Port Fairy is on the South West Coast of Victoria, approximately 290km from Melbourne, and 28km from Warrnambool, it’s largest regional neighbour. Allow 3.5 hours travel from Melbourne by car via Princes/Hamilton Highway and 6 hours if taking the scenic route via the Great Ocean Road. The Festival arena is just a short stroll from the centre of the township.
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Port Fairy is an old sea-side fishing and farming village looking out to the Southern Ocean waves rolling along the south-west coast of the state of Victoria. It was along this south coast of Australia that ships sailed in the early years of immigration. Many were wrecked on the rocks. A fishing fleet still operates from the wharf on the river.
The town of Port Fairy has become a thriving year round tourism destination and is an ideal stopover for ongoing tours further west or north to The Grampians.
The festival program includes performances from both international and Australian artists in a wide variety of genres including folk, roots, blues, jazz, world, country and bluegrass in both ticketed and free venues. There is also comedy, spoken word, family friendly activities, street performers, craft and market stalls, workshops, theme concerts, Festival Choir and one of the best exhibitions of Australian made, handcrafted musical instruments in the country. Artist profiles are listed on our Artists page as they are announced. The full festival program and the program app will be available on the website towards the end of the calendar year. Generally our program begins late Friday afternoon in the village, Friday evening from 5:00pm in the arena, and winds up on Monday afternoon around 1:30pm.
The main music program is held in the Festival Arena (Southcombe Park Sports Reserve), which boasts nine major venues, two of which are licensed. The Arena is open to ticket holders only. There are also nine other venues around the town including churches, halls, the Theatre and clubs and free entertainment on Fiddlers’ Green and the Railway Stage. There are three market areas; Sackville Street, Railway Place and Fisherman’s Walk. Many of the venues in town are free and open to ticket holders and non-ticket holders alike. Main concert venues have some fixed seating installed. In venues that have grassed surfaces, patrons may bring low height beach chairs and rugs to sit on.
Food & Beverages
The Arena has many food and beverage vendors, including two licensed areas. There are many dining options in town including pubs, restaurants and street stalls. You may bring your own food and drink into the arena (apart from alcoholic beverages). Drinking water and dish-washing facilities are provided at the western end of Stage 1.
There are many boutique craft stalls in the Festival Arena, as well as on Sackville Street, Railway Place and Fisherman’s Walk (both on Bank Street).
Buskers are not booked by the PFFF, and no busking is allowed in the Festival Arena. If you wish to busk in town you will need to obtain a permit from the Moyne Shire prior to the Festival weekend, and perform only in designated area as shown on the application form. To obtain an application for a busking permit, please contact the Moyne Shire by email [email protected] or by phone 1300 656 564 during business hours.
Access & Parking
The main Arena is located at Southcombe Sports Complex in Campbell Street, Port Fairy. There are also many free venues in the township that provide entertainment for non-ticket holders. If you are staying in town, please consider walking to the festival! There is also a low floor wheelchair accessible Music Shuttle Bus that circuits the town for the cost of a gold coin donation. Public parking is available on the corner of James and Campbell Streets; a fee is charged and parking spaces are limited. You may also park in the streets of town where permitted, however please observe all signs, and road closures. Wheelchair access is available to all venues in the Arena, and Fiddler’s Green, Railway Stage and the Reardon Theatre in the town. Disabled permit parking is located in Campbell Street outside the front gate of the Arena. Wheelchair accessible toilets are provided at the public toilet locations in the Arena and around the township. Hearing induction loops are installed at stages 1 & 3. Receivers can be obtained from the Festival Information Stall located centrally in the arena.
V-Line provides services to Port Fairy via rail to Warrnambool and coach to Port Fairy. For timetable details, please click here: www.vline.com.au