

A community event that brings together quintessential Melbourne attributes: laneways and live music. This year, performers will include Father John Misty, Mac Demarco, Amy Shark and Wolf Alice. 
mso.com.au

Chinese New Year, 18 February

Usher in the Year of the Dog in Chinatown. Although the Chinese New Year officially kicks off on 16 February, Chinatown will host celebrations on 18 February with lion dances, firecrackers and street parties.
chinesenewyear.com.au

White Night
White Night

St Kilda Festival, 11 February

Established in 1980, this free Melbourne festival is a well-established summer tradition. Join hundreds of thousands of revellers this diverse community event. This year’s festival will include free activities, markets and performers such as Baker Boy.  
stkildafestival.com.au

White Night, 17 February

A free overnight festival that transforms CBD buildings into a canvas for colourful projections. This year’s program includes installations, performances, puppetry and musical hubs. See below for White Night events in Ballarat (March), Bendigo (September) and Geelong (October).    
whitenight.com.au

 

 

 

March 

Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, 1 to 18 March 

Australia’s largest fashion event. See some of our leading designers showcase their work on the runway. The event will also include industry seminars, live entertainment and beauty workshops.
vamff.com.au

Moomba, 10 to 13 March

Melbourne’s largest free community festival. Moomba is held on the banks of the Yarra and includes a parade, carnival rides, free music, great family activities, plus a Roller Disco!
moomba.melbourne.vic.gov.au

Melbourne Queer Film Festival, 15 to 25 March

A celebration of LGBTIQ-themed films, this festival is in its 28th year. Over a week’s worth of beautifully crafted cinema on the big screen.
mqff.com.au

White Night Ballarat, 17 March

Ballarat continues White Night in March, with spectacular projections including one on Ballarat Town Hall that will celebrate the city’s past.
whitenight.com.au

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, 16 to 25 March 

A state-wide celebration for food and wine lovers. Explore all things gastronomic, from fresh produce to fine wines.  
melbournefoodandwine.com.au

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, 21 to 25 March

Calling all horticultural enthusiasts: if you love gardens, or are just looking for some great DIY ideas, this is an event for your calendar. Featuring workshops, competitions, an impressive botanical line-up and an all-around good smell. RACV members can get a discount on Early Bird tickets here
melbflowershow.com.au

2018 Formula 1 Australia Grand Prix, 22 to 25 March 

See the world’s fastest cars take on Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit.
australia-grand-prix.com

Rip Curl Pro Bells, 29 March to 8 April (depending on surf conditions)

Celebrating its 57th anniversary, the Rip Curl Pro is the one of professional surfing’s most important events. The event will run during the best swell conditions, so dates are subject to change.
ripcurl.com.au

April

Melbourne International Comedy Festival, 28 March to 22 April

Laugh your way through the start of autumn at the comedy festival. This year’s line-up will feature Arj Barker and Kitty Flanagan.  
comedyfestival.com.au

Grampians Grape Escape
Grampians Grape Escape

The Great Train Race, 29 April

Runners take on the Puffing Billy steam locomotive in a race from Belgrave to Emerald.
puffingbilly.com.au

Grampians Grape Escape, 30 April to 1 May

Enjoy some of the best artisan food and wine in western Victoria. The Grape Escape will feature 120 stalls, demonstrations, live music and celebrity chefs.
grampiansgrapeescape.com.au 

May 

Clunes Booktown Festival, 5 to 6 May

Book lovers assemble: the Clunes Booktown Festival will offer rare and out-of-print books for you to browse to your heart’s content. Proving that rural towns can be a hub for the arts, this annual festival features panel discussions, live music and some big ideas.
clunesbooktown.com.au

Ballarat Heritage Weekend, 26 to 27 May

Victoria’s most historic regional city displays its remarkable heritage, with free entertainment, markets, tours and exhibitions.
ballaratheritageweekend.com

Don't plan a holiday without seeing what discounts your RACV membership can offer you

Melbourne Cabaret Festival
Melbourne Cabaret Festival

June

Melbourne International Jazz Festival, 1 to 10 June 

Melbourne embraces the spirit of jazz in this world-class festival, featuring late-night art parties and some of the modern masters of jazz.
melbournejazz.com

Melbourne Cabaret Festival, 19 June to 1 July 

Known for nurturing new talent, this festival plays in venues in the CBD and surrounding suburbs such as St Kilda, Prahran and Collingwood.
melbournecabaret.com

June

Melbourne International Jazz Festival, 1 to 10 June 

Melbourne embraces the spirit of jazz in this world-class festival, featuring late-night art parties and some of the modern masters of jazz.
melbournejazz.com

Melbourne Cabaret Festival, 19 June to 1 July 

Known for nurturing new talent, this festival plays in venues in the CBD and surrounding suburbs such as St Kilda, Prahran and Collingwood.
melbournecabaret.com

July

Open House Melbourne, 28 to 29 July 

OHM, established in London 25 years ago, takes place in 35 cities around the world. It aims to illuminate citizens on good design practices and encourages civic participation in advocating for better designed cities.
openhousemelbourne.org

August

Craft Cubed, dates to be confirmed

Crafternoons on a large scale. Craft Cubed is built on a community of those who love the handmade and will offer workshops, markets and exhibitions throughout Melbourne.
craft.org.au

Melbourne International Film Festival, 2 to 9 August

One of the world’s oldest film festivals, MIFF has been cultural ballast for Melbourne since1952. See a week’s worth of exceptional Australian and international films and documentaries.
miff.com.au

Melbourne Writers Festival, 24 August to 2 September

For readers and writers alike, this festival is a celebration of literature and the ideas that bring it to life.
mwf.com.au

September

White Night Bendigo, 1 September

Explore Bendigo as White Night unleashes luminous projections throughout the city.
whitenight.com.au

Amy’s Gran Fondo, 15 to 16 September

Cyclists of all abilities take part in this 110-kilometre ride along the picturesque Great Ocean Road. Participants assist in raising funds for the Amy Gillett Foundation, which aims to create and promote a safe bike riding environment in Australia.
amysgranfondo.org.au

AFL Grand Final Parade, 28 September

See all the stars on the traditional parade through Melbourne on the eve of the match. 
afl.com.au

Royal Melbourne Show
Royal Melbourne Show

Melbourne Fringe Festival, 13 to 30 September

A festival that celebrates cultural diversity and artistic independence. Many of the 400+ events are free, and with 160 venues across the state there’s sure to be a show near you.
melbournefringe.com.au

Royal Melbourne Show, 22 September to 2 October

A day out for the whole family, filled with animals, carnival rides and show bags.
royalshow.com.au

October

White Night Geelong, 13 October

Experience the stunning White Night projections in this waterfront city.
whitenight.com.au

Bright Spring Festival, 15 October to 1 November

This festival draws people to the scenic walking tracks, wine regions and gardens of Victoria’s alpine valleys. There are garden tours, a market, fireworks and concert. 
brightspringfestival.com.au

Melbourne Festival, 3 to 21 October

Connecting art forms, people and ideas. With local and international artists, join the multitude of Melburnians who celebrate one of the leading arts festivals. Many free events are available.
festival.melbourne

November

Melbourne Cup Carnival, 3 to 10 November 

Four days of racing at Flemington, which incorporates Derby Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Oaks Day and Stakes Day.
flemington.com.au

Melbourne Music Week, dates to be confirmed 

Melbourne’s love of live music is celebrated with talks, industry showcases and a huge range of gigs.
mmw.melbourne.vic.gov.au

December

Myer Christmas windows

Themed Christmas displays in Myer’s Bourke St Mall windows. If you can make your way through the huge crowd the displays attract, you can see them on display from mid-November to early January. 
www.myer.com.au

The Big Design Market, dates to be confirmed

Perfect for getting early Christmas gifts, the market is held in the Royal Exhibition Building and houses 230 stallholders.
melbourne.thebigdesignmarket.com

Boxing Day Test, 26 to 30 December 

The event of the year for cricket lovers. Tickets sell out fast, so get in quickly or bask in the silence of a CBD while the MCG fills up.
mcg.org.au 

Written by Jade Thrupp
January 09, 2018