Festivale is one of Tasmania’s premier events. Winner of the 2008/2009/2010 Tourism Tasmania’s Festivals and Events Awards, Festivale is a three day celebration designed to showcase the very best of Tasmania’s food, wine, beer, arts and entertainment. Staged annually in February in Launceston’s historic and picturesque City Park, the ambiance of the outdoor event is unique.

Festivale - Tasmanian Produce

Festivale (photo supplied)

Tasmanian Tradition: Festivale

by Louise Clark

Festivale’s ability to present the best Tasmanian produce and entertainment in a historically and culturally significant outdoor location on the fringe of the city rates it as one of the best and food and wine festivals in Australia. Under historic elm trees, family and friends can relax in the wide open space of Launceston City Park.

Festivale - Launceston City Park

Festivale: Launceston City Park (photo supplied)

Best of Tasmania: Festivals Full of Food and Drink

Tasmania is renowned for its world-class cool climate wines, beers, ciders and produce. Festivale provides an opportunity to ‘taste’ and experience the best of what Tasmania has to offer. From 10-12 February 2012, Festivale will offer a menu of quality Tasmanian food and wine mixed with music, dance, the arts and roving street theatre.

Festival - Roving Street Performers

Roving street performers: Festivale (photo supplied)

In its 24th year, Festivale will feature more than 70 stalls, all featuring Tasmanian-grown and Tasmanian-made produce. Taste the delights of Landfall Farm Fresh, Tasmanian Gourmet Kitchen, Ashgrove Farm Cheese, Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, Cable Station Restaurant, Mathew Evans’ Rare Food and Strawberry Avenue.

Festivale - Food Stalls

Festivale food stalls (photo supplied)

The State’s most prestigious wineries, Pipers Brook, Tasmanian Estates, Josef Chromy Wines and Jansz as well as many highly regarded boutique wines will be available. Wine will be available for tasting as well as for purchase by the glass.

Masterclass: Introducing Wine & Beer

An exciting addition in 2012 to the already popular program is the introduction of a series of Wine and Beer Master Classes, ‘From Hops to Vines – A Treat for the Senses.’ The Master Classes will be held on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 February in the Pioneer Lobby, Albert Hall, adjacent to City Park. Tickets for the Master Classes will be available from the Launceston Travel and Information Centre from December.

Presenters include Andrew Pirie, one of Tasmania and Australia’s leading and influential winemakers, James Welsh, sommelier Stillwater and Black Cow restaurants, Willie Simpson, head brewer, Seven Sheds Brewery and Winsor Dobbin, food, wine and travel journalist.

In 2012 the Festivale Committee will also introduce the inaugural Festivale Wine Awards. Open to all wine stallholders at the event the winning wines will be announced on Thursday 9 February prior to the festival’s opening at 5,30pm on Friday 10 February. Patrons will be able to taste winning wines throughout the weekend.

Festivale - Wine Tasting

Festivale crowd (photo supplied)

Valli Little, Food Director, Delicious Magazine will be a special guest throughout the weekend of Festivale. Along with Northern Tasmania’s junior master chef contestant, Gracie Neufhof, Ms Little will be judging the Best Stall Awards.

Festivale - Delicious Food

Festivale Best Stall Awards (photo supplied)

Music Festival: Australian Legends

The event provides an outdoor theatre for the state’s burgeoning arts and entertainment community and Festivale will feature a non-stop entertainment line-up from two stages around the park each day.

Celebrations kick off on Friday evening with Daryl Braithwaite headlining the Frontline Stage. On Saturday evening, Australian rock legend, Richard Clapton will bring the evening alive. Bobby Fox and the Treatment feature on Sunday.

Tasmanian bands include Mayfield, Pete Cornelius and the Devilles, Small City Lights, Luke Bennett Trio, Fabulous Picasso Brothers, Frankie Andrew, Voodoo Lounge and Merchants in Groove. Dance and roving performers also feature. Explore Kid’s Kingdom for children’s activities including workshops, craft and face painting.

Launceston City Park Monkeys

Don’t miss the Amazing Drumming Monkeys from Adelaide who will perform four shows over the weekend. The Amazing Drumming Monkeys, Congo and Bongo play to the beat of friendship and ecological awareness, and have performed at festivals around the country. The monkeys are a hit with all ages.

The sights and sounds of Festivale are the focus of the Festivale Photography Prize. The Festivale Photography Competition is in its 6th year and is open to anyone who can operate a camera. Enter the competition online. Remember to bring your camera to capture a photograph that you can enter into the competition.

About Festivale 2012

Festivale will be held at Launceston’s historic City Park from 5.30pm until 10.45pm on Friday, February 10; 11am until 10.45pm on Saturday, February 11, and 10am until 4pm on Sunday, February 12.

Entry prices:

  • Friday night $20
  • Saturday $20
  • Sunday $15
  • Children under 14 and accompanied by an adult are free

A three-day pass will be available for pre-purchase only from the Launceston Travel and Information Centre for $40.

Tickets will be available from the Launceston Travel and Information Centre from December or at the gate.

For more information visit the Festivale website or find Festivale on Facebook. Louise Clark submitted this article (with photos) on behalf of the Festivale Committee.

Map: Festivale Launceston…

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