Festivals in Australia Compared to the World

On Sunday we went to the Bulimba Festival 2013.

Hold on a minute Bob! Whoa!!

Only the other week you went to Sandgate and the Einbunpin Festival. Before that, you went to the Winter Lights Festival, Racecourse Road, Ascot and it was less than three months ago you wrote about Brisbane Festivals and Shows: A Busy Weekend.

In that post you talked about the Noosa Food and Wine Festival, the Redcliffe Kite Festival, the Paniyiri Greek Festival and also mentioned the Brookfield Show. When you went to Darwin, they had two ‘festivals’; Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta and Territory Day.

You’ve been to quite a few festivals in the last three months; does everyone in Australia have a festival?

Good question.


First, let me at least show you some pictures of the festival I went to in Bulimba this weekend…

1 Bulimba Busy

Bulimba Busy

Bulimba - Yes, Busy

Bulimba – Yes, Busy

Bulimba Busy for the Live Music

Bulimba Busy for the Live Music

Bulimba Busy Kids

Bulimba Busy Kids

Bulimba Not So Busy by the River

Bulimba Not So Busy by the River

Bulimba Very Quiet for the Tree Climbing

Bulimba Very Quiet for the Tree Climbing

Nice place, huh?

Now then, yes, festivals are very popular over here, it seems that almost every suburb has a special day in the year when they turn their streets into a market, throw in some kids rides, a bit of face painting, some farmyard animals, live music, food, drink and a lot more.

If I go back further than three months, I’ve also been to Easter at the Festival of Sails, Redcliffe; last year I went to a festival in Wilston and asked Has It Ever Snowed in Brisbane?

Then there was Dipawali, BluesFest, the Coolum Kite Festival and every year the whole country enjoys Tropfest. And although I’ve never been, the big one here, of course, is Sydney’s Mardi Gras Festival.

It wouldn’t surprise me if it were possible to go to a different festival in Australia every week. Next week, for example, there’s festiValley; “a colourful celebration of art, craft and entertainment, with markets, workshops, activities, games, and rides suitable for all ages.

That one takes place in Samford Valley, who knows, maybe I will go. It’s only about 40 minutes drive for me and it’s in one of my favourite areas of Brisbane.

World Festivals

Festivals are nothing new nor are they unique to Australia, festivals happen everywhere. Maybe one of the biggest festivals in the world takes place near my old stomping ground in the UK. The Notting Hill Carnival is a massive, attracting over 1 million visitors each year, it gets quite busy…

Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival

Image courtesy of S Pakhrin

This year’s carnival kicked off yesterday and continues throughout today which is a bank holiday in the UK. Notting Hill may be big, but just for the record, it’s miniscule compared to what IS most definitely the biggest festival in the world.

Kumbh Mela is a Hindu religious festival that takes place every 12 years along the Ganges in India and with over 100 million people turning up for this one, it’s become known as the greatest and biggest human gathering on the planet…

Kumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela

Image courtesy of Seba Della

And I thought Bulimba was busy! We may not have the biggest festivals in the world here, but if quantity beats size, Australia is streets ahead when it comes to local festivals. Besides, nobody moves to Australia for the crowds, do they?

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Pat Lamb August 28, 2013, 7:48 am |

    Love your photos. Don’t forget that every Sunday we have a Craft Market at the Jetty in Redcliffe. It’s really interesting and the goods are value for money.

    • BobinOz August 29, 2013, 6:08 pm |

      Sounds good Pat, maybe I will come along one Sunday.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Warwick August 27, 2013, 7:53 pm |

    You know Bob,
    it used not to be like this.
    Festivals are opportunities for people to enjoy themselves and in former times enjoyment was purely a private affair.
    You portray the new mood very well. And at the same time you encourage it.
    People can write anything, either as promotion or criticism, but your photographs are unequivocal; large numbers of ordinary folks come together to enjoy themselves.
    You are a great force for good. Thanks.

    • BobinOz August 29, 2013, 12:24 am |

      Thanks Warwick, I have never been called ‘a great force for good’ before. I like it. I’m just not sure it suits me; if I tried to use it as a nickname, I’m sure people would just titter. Anyway…

      One mood I’m not sure I have portrayed very well is the communal spirit that seems in evidence at almost all of these kinds of gatherings, not something I’ve been much used to in any of the places I’ve lived before. I like that too.

      Cheers, Bob

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