February offers side-splitting laughs in Brisbane, quirky cycling races in Tasmania, the Southern Hemisphere's longest running arts festival in Perth, and the Cricket World Cup held in locations right across the country.
New South Wales
THRILLER LIVE, a celebration of the King of Pop music, is coming to Sydney's Lyric Theatre from 26 February to 15 March. Running for six consecutive years on London's West End, this production has played over 3,000 shows in 28 countries for 3 million people with glowing reviewsi. Superb choreography, brilliant costumes and over two hours of non-stop chart toppers make this performance a must-see for Michael Jackson fansi.
Surfest returns to Newcastle for its 30th anniversary as Australia's largest surfing festival from 6 to 22 Februaryii. The festival includes the Burton Automotive Pro where many professional male surfers will be vying for the esteemed Mark Richards 'MR' trophyiii. Surfest also features the spectacular Visit NSW Air Show and the SurfAid Cup which raises money to improve the health of those living in remote areas of Indonesiaiv,v.
Melbourne is a foodie's paradise this February for 17 days of feasting from 27 February to 15 March at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. The 23rd edition of the festival promises to attract visitors from right across the country along with world-renowned chefs Dan Barber, Bill Granger and Janice Wongvi. The pop-up artisan bakery and bar, chef masterclasses and the endless array of wine tastings are just some of the events that make this festival an amazing culinary experiencevii.
Australia's summer of cricket continues with the ICC Cricket World Cup being held in Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 Marchviii. The best cricketing nations from around the world will compete in major Australian cities including Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Hobart. The Melbourne Cricket Ground will host some of the best matches of the competition including the tournament final and Australia's pool match against familiar rival, Englandix.
International and Australian comedians will star in the Brisbane Comedy Festival for a month of side-splitting laughs from 24 February to 22 March. Local favourites like Wil Anderson and Cal Wilson will be joined by up-and-coming comedians including YouTube star Alex Williamson, also known as 'that guy from the Internet'x,xi. This festival will also hold the inaugural Brisbane Comedy Festival Gala on 28 February featuring many of your favourite comedians under one roof such as Fiona O'Loughlin and Dave O'Neilxii.
Car enthusiasts will flock to Adelaide from 26 February to 1 March for the ultimate motorsports experience at the Clipsal 500. On the track, the Clipsal 500 showcases the iconic Ford and Holden rivalry with many eager for the return of former Australian V8 Supercars champion Marcos Ambrose, back from a NASCAR stint in the United Statesxiii. Off the track, performances by some of Australia's most popular musical acts including the Stafford Brothers, Havana Brown and legendary Australian rock band Cold Chisel will keep audiences captivatedxiv.
Tasmania's annual calendar is home to a host of eccentric events from the Nude Solstice Swim to the Channel Cheese Chuck, but few compare to the National Penny Farthing Championships held on 21 Februaryxv. Held as part of the Evandale Village Fair, the Penny Farthing races are not taken lightly as riders push their wobbly bikes to the limitxv. It is little wonder, with intriguing events like the Penny Farthing races, that Tasmania was ranked 4th in Lonely Planet's 'Top 10 Regions in the World to Visit in 2015'xvi.
The Perth International Arts Festival attracts superb talent from across the globe for three weeks of astonishing theatre, dance, music, film and art performances from 13 February to 7 March. Now in its 63rd year, the festival is the longest running annual international arts festival in the Southern Hemispherexvii,xviii. The Olivier award-winning production of Madama Butterfly, New York's acclaimed Mark Morris Dance Group and the eclectic sounds of the Chevron Festival Gardens are just some of the many highlights this festival has to offerxix,xx,xxi.
Australian Capital Territory
The nation's capital celebrates the food, dance and music of cultures from all corners of the world at the National Multicultural Festival, from 13 to 15 February. The 2015 edition looks to build on the success of last year's festival by booking renowned Australian pop group, Justice Crew, for this year's headline actxxii,xxiii. There's something to tickle everyone's tastebuds at the Festival's Food and Dance Spectacular with Dutch pancakes, Thai curries and South African sausages complemented by the vibrant and colourful Carnival paradexxiv,xxv.