Oh you’re on the hunt for the ultimate festival experience in Wollongong, Shoalhaven and the Illawarra? Well look no further, baby! We’ve rounded up the most vibrant and diverse festivals on the South Coast. From music parties that move your body, to folk gatherings that soothe the soul. From celebrations of Art and Culture to heavenly Food, Beer & Wine extravaganzas. Wollongong’s best festivals are a fusion of creativity and community. The South Coast region is a festival paradise, and something wonderful is happening all year round. Read on as we line-up Wollongong and the Illawarra’s most unmissable festival events!

KidsFest Shellharbour – May 2024

The Illawarra’s FAVOURITE kid-friendly, free festival is back for 2024. KidsFest Shellharbour is a week-long, FREE, not-for-profit annual festival for children, their families and carers.

Events are held across a range of venues in Shellharbour, giving children aged 0-12 years, experiences to create, explore and discover!

KidsFest dates are May 19-25 and KidsFest Fringe is Monday 13 – Friday 17 May. Please see full KidsFest 2024 Program including Signature Events here and stay up to date with KidsFest Shellharbour 2024 here.

Activities are ‘hands on’ giving children experiences to create, explore and discover. Events are hosted by community service organisations, supported by local businesses to develop an increased sense of inclusion and belonging.

Winter Wine Festival – Crooked River Estate 8 / 9 June

Like your vino with incredible live music and stunning South Coast views? Lock in your LONG WEEKEND FUN with this amazing Winter Wine Festival, just south of Kiama (25mins south of Wollongong).

Experience ARIA award entertainment, estate grown wine and mouth-watering food in one huge weekend!

Expect two days of non-stop entertainment at the picturesque Crooked River Estate in Gerringong. This year’s Festival boasts an impressive line-up:

Saturday 8 June
ICEHOUSE | Alex Lloyd | Ash Grunwald | The Hollywood Waltz | Pallas Haze Olivia Coggan Rolling Holy

Sunday 9 June
The Rubens | Pacific Avenue | Jack River | Daisy Pring | Darling Street James Burton

Secure your tickets now HERE (entry starts from $99 for one day with upgraded VIP tickets and bus transport and parking optional extras).

Festa Junina – Wollongong’s Brazilian Festival on 15th June

Festa Junina at Seeker Brewing Unanderra, celebrates the wonders of Brazilian culture, food and dancing! If you like vibrant festivals, come and join!

This traditional Brazilian festival, celebrated nationwide, brings people of all ages together for a day filled with fantastic music, dance, and mouthwatering food. Live band “Forall Band” will set off an unforgettable dance celebration. Early bird tickets start from $21 only! Book here 

Shellharbour Rocks 2024 – Albion Park, Shellharbour Village, Oak Flats & Lake Illawarra – Dates TBA

Shellharbour puts all its heart into this celebration of four unique town centres with their annual music and arts festival series. This free, family friendly festival is the largest community music and arts festival series Shellharbour City Council has ever produced. And it’s wonderfully weird too, with lots of street theatre, sideshows, circus acts and lots of colourful surprises!

This year they’re going all out, bringing 120 homegrown music acts, as well as local artists, creators, performers, and plenty of delicious food across 4 distinct events.

Check out their pages for more info here

Berry Celtic Festival – Berry Showground – 25th May 2024

A fantastic day out for the whole family, The Berry Celtic Festival

The sound of the pipes across the meadow…“stirs your Scottish blood” as my dear grandpa used to say! But you don’t need any Celtic blood to enjoy Berry’s awesome Celtic Festival. This annual festival is a fantastic family day out, and a bit like steeping through time… Come to hear the pipe bands march, see the Clans in their colours and medieval villagers walking around. There are also medieval knight battles, Scottish Terrier dogs lots of unique Celtic stalls, and of course, lots of singing, music and dancing. The Jousting has been a huge draw the last couple of years, and it really is exciting to see the heavily armoured knights go at each other!

The festival is a fundraising project of the Rotary Club of Berry supported by Shoalhaven City Council. The day starts at 9:30 with a parade and runs until around 4pm.

Info here

Thirroul Seaside & Arts Festival – Multiple venues, Thirroul – 2 – 4 June 2024

Little ones can’t get enough of the carnival rides in Thirroul Park at the Thirroul Seaside and Arts Festival!

Thirroul Seaside & Arts Festival is a big one on the calendars of local artists and families alike. The weekend festival is a celebration of art and community and supports emerging and established local artists. The art scene on the coal coast is very healthy thanks to the enthusiasm of the locals! This year’s festival will showcase a variety of local visual art, photography and performance art, alongside international foods, market stalls and the ever popular carnival Sunday in Thirroul park, where your kids can run amok! 

Grab your picnic blanket and head down to the beach on  Saturday night for a free moonlight cinema! The festival is a real celebration of the community, and what it means to us all to live by the sea.

The festival is run by Austinmer Thirroul Lions Club – supporting the needs of the community.

See their website for updates here

The Berry Camellia and Floral Show – Berry School of Arts – 27th – 28th July 2024

The annual Camellia and Floral Show in Berry is a celebration of winter blooms that will fill your senses with beauty! Held in the elegant 19th century School of Arts building on Alexander Street, the show brings the best of the best in a raucous display of all varieties of cut flowers, not only Camellias! Along with private judging, fresh flowers will be on sale at the show.

The show runs from noon on Saturday until 4pm with a presentation of trophies at 12.30pm, and on Sunday from 10am – 2pm. A gorgeous way to bring colour into a winter day!

Admission is $5 for adults.  Children under 18 are admitted free. 
Light lunch and afternoon tea are available at the show, (or you are spoiled for cafes in Berry village.)

Head to their page here

Get Together Music Festival 2024- Wombarra Bowling Club – Dates TBA

The Get Together Music Festival is back for another year at the iconic Wombarra Bowling Club.  Once again they’ve really bringing their A-game with their line-up. Expect to see a cool mix of reggae, blues, rock, soul, folk, electro Latin, Afro-Colombian roots, funk, hip-hop, dancehall and singer-songwriters playing across three stages from Friday through to Sunday night. 

Don’t miss this unique celebration of culture and community at what is set to be the Coal Coast’s biggest party of the year! Punters are always a big variety of ages, and everyone wears their dancing shoes!

Keep an eye on their socials for date confirmation: here

Port Kembla Festival – Wentworth Street, PK – 2024 Date TBA

Port has its own special vibe, and the best way to soak it up is at the festival of light and sound. Like a cool mini Vivid — the Port Kembla festival is as eclectic and grassroots as PK itself.

This free-entry event is hosted across multiple venues — including live music venues, alleyways, gardens and even the vintage motorcycle store. This year will feature more than 20 artists from around Australia, immersive art experiences, markets, exhibition and, of course, light installations that bathe the in the streets in colour. The festival is designed to encourage exploration of Port, and having lived there I can confidently say, this steel town has plenty of adventure to offer.

Keep an eye on their socials for updates here

KISS Arts Festival – Black Beach, Kiama and surrounds – October 2024, dates TBA

The KISS stands for ‘Kiama International Sea Side’ Arts Festival – a big, silly, funny celebration of spectacle and performance. Decidedly ‘fringe’ – this fun weekend festival is full of music, street performance and interactive experiences. They’re always experimental, welcoming local and international talent in a program that is bursting at the seams. (Seriously, there is a hula hoop or a magician or comedian on every corner!) The kids absolutely love it and the days are full of laughter. The KISS Arts Festival is super inclusive and folks from all walks of life come down Black Beach to enjoy the silliness and mayhem. Best of all? This event is free for all ages!

Check out their story at here

Yours & Owls Festival – UOW – October 2024 Dates TBA

Absolute party. The crowd gives love at Yours & Owls Festival in Wollongong

The big daddy of premium music festivals! Yours & Owls Festival is (in my opinion) the highlight of the Wollongong festival calendar. Last year a venue move to the University of Wollongong campus was an all-weather solution that worked out so well.  Yours & Owls Festival features multiple stages, food and market stalls, branded activations, art installations, with pre and post-festival community events. Their line ups are hot stuff, with a mix of freshness and iconic Aussie and International acts to please everyone. It’s an 18+ event, and the demographic is skewed to the younger persuasion. Lots and lots of fun and dancing!

Check out their site for updates as they’re released here

Craft Beer Market Festival – Bulli Showground – October 2024 Dates TBA

Good beer and hilarious jokes? Sign me up for a day at the Craft Beer Market Fest in Bulli

Are you a craft beer enthusiast — or maybe just up for a fun day out with mates? The Craft Beer Market Festival at Bulli Showground might be just up your alley. Think Spring weather, smiling vibes and all things beer, baby.  This little festival is a celebration of all things craft beer, from the artistry and technical skill of brewing to appreciation of flavour profiles. Whether you’re a bit of a  beer connoisseur or just curious about the craft beer scene, this event has been a hit the last 2 years and promises to be a real good time.

Click here for more What’s on in Wollongong Illawarra, Wollongong & South Coast NSW festival and event inspo

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