Ian Daniell holding his orca print. Part of Margaret River Region Open Studios.

The days are growing longer, the sun is starting to shine, and it is officially time to celebrate the start of spring. While the whales continue their journey north, putting on a fabulous show as they leap and play off our coastline, wildflowers paint the region’s rolling hills and coastal dunes with technicolour splendour. However, it is not just Mother Nature’s artistic prowess on show this September. Open Studio’s is back in its ninth incarnation to showcase the scores of talented artists the South West has to offer.

From Ian Daniel’s spanning murals of oceanic creatures to Vanessa Miller’s intricately designed, Mexican inspired miniatures, Open Studios is teeming with local artistic offerings, big and small. With a record breaking 168 artists participating this year, the region’s rich array of creative expression will stretch across the patchwork of vineyards, beaches, back roads, town streets and farms that form our region. Be strategic and start planning early so you can visit as many of our countless creatives as possible.

If you are in search of breathtaking natural beauty, then look no further than our rugged coastline and Karri forests. This time of year, they are coming to life with bright bursts of colour as wildflower season is in full bloom. The Margaret River Region is one of only 36 biodiversity hotspots in the world and the only one in Australia. September is the prime time to experience firsthand this unique display of floral diversity. Discover more than 2,500 species of wildflowers only present this time of year, including a staggering 150 species of orchids, many of which are extremely rare and endangered.

Musical artistry more your vibe? Well then you are in luck because this month is jampacked with beachside festivals, rock concerts, and even an 11-piece string orchestra. Still daydreaming about the fabulous films of CinefestOZ? There is another film festival to get excited about in the region, this time with a focus on French cinema. Looking for a foodie event? There is a cheese filled course coming your way! Springtime brings with it so many wonderful events and experiences – here is an outline of what to get excited about.

Ian Mutch Artist
Get a look inside the private studios of our region's artists at Margaret River Region Open Studios.

Margaret River Region Open Studios | 10th - 25th September

Margaret River Region

Margaret River Region Open Studios provides tourists and locals alike with the rare and coveted opportunity to peer behind the curtain into the typically private world of our artistic community. This completely free event runs for two weeks, allowing ample time for anyone from an art aficionado to total novice to connect with local creators and maybe even buy a piece or two. Keep in mind that any purchases go straight back to supporting the very artists that fill the South West with such vibrant colour, texture, and talent.

With 43 artists making their Open Studios debut and 16 artists returning for the ninth time in a row, you will be spoiled for choice with new, emerging collections as well as ever reliable and awe-inspiring studios of local art legends. Covering all genres from tattoo to hat making, sculpting, ceramics, printmaking, jewellery, painting and so much more. Explore the diverse offering of aesthetics as you twist and turn down country roads and sleepy town lanes. Just be sure to always keep an eye out for the welcoming ‘Open Studios’ signs scattered on street corners; you will be surprised by just how many gifted creators we have right in our backyard.

The Church | 2nd September

Margaret River | The River Hotel

Serving up psychedelic punk rock for over four generations, the Church are bringing it back home with a headline tour of Australia. Along the way they are stopping in at one of our favourite local watering holes / live music venues, The River. Revel in 2 ½ hours of rock and roll spread over two incredible sets with a smattering of old classics including ‘Under The Milky Way’, ‘Reptile’ and ‘Almost With You’ as well as new songs from the band’s forthcoming 26th studio album, ‘The Hypnogogue’.

We are incredibly lucky to have this epic band stopping in to our little South West town, especially considering not long ago they were performing alongside Blondie, Devo, Echo & The Bunnymen, and The Psychedelic Furs at Cruel World Festival, put on by the producers of Coachella, Golden Voice. Catch this world class act this September, it is sure to be a groovy stroll down rock and roll memory lane.

Introductory Cheese Making | 10 September ongoing until January

Cowaramup

Fantasizing about fresh ricotta, creamy mascarpone, and silky paneer? Well now you can learn to make these decadent delights at home with Jardin Estate’s introductory cheese making course. Discover a new culinary skill then sample the freshly made fare in a variety of dishes that will tempt and excite your palate. This course is designed for beginners so no previous culinary knowledge is necessary – just bring a hunger for new knowledge, and cheese, of course!

Get along to The River Hotel to see classic band The Church in September.

Australian Chamber Orchestra's ACO Collective: A String Celebration | 16th September

Margaret River | HEART

Venture out to the Margaret River Heart on Friday, September 16th, for a celebration of Australia’s newest, emerging string players. These gifted, fresh-faced musicians will be joined by the Australian Chamber Orchestra to form a fast-paced, high energy 11-piece string orchestra. With scintillating works from Australian composers Iain Grandage and Carl Vine as well as British geniuses William Walton, Benjamin Britten, and George Frideric Handel. An hour and a half of springy, uplifting pieces showcasing the depth and breadth of WA musical talent, it is sure to be an enjoyable evening for any and all audiophiles.

Good Day Sunshine | 24th September

Busselton

It is finally time to make up for all those cancelled concerts and postponed events from COVID past and Good Day Sunshine Festival is here to launch back us back into the musical stratosphere. Set against the dreamy Busselton foreshore, Good Day Sunshine is sure to live up to its name with 100% good vibes and sunshine all but guaranteed. With Grammy award winning Leon Bridges, as well as ARIA music award winners, The Teskey Brothers and Thelma Plum, it will be a day overflowing with unforgettable acts. Being the foodie, wine filled, and beer centric region we are, there will be plenty of fabulous treats to sample and sip.

Teeny Tiny Stevies | 26th September

Margaret River | The River Hotel

The Teeny Tiny Stevies are touring Australia and on Monday, the 26th September, they will be gracing the River with their joy filled, kid friendly tunes. An ARIA Award Winning Children’s Artist, they are sure to deliver a performance that will please little ones and parents alike with cheerful folk-pop beats covering important topics in a fun, uplifting way. With song titles such as ‘Boss of My Own Body’, ‘I Ate A Rainbow’ and ‘Sleep Through the Night’, this performance will fill your head with catchy melodies and fill your hearts with the power of childlike wonder and creativity.

French Film Festival 2022 (Rise En corps) | 30th September

Margaret River | HEART

Be transported to a Parisian flat or the picturesque shores of Brittany by the enthralling tales told through cinema at this French Film Festival. Running from September 30th to October 3rd with a range of different genres ranging from comedy all the way to thriller, all from powerhouse production company, Studio Canal.

Kick off the fest with Rise (En Corps), a tale about a ballet dancer whose life falls apart when she finds out her boyfriend has been unfaithful and then she is injured, putting her dance career at risk. It takes a trip to the countryside, a new love, and the discovery of contemporary dance to put the pieces back together again. A story of perseverance and strength, it is both inspiring and heart-warming. This is followed by three more captivating films including Goliath, Waiting for Bojangles (En Attendant Bojangles) and Purple Moon. Buy tickets to individual screenings or if you are feeling indecisive buy a 3-movie or 4-movie pass.

French Film Festival 2022: Purple Noon (Plein Soleil)
Enjoy captivating French films at the Margaret River HEART.

FOR THE DIARY

Strings Attached Festival
The Strings Attached program includes string-related workshops, masterclasses, Q&As, luthier demonstrations and exhibitions.

Strings Attached: The West Australian Guitar Festival | 7th – 9th October

Margaret River Region

The Strings Attached Festival is just around the corner and it is back and bigger than ever. With over 90 shows covering a range of genres and locations, the focus is all things strings from ukuleles to electric guitars. This festival is for players, makers, and enthusiasts alike! In addition to the plentiful performances, there are masterclasses, workshops, panel discussions with artists and luthiers. It even has an exhibition featuring guitar makers, techs, tool makers, timber suppliers, collections and more. Added bonus? There is also a free youth program running all weekend long, designed to inspire and excite our region’s next generation of musicians. The first release of tickets sold out in a week, but not to worry, the second release passes are available to purchase now. Keep an eye out for the line-up and start planning your trip!

Fine Vines Festival | 14 – 23 October

Margaret River Region

A 10-day gourmet, wine-centric festival showcasing our region’s best producers and restaurants, what is not to love? The Fine Vines Festival is back for its second year this October! With more than 35 curated experiences spread over the region’s premier wineries, vineyards, and eateries, immerse yourself in the what makes Margaret River Region tick. With masterclasses, museum tastings, and behind the scenes tours, uncover the very wines and styles that have elevated our small, seaside region to the lofty heights of world-renowned winemaking hotspot. Anyone from a bona fide wine nerd to the occasional wino will find something to get excited about. From a wine-filled screen-printing class for the creative types to a luxurious six-course degustation at Vasse Felix for those who want to indulge and everything in-between! Tickets for the 2022 Fine Vines Festival are on sale now.

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