Country festivals receive funding to keep audiences inspired

Dept of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

Close to $700,000 in funding will be provided to 18 regional and remote festival projects across the nation, as part of Round 18 of the Australian Government’s Festivals Australia program.

The program delivers $1.4 million each year over two funding rounds and gives people in regional and remote Australia the opportunity to experience and participate in arts and culture locally.

The program supports a range of music, theatre and dance activities for audiences across regional Australia. In line with Revive, the National Cultural Policy, the program supports projects that platform local voices, reflecting the breadth of Australian stories.

Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, said festivals fostered community spirit and support local artists.

“Festivals are a vital part of the arts sector, creating opportunities for artists and arts workers.

“Importantly, they encourage local storytelling, allowing community members to connect with each other and with visitors.

“The second pillar of Revive is ‘A Place for Every Story’. Every Australian should have the opportunity to tell their own stories, not just people in capital cities.”

Amongst the recipients of this round are:

Bunbury Chinese Lantern Festival – WA – A Race for a Place is a traditional Chinese folk story created by children, for children and performed at the community celebration of the Bunbury Chinese Lantern Festival 2025. Children will perform a musical soundscape to accompany the bilingual narration while interactive circus performers will entertain audiences.

Shine on Gimuy – QLD – Entwined ArtStory Walk is a storytelling platform showcasing Australia’s artistic excellence and First Nations culture. Songlines, creation stories and cultural narratives will be revealed through art and technology creating an evocative and majestic First Nations Art installation. Entwined weaves together art, culture, philosophy, language and customs showcased in an immersive light and art spectacular event in the heart of Cairns.

Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues – VIC – Anchored by storytelling, the Victoria Lane Jazz Quarter and Community Precinct features an outdoor stage and an immersive art installation, inviting attendees to share their jazz tales. Partnering with local clubs and artists, it aims to foster community pride and ownership. This initiative will provide a dynamic, free space for locals and visitors, showcasing local talent and enhancing the festival experience for all.

Applicants to the Festivals Australia program are assessed on specific criteria that consider project quality, accessibility, partnership opportunities, and value for money.

A full list of recipients can be found here.

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