Melbourne: Best Annual Festivals

Melbourne is home to some of Australia’s liveliest and most diverse festivals, from culture and comedy to music and food. We’ve picked some of our favourite Victorian festivals, taking place right on the doorstep of your Melbourne CBD hotel to help you see a new side of the world’s most livable city.



Aussies are known for their wicked sense of humour, so it’s no wonder Melbourne’s annual comedy festival is one of the city’s most popular events. Whether you’re into standup, satire, parodies or one-liners, there are hundreds of hilarious events taking place at venues across the city. Taking place from mid-March to mid-April, this month-long extravaganza is a must if you’re in town.



Melbourne’s iconic laneways are a must-see for any visitors to the city, and what better way to see them come to life than with a laneway festival? Each year, St Jerome’s Laneway Festival breathes new life into some of the most vibrant and dynamic streets in the city. What started as a number of weekly shows at a tiny Melbourne bar quickly became an institution that’s lasted nearly 15 years. While it’s grown in popularity, the event still keeps a firm grip on its original values of championing community, fostering collaboration and encouraging self-expression.



Melbourne is a foodie’s paradise, so naturally one of the most popular festivals of the city’s calendar is the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Held towards the beginning of April, this festival is a state-wide celebration of the best of Victoria’s food and drink offerings, with over 300 events held across Victoria. Each year, thousands of food and wine enthusiasts descend on the city’s network of world class restaurants, laneways, and rooftop bars, as well as venues across the region. There’s no better way to enjoy the gastronomic playground that is Melbourne than with fresh seasonal produce, busy food markets, and passionate chefs, winemakers and artisan producers. Bon apetit!


Art and culture

Melbourne’s Fringe Festival puts art back in the hands of the people, celebrating cultural democracy, diversity and self-expression through a variety of different art forms. It’s about finding ideas in the margins and shouting them to the world, challenging expectations and pushing the boundaries along the way. The spring-time festival features thousands of artists, across any and every artistic discipline, in more than 4000 events and 160 venues. To say it’s massive would be an understatement!



Now in its 65th year, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. This iconic Melbourne event takes place in August each year, and showcases a the best in current cinema around the world, as well as discussion programs, industry events and celebrations. It’s a great opportunity to find out more about local and emerging filmmaking talent, understand emerging international cinema trends, and don your best dress for a world premiere or two.



Melbourne’s Royal Show is something of an institution for Victorians. Over 11 days in late September, the city is buzzing as it celebrates the regions agricultural industry with a range of fun and informative activities, local food stands, exhibits, competitions, attractions suitable for all the family. Take a look at some of the region’s prize livestock, watch the impressive wood-chop competition, and get your hands on a coveted show bag, packed with treats from some of Australia’s best-loved brands.