Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival

May is one of the most beautiful months of the year in the Margaret River Region…almost to the point that it’s a local’s secret.

It falls into Djeran, one of the six seasons of the Wadandi people, the traditional owners. Djeran brings cooler weather, dewy mornings, native flowers in bloom and trees in fruit. May is a shoulder season where the pace is slower, the days are crisper, the autumn light is golden.

It’s against this backdrop that the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival returns with a full programme from May 13 to 15, with a title of “No Word Limit” – which encapsulates the excitement of the festival’s reinstatement after a few years’ of Covid disruptions. The region is set to welcome authors, poets, journalists, artists, scientists, thinkers and more, exploding in a celebration of the literary word, across the Margaret River HEART venue, local libraries and iconic partner hospitality venues.

Read on for the best events and festivals happening around the Margaret River Region this May.

Margaret River Pro Party at Sea Gardens | 1 May

Prevelly

In honour of the Margaret River pro surf comp just down the road there is a celebration at Sea Gardens in Prevelly, the café/restaurant/bar with arguably the best view of the Indian Ocean in the whole region. There’ll be live music from the likes of DJ Stoney, six-piece band Kiki & Co, and local fave Dan White and his band Brightsider. Expect beers, the full bar line-up, cocktails and food and wine specials as you while away the evening watching the sunset.

Perth International Jazz Festival | 6 May

Margaret River

The Perth International Jazz Festival’s ‘On Tour’ series brings a special concert to the Margaret River District Club, with two outstanding jazz outfits set to perform. First up is a lauded West Australian saxophonist’s project, the Gemma Farrell Quintet, also including a trombonist, guitarist, bassist and drummer. The group has been awarded for ‘Best Instrumental Jazz Album’ at the Australian Jazz Bell Awards. Next up is vocalist group the Lucy Iffla Quartet, accompanied by a drummer, guitarist and bassist, delivering folk, jazz and funk tunes. Food and drinks are available to order on the night.

Margaret River Ultra Marathon | 7 May

Margaret River Region

The Margaret River Ultra Marathon returns to the region; an epic 80-kilometre course spanning from Hamelin Bay in the south to Cheeky Monkey Brewery in the north. The track encompasses forests, beach trails, granite slabs and vineyards and has been divided into five sections of 10 to 20 kilometres, for solo competitors or relay teams of two-to-five people. The comp is tackled by elite competitors and trail-running newcomers alike.

Mother’s Day High Tea & Wine Tasting at Origins | 8 May

Busselton

Origins Market in Busselton is calling on its artisanal vendors to hold a delectable Mother’s Day celebration including tea, coffee, treats, wine tasting and live music. The high tea will be catered for by awarded in-house patisserie baker Dusty Buns, including quiche, tarts, profiteroles and more. Follow this up with a special Tasting Hall wine sampling experience directly with the makers. Tickets are limited.

Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival | 13 – 15 May

Margaret River Region

The full programme of the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival is back in 2022 – as one of the biggest events on the region’s calendar. Each year, the festival brings an array of big names and thought-provoking writers to the region including novelists, journalists, academics and established and emerging storytellers from WA, interstate and overseas. This year’s author line-up includes Julia Baird, Jane Caro, Saul Griffith, Kathy Lette, Heather Morris, Craig Silvey and many, many more. Held at the Margaret River HEART, local libraries and a few well-loved satellite locations, the programme will include free exhibitions, live theatre company readings, a Festival Launch, author talks, poetry workshops, children’s readings and entertainment, and much more! The beloved annual literature event is run by the Arts Margaret River community, and is the biggest regional literary event in Western Australia.

There are a few key breakouts in the programme to keep an eye on. The weekend’s free Storytelling Snug in Margaret River is especially for kids, with storytelling and creative sessions hosted by children’s authors. The programme has a “Busselton Special Edition” from May 14 to 15, seeing author conversations, poetry and practical writing workshops hit the local libraries and Shelter Brewing Co. On Sunday the 15th, there’s a Free Family Fun Day at the Busselton foreshore, complete with storytelling, crafting and kids entertainment. And finally, there’s the introduction of “Fringe Word”, carving out a space for new and emerging artists from diverse cultural backgrounds to create multi-art works to be showcased especially at the Festival (think audio-visual, spoken word and multimedia).

Amy Shark at The River | 21 – 22 May

Margaret River

ARIA Award-winning artist Amy Shark is on her biggest tour ever, including two nights at Margaret River at one of the region’s most popular live music venues. This comes on the back of Amy’s major-city arena tour. The “I Said Hi” and “Everybody Rise” singer scored nine nominations at the 2018 ARIA Awards and four wins, including Album Of The Year, Best Female Artist and Best Pop Release.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2022 Roadshow

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2022 Roadshow | 27 May

Margaret River

A good dose of comedy is always in order, which is why the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow is truly one of the funniest events to hit town all year. Held at the Margaret River HEART, the evening promises a ‘no filler line-up’ of Australian stars and talented newcomers, performing stand-up, sketch, satire and song.

Pride Queer Film Festival | 28 – 29 May

Busselton

Busselton’s Pride Alliance is hosting a two-day queer special at the Esplanade Hotel. Over three screenings, expect a weekend of short and feature films from Perth’s Pride Queer Film Festival. Tickets are $15, available online.

MTB Riding Margaret River National Park

FOR THE DIARY

Down South MTB Festival | 4 – 5 June

Margaret River Region

The Down South MTB Festival celebrates mountain biking in the Margaret River Region over two days of competitive and recreational mountain bike events that promote the mountain biking facilities in Dunsborough and Margaret River and bring together the local community for an active outdoor lifestyle.

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