A year full of festivals and events ahead

January 13, 2023 BY

Party on: The Bendigo Easter Festival is set to return in 2023 with events for party people of all ages. Photo: FILE

SPORTING events, showcases, and festivals are a feature of the City of Greater Bendigo’s public calendar for the next twelve months.

Acting director strategy and growth Ben Devanny said there’ll be something for everyone on the schedule and lots to boost the visitor economy.

“The City supports around 120 events each year, working hard behind the scenes to ensure it all happens seamlessly,” he said.

“As Victoria’s Top Tourist Town in 2022, we will continue to deliver a great line up of events for 2023 to stimulate our visitor economy to encourage people to stay longer, shop and dine, and make the most of their time here.”

Arguably the biggest drawcard on the agenda is Melbourne Opera’s production of Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle.

Mr Devanny said the performances are a coup for Bendigo, and it’s expected that national and international lovers of opera will descend on the goldfields especially for it.

“Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle is coming to the Ulumbarra Theatre from March 24 to April 30 and will be one of the most ambitious and largest performing arts productions ever to grace the stage,” he said.

“Presented by Melbourne Opera, Ring Cycle will be performed at our magnificent 900-seat Ulumbarra Theatre, which was chosen because it is big enough to hold the show’s immense stage set.

“The production is a 15-hour epic consisting of four individual operas presented over several weeks: Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung.”

Opening at the at the Bendigo Art Gallery in two months is Australiana: Designing a Nation and the diverse exhibit is set to highlight the full story of Australian art and design.

“The exhibition captures moments in the nation’s history to the present day,” Mr Devanny said.

In mid-autumn the Bendigo Easter Festival is set to return, with its parade, entertainment, and carnival atmosphere.

“To coincide with the festival, Rosalind Park will be home to Kaleidoscope, a new colourful immersive installation from the creator behind House of Mirrors and 1000 Doors,” Mr Devanny said.

“Let your senses be tested wandering through different spaces in an ever-changing light.

Mr Devanny said the City continues to advocate to host major sporting events with the aim of attract tourists and adding to the local economy, which is strong in its pandemic recovery.

“The figures show we are almost back at pre-COVID levels for domestic overnight stays welcoming 1.27 million visitors [in 2022],” he said.

“We also had 2.78 million tourists enjoying day trips to Bendigo. Last year’s Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery was a game-changer once restrictions eased.

“The exhibition attracted 220,000 visitors, smashing box office records, and its economic impact on the region is estimated at $67 million according to Victorian Government figures.

“It confirms the enormous contribution and impact of events, performances and exhibitions on the region, and the vital role played by the tourism, accommodation, and hospitality sectors.”