The Otways will be alive with live music, performances, and food for the next two weekends as part of the WinterWilds Festival. Previously described as “dark, wild and a little bit dirty”, this dark arts festival is the perfect way to celebrate the end of winter.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 events, gigs and hedonistic ceremonies you cannot miss at this years WinterWild, including and bug-filled lunch, a cemetery tour, and live performances from acts like Amyl and The Sniffers.
No winter festival is complete without a dramatic opening and closing ceremony, and that’s exactly what The Dogwatch is. The piece is inspired by sirens, the half-women half-bird creatures who would lure sailors to their demise in Greek mythology. It’s fitting for a festival taking place along the shipwreck coast, where it’s believed over 700 boats have sunk to the ocean floor. The Dogwatch is directed by Roderick Poole, a street theatre artist who has performed all over the world, and a local farmer. It’ll also showcase the talents of local artists, dancers and musicians.
Amyl And The Sniffers
Apollo Bay Distillery Outdoor Space
They’ve performed on some of the biggest stages in the world, and now Melbourne band Amyl and the Sniffers are returning to Victoria for WinterWild Festival. Fresh from their sets at Glastonbury, Coachella and Royal Albert Hall, Australia’s favourite punk rock band will be performing at the Apollo Bay Distillery. The band rose to fame in 2019, when they won the Best Rock Album at the ARIA Awards, and haven’t stopped since, touring all over the US, UK and Europe.
The Wild Feast
At the core of WinterWild is The Wild Feast. Step inside the Festival Brazier where you’ll be greeted by roaring fire pits, bubbling cauldrons and smokehouse barbeques, cooking seafood fresh off the boats of The Apollo Bay Fishermen’s Co-op. There’s Spanish paella, hibachi grills and a seafood bouillabaisse with octopus and deep-sea fish. To keep you toasty they’ll also be serving mulled wine and hot toddy’s all night long. Make sure you book in to secure a spot for this one.
Apollo Bay Community Hall
Once upon a time, Apollo Bay’s rock lobster was considered a sea cockroach, and now it’s become one of the most expensive delicacies in the World. Join Furrmein and prawns of the sky for an unpredictable, innovative lunch showcasing the wonder of insects at Contentious Buffet. As part of the session, there will be performance lectures and discussions on bugs in pop culture, food neophobia and how bugs could be the future of environmentally friendly protein.
Winter Ocean Polo
Everyone knows that games are instantly more exciting when played in the dark, which is why WinterWild is holding a night game of water polo. Competitors will be diving through the icy southern ocean with a glow-in-the-dark ball, goals and uniform. The light show will showcase the local talents and commitment to the sport, as teams battle it out in the cold under the moonlight.
Plunging into ice-cold water is nothing new. People have been doing it for centuries, and in the last couple of years, influencers have also joined the bandwagon, boasting the benefits of a stronger immune system, reduced cardiac stress and increased recovery. WinterWild is offering you the chance to be an honorary member of the local club, Point Plonkers, and join in for an icy dip at sunrise. The only requirement is that you skip the wetsuit…
Live at The Cemetery
Apollo Bay Cemetery
A good ghost story always begins in a cemetery, and that’s exactly where this one starts. Live at The Cemetary offers you the chance to walk among the dead while learning about the lives that were lost along the shipwreck coast. Guided by local legend, Bob Knowles, you’ll get all of the tea about those who came before us.
Uniting Church Hall
In traditional Chinese beliefs, Qi is the life force energy that exists in any living being. Apollo Bay local and founder of Inasoul, Dani Cullen, will be leading a moving meditation with qigong practices to help release energy that is not serving you and restore your body’s natural flow. It’s an opportunity to surrender to rest and soothe the soul—perfect after a long, cold winter.
Group Somatic Sound Walks
It wouldn’t be a festival in the Otways without a Somatic Sound Walk. Guided by artists Claire Lefebvre and Zoltan Fesco, this whole body experience will allow you to experience the Otways as never before. Discover stories of evolution, culture and the future through a soundscape amongst the trees.
Apollo Bay Sailing Club
For the final day of the festival, Moongarden is offering guests a chance to dance by the water under the moonlight to performances from Kim Moyles, one-half of the electronic duo the Presents, Big Yawn and Sleep D. Celebrate the end of a deep, dark wild winter, and the final event of Victoria’s best winter festival.
For tickets and to find out more information click here.
Image credit: supplied