There’s no shortage of things to do in Australia. If anyone knows that, it’s us…
However with such a breadth of things going on around the country, it can sometimes get a little overwhelming to separate the champs from the chumps. You’re busy people, we get it.
To help you out, we have collated a guide of the best-goings-on for the month of August, helping you plan your calendar accordingly. And, if you’re in lockdown, we have a great selection of virtual events to keep you occupied. Thank us later.
All events correct at the time of publishing. We are doing our best to keep this post updated but due to the evolving Covid-19 situation please check the event’s website directly before attending and follow all current safety restrictions.
The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair
In 2020, The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair transitioned from its usual large gathering on Larrakia Country at the Darwin Convention Centre to an exclusively digital offering, allowing it to showcase an artform with traditions and practices stretching back in a straight line through multiple millennia in a surprisingly modern way. And this year, bigger and better things are on the horizon.
The digital Fair will be open to the public from 10am ACST on Friday, 6 August, through to 5pm ACST on Wednesday, 11 August. Attendees can gain exclusive early access to the online platform by pre-registering on the DAAF website here.
The organisers ensured the quality of the art on show, and the depth of the cultural program on offer, was in no way compromised. In fact, the program was expanded to include the inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards, a celebration of fashion and fabric design by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fashion designers and artists.
Read more here.
The Top End’s favourite time of year, Darwin Festival, is officially around the corner – and although other state lockdowns have prompted some tweaks to the Program, Territorians and some lucky visitors are gearing up for 18 tropical days and nights packed with stellar shows, relaxed outdoor dining and free family fun.
From 5-22 August, Darwin Festival will intoxicate the senses and offer up stirring theatrical performances, some of the hottest live music acts in the country, incredible cabaret and circus, cross cultural collaborations, thrumming dancefloors under the stars and epic outings for the whole family.
Enjoy Happy Hour from home
Now more than ever is the time to enjoy a cocktail that reminds you of the places you long to see again soon; they’re like a comfort food; transporting you to a balmy day lounging on a beach, and for a moment, you can close your eyes and conjure the sun’s heat, sandy beaches, and the rustle of salty air in palm trees.
Propelling the art of mixology into the stratosphere, Twisted Shaker are an elite local boutique with drinks designed to be served straight from the bottle encompassing an exciting range of both iconic cocktails and exciting new twists on old favourites. The range includes a Raspberry Hibiscus Cosmopolitan, Espresso Martini, Tequila Margarita, Cucumber Gin Gimlet and Whiskey Old Fashioned. Twisted Shaker Cocktails are available here and deliver nationwide.
Golden Age From Home
To Sydney-siders, Golden Age is the premiere cinema and bar in the old screening room of the heritage-listed Paramount Pictures Building in Surry Hills. During COVID, they have been pivoting their cinematic offering online, via streaming platform Movie Night.
This month, choose between a feast of cinematic offerings direct from the cinema. Crowd favourite Supernova starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, fascinating Oscar nominee Collective, or the supremely moving documentary The Painter and the Thief. Oh, and as far as winter warmers go, nothing matches the unique delights of 1985 “ramen western” Tampopo.
Accompany your movie with something from the selection of the Golden Age Bar.
Take a virtual front row seat at the Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House presents a vibrant digital program this August, with new releases of music, dance, talks, art and a behind-the-scenes tour all available to watch now on Stream.
Enjoy four cinematic concert films from the Australian Chamber Orchestra; dance along to Infusion, No Movement, No Sound with the global rhythms of the Jamestown Collective; watch the video version of the long-running podcast series Ideas at the House featuring four women – Ione Skye, Tilly Lawless, FlexMami and Yumi Stynes – sharing very different perspesctives on their life and work; experience the Shortwave series of digital performance works with the latest instalment by Western Sydney-based artist Kalanjay Dhir; go Behind The Scenes of the Opera House with a virtual tour introducing kids to the fascinating uses, features and history of this Australian icon; and witness the virtuosic instrumentalists of Ensemble Offspring perform an eclectic program of innovative music of our time.
MIFF goes digital
The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has responded to the evolving COVID environment with the announcement that its hybrid festival will change the order of its program to maximise both in-cinema and online opportunities for its audience.
Originally due to screen in cinemas for the first half of the festival and online for the second, MIFF will now bring forward the online program to run for the full duration of the festival from 5-22 August, while the in-cinema screenings will now commence later on 12 August.
MIFF Play – the festival’s online streaming platform – will now beam into lounge rooms nationwide for the duration of the festival. With 62 films already announced that can be accessed in all states across Australia from Friday 6 August, the online program will also be augmented over MIFF’s festival run, with an expected 30 additional feature titles, and further short films to be added as well.
WinterWild Apollo Bay
WinterWild returns this August at Apollo Bay, exploring the fringe states of body and mind that result in the ecstatic and the blissful. Known for its nocturnal program of extravagant fireside performances, epic feasts and music, but also a full daytime workshop program. It’s the best of both worlds…
Drumming, meditation, ice bathing, mind and body workshops and discussion panels on sacred plant medicines are all among this year’s offerings. Head along and discover a side of Apollo Bay you don’t often see.
National Portrait Gallery showcases the 2021 National Photographic Portrait Prize
The National Portrait Gallery awarded Sydney photographer Joel B. Pratley’s photo of a lone farmer immersed in a dust storm in drought-stricken Australia the 2021 National Photographic Portrait Prize.
Titled Drought story, the portrait is of David Kalisch captured in the midst of an unexpected dust storm on his 1000-acre farm in Forbes, NSW. Pratley said his subjects’ stance reflects the resilience of a man pushed to the limits by an unforgiving climate. “David’s composure during the storm was surreal, because he is just so used to it. For me, it was like being on Mars.”
Browse the full list of portraits here.
Canberra’s own COMICON style festival celebrates pop culture fandom and creative talent in a multitude of ways. Due to COVID, there will be a series of online and small events.
Expect shows, panels and workshops, a tabletop and video game showcase of indie game developers and over 150 exhibitors including local artists, writers, and comic book artists.
TastroFest has grown to become one of Tasmania’s largest science festivals with the focus of understanding our night sky.
Usually, our event is celebrated over a 3-day festival in Ulverstone, North West Tasmania, where beginners through to experts gather to share all things space. However, 2020 has led to changes in how many things are done and this also includes the festival.
The team has been travelling across our beautiful state gathering interesting information about our “star” locations, so you can explore from the comfort of your armchair. Read the full program here.
Forged on the back of the fishing industry and known as the cradle of Tasmania’s salmon and trout farming sector, Bridport was naturally where they decided to celebrate the combination of seafood and wine excellence.
The fiesta showcases a series of eclectic events in the village and on the water. Paying homage to Bridport’s maritime and seafood heritage in association with the premium beverages of the hinterland.
Gascoyne Food Festival
Brought to you by the Gascoyne Food Council, the Food Festival attracts both locals and tourists alike. With food lovers from near and far-flung places seeking out a unique culinary experience.
Set against the backdrop of the mighty Gascoyne river and the red dirt of the fertile horticultural lands and desert, the festival locations boast the idyllic, laid-back charm of regional Western Australia with all the modern amenities and the attractions needed to keep you comfortable and entertained through the festival weekend.
The annual celebration of South Australian living visual artists is back for another year. Held in Adelaide every August, thousands of artists exhibit in hundreds of venues throughout metropolitan and regional areas of the state.
The extraordinary range of exhibition venues means that you can find art just about anywhere, from traditional galleries to cafes, hairdressers, pubs and other unexpected places.
And, the art is as diverse as the artists, with all kinds of media represented: painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, digital media, moving image, glass, ceramics, textiles and more.
Celebrate the canine connection, and meet dogs from all walks of life through this carefully curated collection of stories about dogs and their people at the Top Dog Film Festival.
From husky dogs of Alaska to working dogs of Australia, a pull on your heartstrings is guaranteed. Meet 4-legged heroes, unbreakable bonds and canine companions that enrich the lives of all they encounter.
Filled with delightful doggy moments, get tickets before they sell out – you’d be barking mad to miss it.
The Great Barrier Reef Festival
The Great Barrier Reef Festival celebrates the Great Barrier Reef and what it means to live in Airlie Beach, Whitsundays – the Heart of the Reef. The region’s favourite festival is a delicious combination of family fun, all-night celebrations, local food and fashion and some of the biggest parties in the north.
The four-day celebration of the reef will feature the spectacular Fireworks on the Foreshore complete with live music and DJs, carnival rides, food stalls and night markets lining the beautiful Airlie Beach foreshore.
The Beach Music stage will be pumping the region’s top live music and entertainment on the foreshore throughout the weekend. Other events include reef art installations and education, Comedy Gala, Family Fun Day, Wilmar Sugar Wearable Art Parade, helicopter joy rides and cocktails at the Pop-up Beach Bar making Reef Festival a perfect time to enjoy the gorgeous Whitsunday winter.