Many cities claim to be the regional “events capital” of Western Australia, but we think Bunbury is an obvious frontrunner.
Bunbury’s events calendar has made a resurgence in recent years and residents and visitors alike would be hard-pressed to find a weekend (or weekday for that matter) that doesn’t offer something to do.
The City’s bumper events line-up is jam packed with something for everyone across arts and culture, music and entertainment, eating and drinking, and adventure and nature.
Think awesome tunes and sublime vibes at music festivals and gigs, recurring produce markets featuring local growers, creatives and artisans along with food truck fiestas and thirst-quenching festivals showcasing local beer, ciders and wines.
The impressive events scene is underpinned by the City’s major and iconic events in Australia Day’s SkyFest celebrations, Christmas in the City, Bunbury Fringe Festival, Groovin the Moo and the Bunbury Beer & Cider Festival.
The Australia Day and Christmas events are City of Bunbury-run gigs, and Bunbury City Council has an extensive grant funding program that supports numerous events both financially and in-kind.
However, it is the grassroots community groups and a growing collection of event organisers and planners that are also helping to put Bunbury on the map as the go-to event location.
Bunbury Brighter recently featured event organiser Jo O’Dea and volunteer Shamara Williams, Deputy Chairperson of the Bunbury Multicultural Group, and their respective efforts in the events space.
Through the Multicultural Group, Shamara is heavily involved in Bunbury’s South West Multicultural Festival.
The vibrant festival is not the only gig showcasing and celebrating the City’s culturally diverse community, with events such as South West Festival of Japan and the Bunbury Chinese New Year Festival continuing to grow in popularity.
A newcomer to Bunbury’s event scene is the Downtown Music Festival, run by local event management company Your Turn Events.
Spread across three separate weekends in summer, these funky festivals celebrate different genres of music which recently included jazz, reggae, and Ibiza (to come).
The festivals are a welcome and popular addition to the City’s thriving events calendar and Your Turn Events Event Manager Renee Morrison says it is all part of the evolution of Bunbury.
Bunbury is vibrant and a great place for events like ours because the community embraces them and shows their support by attending, Renee says
We are fortunate to be able to continue and Bunbury provides some beautiful locations where we can host them.
Bunbury’s events are obviously not limited to celebrating amazing music, they also include an impressive list of sporting events.
The City’s ongoing partnership with Sports Marketing Australia has seen some super successful events such as the BMX Australia National Championships, Nitro Circus and Volley by the Bay.
While returning events in the CBD’s Street Pole Vault, Bunbury Geographe Gift, Targa Bunbury Sprint along with an array of triathlon, swimming and running events round out a plethora of options for both athletes and spectators in Bunbury.
Many of the events already mentioned cater for young and old, but the SHIFT Youth Festival, planned by Bunbury’s Youth Advisory Council, continues to prosper and grow each year.
We haven’t even scratched the surface, and it would be remiss not to mention the glut of food and wine events, with most celebrating local produce.
The Geographe and WA Alternative Varieties Wine Show is a must even for the non-vino lover, while Dinner at Dusk – a regular fixture of delicious food trucks on the shores of Koombana Bay – is a favourite that continues to grow in popularity.
The City’s annual Chefs Long Table Charity Lunch also continues to be a staple on Bunbury’s event calendar.
A variety of community events can also be found throughout the year, including Bunbury Summer School at Stirling Street Arts Centre, Pridefest South West, Seniors Information and Activity Day and the Tree Street Art Safari – just to name a few and all of which are more than worthy of attention (and attendance).
Yes, the past 12 months has seen many events impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but most of Bunbury’s amazing events have persevered as is, or in a different format.
This is testament of the community embracing Bunbury’s flourishing events line-up and of the hard work of the City’s event organisers, planners, and volunteers.
As mentioned, we have barely scratched the surface of Bunbury’s events line-up but it is pretty easy to see there is an exciting balance of things of see, eat, drink, play or take part in, in Bunbury.