“Part of the magic and wonder of coming to a music festival is to listen to bands you may not have heard of before. We’re asking people to bring their sense of adventure!” says Nadine Cloonan, festival organiser. The Healesville Music Festival, now in its ninth year, is coming to town from the 16-18 November 2018.

Music lovers of every age will find something to enjoy, with lots of special activities for children kicking off from 9am on the Saturday.  The central hub of activity will be the Healesville Racecourse with bands, a children’s carnival tent, art exhibition, Maker’s Market and lots of other activities to enjoy. Parents are encouraged to arrive early, grab a spot on the grass and set up the picnic rug for the day. 

Children from the local primary school have decorated guitars and bunting to line the streets and will be performing as part of the program. We’re encouraging everyone to come and listen but also there will be lots of opportunities to learn as well.

healesville music festival, yarra valley, childrens activities

On Saturday morning, popular family entertainer Woody’s World will be performing and we will have a local puppeteer in the carnival tent, Bella the Bookworm and entertainer David Splatt. Parents can hire a ‘Rock N Roll’ wagon at the racecourse and decorate it with fairy lights and have it for the day to get the children around. You can wander up to the main street on the river walk and take in the sights and sounds of the street buskers and at the various other sound stages including the RSL and the Uniting Church, and know the children are enjoying the ride too! These wagons are also great for little naps so parents can continue to enjoy the day, well into the night.  A shuttle bus will also run between venues. Children under 13 can attend the festival free of charge. Look out for the surprise Pop Up Bush Dance!

We’re making it super easy to come along and enjoy the full Healesville experience – the restaurants and cafes are all ready and waiting! (See where to eat here) Book some local accommodation and enjoy both days of the festival! We’ve had lots of support from Four Pillars Gin Distillery, De Bortoli, Innocent Bystander and Watts River Brewing, and we have Yarra Ranges Council as a major sponsor.

For the first time this year we will have a bluetooth hearing loop available for the hearing impaired so they can listen to the music with crystal clear clarity as well (Thanks to Word of Mouth).

healesville music festival, yarra valley, opal ocean

Some of the bands people will recognise include Opal Ocean, 19-Twenty, Abbie Cardwill and Diana Arneid, and we have a huge program of local artists as well. Yusupha Ngumm and the AFFIA band from Ghana will be performing and there will be a daily Poet’s Breakfast for spoken word where anyone can take to the stage to recite or read a poem. There are many quality performers on the program.

healesville music festival, yarra valley, yusupha ngumm

Volunteers and a great community spirit make this festival what it is and on the day there will be about 90 people working to make sure everyone has the best possible experience. From way-finding to ensuring the toilets are clean and every possible request inbetween! The event is also emphasising a minimal landfill footprint and we are encouraging people to bring their own water bottle for the refill stations and reuse the crockery and cutlery being provided by the wide array of street vendors and cafes.

You will especially love this festival if you love a great singer-songwriter and enjoy a good World Music dance at the end of the night. Being in a small town makes it a truly special and intimate event. The performers love nothing more than meeting the people and shaking your hand once their set is done.

And what’s not to love about the Yarra Valley? We have some truly spectacular scenery that is the backdrop to this event and makes it a visual as well as an audible delight.”

Nadine Cloonan, Healesville Music Festival organiser

See the Facebook page for a full program and to event information.