WinterWild 2018: Art of Darkness    

Apollo Bay’s newest festival, WinterWild, is set to return in August 2018. WinterWild launched in 2017, funded by Regional Development Victoria to  supports economic recovery on the Great Ocean Road following the 2015 Christmas Day Bushfire. From the outset, the aim of the festival has been to subvert the identity of Apollo Bay as a summer tourism destination. It showcases the Otway coast after the crowds have left in all its wild, wintery glory.

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Don’t Look Away

The inaugural WinterWild Festival in 2017 invited guests to confront the elements. A dark and vibrant season of edgy arts ensued, with street theatre, Butoh, re-constructed opera, hip hop, cult surf films, spoken word and massive amounts of energy. Each evening, The DogWatch ushered in the darkness as people gathered around the brazier, the skeleton ribs of a ship, to celebrate the ancient themes of Water, Earth, Air and Fire. The best of Melbourne’s indie music culture was showcased in our oldest venue, the Mech. Performances took place in boats, garages, cafes and streets around town. The season wound up on the final night with a massed parade and a ritual burning on the beach.

Apollo Bay’s local community created, performed and thumped its chest while visitors watched in awe.



Images: Kimberley Roxborough

Winter Wild 2018:  Last Gasp. First Breath.     

Some stories are universal. In 2018 we pay tribute to the power of landscape and history. We recognize that all that we have is built upon loss. There is no life without death.  We claim this place at the expense of all the people who came before us. We claim this place at the expense of the forests. We claim our own existence out of the death of animals or the manipulation and loss of ecosystems. We acknowledge and respect this.


Death: August 10 – 12

The program will open with a large scale procession, drawing locals and visitors alike into the story of the Sacrifice, terminating at the burning WinterWild brazier. The towns’ souls are set free.  In the silence that follows, The Quietus descends in the Star of the Sea, an atmospheric church where a counter tenor sings a composition of death. Darkness and subversion are on display at The Laughing Death at the Mech and experimental music is forged in  The Crucible.

Birth August 24 – 26
Birth spirals up out of death, celebrated at the 13th Heaven, a wild long table feast. WinterWilds centrepiece event, The DogWatch, explodes with the light of Candescence before spiraling into movement at Dance Hall Deliverance, and dark rave, Moksha, where the dance of death and birth reaches its conclusion and our souls are liberated from the endless cycle.
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The first program release will be on May 11.

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Instagram: winterwildab


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