Time Out says
Apollo Bay's dark and mysterious winter festival returns to put shivers down your spine
You might know Apollo Bay as a summer seaside haven, but in winter, things are very different in the town where the wild forests of the Otway National Park meet the Southern Ocean. The WinterWild festival launched in 2017 in response to the 2015 Colac Otway bushfires, which had a lasting impact on the region's coastal communities. It's Victoria's answer to Dark Mofo, and it's well worth travelling down the Great Ocean Road for.
WinterWild is back for 2021 with two packed weekends of music, performance, comedy and feasting – plus a few events that don't quite fit into any category. It all starts, appropriately enough, on Friday, August 13 with a weekend of live music in Apollo Bay's oldest building, the Mech Hall. Hear sets from the likes of the Murlocs, Vasco Era, Bananagun, Parsnip, Bad Bangs and the Refuge, as well as comedy from the likes of Charlie Zangel (Melbourne Comedy Festival's 2021 best newcomer), Vidya Rajan and Taylor Griffiths.
The second weekend focuses more on food and the surf. Rug up and come hungry to the Wild Feast, and outdoor banquet featuring cauldrons of bouillabaisse, smoked meats, locally caught char-grilled seafood, seasonal veggies cooked in the coals and mugs of mulled wine (plus local beers and spirits). This weekend also features Whispers From the Sea (an evening of art, performance and film celebrating surfing in the gelid Southern Ocean) and performances by cabaret queen Moira Finucane.
One of the highlights of WinterWild is the Dogwatch; an outdoor spectacle centred around the large, blazing festival brazier. The performance is directed by Roderick Poole and combines the work of local artists, performers, dancers and more for a dark and unsettling performance that is this year focused on the Greek myth of the sirens. The Dogwatch runs both weekends and is free to attend.
Events at WinterWild are separately ticketed so you can pick and choose what you want to see. More details are available on the WinterWild website.
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