The Williamstown Festival has a proud and rich 34 year history.
Beginning in 1977-78 and held on Australia Day, the festival grew into a large popular annual public holiday event sited at Commonwealth Reserve, through until the mid 1990’s, attracting visitors to Williamstown from all over Melbourne to enjoy the wonderful site and hear their favourite bands.
The City of Hobsons Bay was created in 1994 and the Williamstown Summer Festival continued as one of several local festivals within the new municipality. By the end of the 1990’s, the large Australia Day event had become unwieldy, and the dates of the festival had moved from January 26 to mid March. The focus had also shifted, becoming a more local celebration, enabling participation by local schools and other groups within Williamstown. At the culmination of the 33rd Festival in 2010, the Board decided to undergo a period of review over 2011.
Williamstown Festival 2012: Our Common Ground
Regrouping and redefinition has occurred for the 2012 Williamstown Festival. The theme was Our Common Ground and the program focused on community involvement. The 2012 Festival is utilised the skills of local musicians and artists, working within schools and with community groups, and business to create a unique twilight lantern parade and community performance on the Saturday night in Commonwealth Reserve and a mini music festival in Nelson Place on the Sunday afternoon. It is a program that also encouraged festivalgoers to be a tourist in their own town and explore and enjoy our rich maritime culture and history.
Over the long history of the Williamstown Festival there have been many marvelous events and memorable occasions. The cycle of growth, zenith and decline has had several revolutions over the past 33 years and has spawned, among other programs, The Contemporary Art Prize, now an annual event within the Substation Calendar of Events www.thesubstation.org.au Art in Public Places, which has grown to become an award winning city wide event curated and coordinated by the Council’s Arts and Culture department, www.artinpublicplaces.com.au while The Williamstown Literary Festival, held this year on 5th and 6th May 2012 www.willylitfest.org.au also first appeared under Williamstown Festival banner.
Williamstown’s waterfront and the beautiful village green atmosphere of Commonwealth Reserve continues to make the area a popular venue for events all year round. Go to Arts and Events at www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au
Williamstown’s waterfront and the beautiful village green atmosphere of Commonwealth Reserve continues to make the area a popular venue for events all year round.