Western Australia’s diverse events calendar
Western Australia plays host to an incredible range of world-class cultural, sporting and culinary events, allowing visitors to experience the State’s natural beauty, state-of-the-art venues and diverse culture.
An exciting addition to the events calendar for 2018 is the Field of Light: Avenue of Honour – an immersive art installation by UK artist Bruce Munro set to light up Albany in WA’s South West. Honouring the sacrifice of the Anzacs, the art exhibition, commissioned by independent, non-profit organisation FORM, will run from October 2018 to Anzac Day in 2019.
Perth’s new state-of-the-art 60,000-seat Optus Stadium opened to applause in January 2018 and has already hosted sell-out crowds. The stadium offers world-leading technology and facilities, and will host a line-up of exclusive events in the coming years including a Chelsea Football Club match in July, and in 2019, the NRL State of Origin and the Bledisloe Cup. Home to Australian Rules Football in Perth, it’s a multi-purpose venue, with big name acts such as Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift among the artists to perform
Some of the key events on the annual WA calendar include:
Mastercard Hopman Cup
Tennis – Perth – January
As the International Tennis Federation’s official mixed-team competition, the Hopman Cup’s unique format brings together some of the world’s top male and female players who represent their countries in singles and mixed doubles. Held at the state-of-the-art Perth Arena, the tournament has welcomed some of the sport’s biggest names to Perth for 30 years. Roger Federer made a much-heralded return to tennis at the 2018 tournament, following recent appearances by other high-calibre players such as Serena Williams, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.
Culture – Perth – February-March
The hugely popular Perth Festival brings some of the best art and cultural acts in the world to WA for three weeks of ground-breaking and energetic music, film, theatre, visual arts and free community events. Originating in 1953, it’s the oldest multi-arts festival in the southern hemisphere and continues to attract world attention through events such as 2016’s The Giants, in which 1.4 million people were thrilled by huge marionettes walking through Perth’s city centre; 2017’s Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak, which illuminated Kings Park with breathtaking multi-media projections; and 2018’s Siren Song, which heard female voices descend from the sky signalling the arrival and departure of the light each day.
FRINGE World Festival
Culture – Perth – January-February
Expect the unexpected when the world’s third-largest fringe festival delivers a weird and wonderful program of comedy, circus, family fun, theatre, visual arts, music, dance and cabaret. Local artists mingle with international performers at Fringe World venues in Northbridge, Elizabeth Quay and other Perth metropolitan locations. Box office sales in 2017 topped a staggering $10 million from an attendance of 750,000 people over the month-long extravaganza.
World Super 6 Perth
Golf – Perth – February
Golfing history was made in Perth in 2017 when the picturesque Lake Karrinyup Country Club hosted a world-first faster format tournament, ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth. Some of the sport’s biggest names joined fans, media and one or two kangaroos on the course at the tri-sanctioned tournament. The successful format involves 54 holes of traditional stroke play followed by an exciting knock-out format in the final round, with the option of a purpose-built shootout hole.
Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe
Culture – Perth – March
For a fortnight each year, Perth’s Cottesloe Beach transforms into a giant outdoor gallery to host the immensely popular Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. The free event showcases around 70 massive and magnificent installations by top local and international artists, set against the backdrop of one of the city’s most iconic beaches.
Margaret River Pro
Surfing – South West – April
With more than 75 major surfing breaks, Margaret River’s reputation as one of the world’s most consistent big wave destinations comes to life at the Margaret River Pro in WA’s South West. One of only 11 events on the World Championship Tour, the Pro attracts surfing’s top 36 male and top 18 female ranked competitors – plus thousands of spectators – to the beautiful coastline each year.
Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster
Culture, music, food – Kimberley – May
The Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster celebrates the culture and extraordinary natural landscapes of the East Kimberley region in WA’s North West. The festival prides itself on embracing the local community to present an impressive line-up of events including comedy nights, a street party and the Waringarri Corroboree. The muster’s major drawcard, the Kimberley Moon Experience, is held on the banks of the Ord River and provides an idyllic setting to enjoy a stellar line-up of national and local musical acts under an immense Kimberley night sky.
Festival – Kimberley – September
Japanese for ‘festival of the pearl’, Broome’s annual Shinju Matsuri is a vibrant celebration of the town’s unique multicultural and pearling history. Since the late 1800s, Broome’s prized South Sea pearls have brought together local Aboriginal people with Japanese, Chinese, Malay, Koepanger, Filipino and European workers. This cultural fusion continues to flourish in present-day Broome, where Shinju Matsuri’s 10-day whirlwind of colour, sound, taste and smell showcase the region’s natural beauty and unique history.
Margaret River Gourmet Escape
Food and wine – South West – November
Nigella Lawson, Heston Blumenthal, Curtis Stone, Rick Stein, Alex Atala, Marco Pierre White and Rene Redzepi are some of the international names who have appeared at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape, in the famed South West wine region. The ultimate culinary adventure brings together the world’s best food and wine experts for a weekend of satellite and fringe events including beach barbecues, long-table lunches, sundowners and Q&A sessions. At the Gourmet Village festival hub, in the beautiful surrounds of Leeuwin Estate, consumers can indulge in local produce, wines, cooking demonstrations and master classes with some of the visiting stars.