He sailed from England to Western Australia with his three brothers on board the Warrior in March 1830, at just 13 years of age. With a name now synonymous with the region, Alfred Bussell was one of Margaret River’s first settlers, leading the way for the diverse and varied future generations to come.
With Alfred and his family came the timber trade, then followed the agricultural industry. In the 60s, the pioneer surfers and the Orange People laid their claim to the region.
And today, Margaret River is witnessing its next surge of ‘types’ flocking to the area; the creatives.
You need only look at the line-up of events happening throughout the south west, to identify the growth of artists, tech creatives, writers and musicians to the area. The region is re-defining itself as a hub for the cultured, the creative, and the visionary.
The next six months has a solid events calendar for any creative type. If you’re in the planning stages of a holiday, check out the incredible line-up of arts events to take part in.
1. LiveLighter Busselton Fringe: February 23 – March 3
From live theatre to burlesque, stand-up comedy and film, this is a creative festival that will entertain and amuse. Performances will be held at various locations over the course of the week, including the iconic Busselton Jetty. The Fringe Family Day on February 24 will take place at the event’s central hub of ArtGeo Cultural Complex, where street closure will give-way to live music, pop up bars, food stalls and outdoor games. This is a very kid-friendly, cultural event that brings a vibrant buzz to the streets of Busselton.More info
2. Emergence Creative: March 21 – 24
Tech-heads, photographers, digital marketers, film-makers, and designers…. This is the festival for you (and I don’t think there is any other like it!). The Emergence Creative festival’s mission is to turn Margaret River into a creative playground for three days, and they certainly deliver. Workshops, keynote speakers, and out-of-the box collabs will get your creative juices flowing.
If you are in the creative industry – Emergence have some great tips on how to convince your boss to send you to the festival.More info
3. Margaret River Region Open Studios: April 28 – May 13
For those who prefer more of a self-guided style event, Margaret River Region Open Studios is a fantastic way to explore the different corners of the region and come into contact with the local creatives. Artists from Busselton to Augusta open the doors of their galleries and home studios, and allow visitors to design their own trail, discovering the works of painters, sculptors, or textile artists at their own pace.
The 16-day event is a great way to spend a weekend, or even a couple of weeks, where you can fit in as much as you like and at the end, take home a work of art you will treasure forever.More info
4. Jazz by the Bay: June 1 – 4
Music lovers will enjoy this weekend of jazz, held at different venues across Busselton, Dunsborough, and Margaret River. The weekend is a celebration of music, a tribute to the jazz masters, and a unique way to enjoy the region’s wineries, bars and beaches while listening to some A-grade tunes.
Why not combine your Jazz by the Bay weekend, with a trip to The Readers and Writers Festival (below) held over the same time?More info
5. Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival: June 1 – 3
Held over three days, The Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival is the biggest regional literary event in Western Australia. For any book-lover, it’s that chance to meet the author you love, participate in a workshop, or sit in on a panel discussion. Attendees from previous years talk of being inspired by journalists, academics and storytellers.
With this year’s event taking place on the beautiful grounds of Voyager Estate, aspiring writers or literature lovers should certainly be entertained. For anyone else – it could be just another excuse to visit a great winery!More info
6. CinefestOz Film Festival
CinefestOz has gone from strength to strength, securing itself as the premiere destination film festival in Australia with record numbers of high calibre cast and crew setting foot in the Margaret River Busselton region. Whether you are in the film industry, a movie buff, or just want to rub shoulders with the who’s who – then secure some accommodation in the south west now. CinefestOz events take place in wineries, bars, and galleries throughout the region, allowing you to choose what suits your interests best. Take a seat and enjoy the show!More info