Winter Fest lights up Perth in a Month-long Festival of Music, Art and Cultural Activities
It might be blowing a gale outside but the City of Perth’s annual Winter Fest isn’t fazed. Returning from June 24 to July 21, the event once again boasts a fantastic line-up of free events and experiences across the city.
From light installations inspired by the Northern Lights and pop-up ice rinks to faux snow in the shopping centres and live ice carving, according to City of Perth Deputy Chair Commissioner Gaye McMath the month-long festival offers something for everyone to enjoy, with the event program set to create a vibrant, culturally-inspired city.
“Perth will come alive over Winter Fest as visitors and residents discover new events and experiences,” she said. “Far from going into hibernation, the city will be buzzing with activities, events, art installations, food and beverages offers, and much more.”
“The City is committed to working with key stakeholders for Winter Fest and beyond to grow and promote the amazing range of cultural, culinary, sporting and tourism experiences across Perth during winter.”
Entertainment for the Whole Family
For children and children at heart, the unique ice skating experience at Elizabeth Quay is not to be missed. Aside from the already magical pop-up ice rink, the world-class entertainment precinct will also feature live music, ice slides, jumping castles, kanga skating aids and an incredible array of dining options.
Nearby, Cosy at the Quay will be keeping things toasty with a plethora of interesting tidbits to pore over at the arts and crafts markets, plus beautiful views of the Elizabeth Quay Bridge in the heated undercover alfresco areas.
This year will also see theatres and venues like His Majesty’s Theatre, Cheeky Sparrow and Hotel Perth taken over by the King Street Corner Pocket Jazz Festival in a lively display of some of the most outstanding emerging and established jazz talents in the country.
Not to be outdone, Winter Fest Theatre is back with a dazzling line-up of clowning adventures, plate-spinning acrobats, harmless explosions, fun musicals and unbelievable magicians. While Carillon City is offering up an underwater world where children and adults alike can meet all sorts of sea creatures, such as sharks, sea stars, urchins, turtles and frogs.
Heritage buildings within Brookfield Place will be illuminated by brightly coloured light projections as a part of the Winter Lights Festival, which will also host a series of travelling performers, art exhibitions and light installations that all ages will be able to enjoy.
Last but not least, the talented team behind Rooftop Movies and FRINGE WORLD understand that sometimes all you want to do during the cold months is rug up in front of a good movie. With that in mind, they’ve set up an incredible cinema within the Egyptian Art Deco grandeur of the 1930s Old Perth Girls School building. Pre-movie marshmallow toasting at the courtyard fire pits is an absolute must, as is a cheesy slice of Mack Daddy’s New York pizza and a glass of mulled wine from the lounge bar.
Free Art Exhibitions Across the City
If you’ve ever wanted to see the Northern Lights, a rare chance to do so at Forest Place, Perth is also one of the highlights of the Winter Fest program thanks to Swiss artist Dan Archer’s mesmerising light installation, BOREALIS.
The stunning combination of art and technology projects high powered laser beams through particle clouds to create the illusion of a natural aurora. Differences in movement, colour and density, together with changing weather conditions, result in infinite variations of light, which ensure that the experience is unique every time.
Featuring two seemingly autonomous robotic monoliths, the sculptural performance Guardians by Ololo will also be roving the city across several locations including Murray Street, Hay Street, Yagan Square, Kings Square and Elizabeth Quay.
Intended to be both menacing and comforting, the technological beings are equipped with internal sound and lighting systems to perform ethereally harmonised songs while moving amongst the crowd in a slow choreographed dance.
However, their motives are purposefully ambiguous. Sent out to patrol public spaces at busy times for maximum impact, on the surface their mission is to establish order and calm yet they could also serve a dual purpose of keeping people in line.
Fantastic Food and Where to Find it
Foodies will be glad to learn that it’s not all fun and games, it’s culinary delights, too. Chef George Tiller of Tiller Dining is bringing his renowned modern fare to his tongue-in-cheek ‘Garden of Eatin’ marquee in Cathedral Square for a decadent Dinner for the Sinners.
Utilising sustainable and fresh produce sourced Tiller farm in Yallingup Siding, the seven-course degustation pairs each dish with one of the seven deadly sins, as well as wines from all over Western Australia.
But that’s not all. From colourful modern Australian cuisine in a 100-year-old renovated mill known as the Flour Factory to mouth-watering Spanish tapas at Heno & Rey, the West End tour is set to take you on a flavour-filled journey through the best bites in the west end of the city.
Plenty of restaurants will also be offering specials in honour of Winter Fest, including Caballitos Mexican cantina, Heirloom Restaurant & Bar, Lot Twenty and the Lazy Lee Urban Eatery. Even Perth’s very first Udon noodle specialist Hifumiya Udon Noodle House is on board, with free upgrades to large udons available if you mention ‘Perth Winter Fest’ when you order.
If drinks are more your style, Henry’s Rooftop will be serving a hot apple cider fusion with fragrant vanilla, star anise and cinnamon to spice up your life and keep you cosy during the brisk nights ahead.
For a full list of events and offers, make sure to head to visitperth.com.au.