Victoria's answer to Dark Mofo, WinterWild is returning to Apollo Bay this August for its second year. While last year's after-dark winter arts festival was structured around the elements — with four weekends each set to the theme of water, fire, air and earth — this year's theme is death and birth.
Creeping into the coastal shire on the eastern side of Cape Otway, the festival will take place across two weekends in August. Each evening will begin with a ceremonial bonfire on the beach, with fire-cooked fare and warming drinks, before branching out to the Mechanics Hall and beyond.
Standout events on the program for the first weekend Death, running from August 10–12, include Lyric Opera's Quietus — a musical meditation on the power of the sea — an outdoor cinema screening shorts, including political satire Terror Nullius, and The Sublime, an immersive (and haunting) AI-led tour of the quarry.
Two weekends later, Birth, running from August 24–26, will again feature the cinema and workshop, alongside Feastiality, a whole-beast feast cooked along the foreshore, a rock 'n' roll party at The Brewhouse, and a conversation about Indigenous Australian food and drink with wine writer Max Allen and conservationist Jack Pascoe.
"This festival won't be for the faint-hearted," said festival director Roderick Poole. "It is very much aimed at adventurous spirits ready to take on a challenge; to embrace the harsh environment and celebrate the beauty of the elements at their extremes.
WinterWild will run across two weekends, Death from August 10–12 and Birth from August 24–26. To see the full lineup and purchase tickets, head to winterwildapollobay.com.au.