If you’re looking for a festival that truly encompasses the beauty of the Aussie outback and bush, then Strawberry Fields Festival is the place for you to be in November. Located along the banks of the iconic Murray River and amongst the lush wildlands bordering New South Wales and Victoria, Strawberry has perfected the ability to combine the best in art, music, food, beverages and geographic location, all across one sunny weekend. Bring your togs, thongs (aka flip-flops) and your cork hat to experience a weekend that you will never forget.
Tocumwal is only 3 hours from Melbourne’s CBD so the journey isn’t too long, but we definitely recommend stopping off in the small country town before you become covered in dust over the weekend. Do Strawberry Fields Festival right by visiting The Big Strawberry on the Goulburn Valley Hwy. Here you will find some of the juiciest and most delicious strawberries that you could ever imagine touching your tongue, and you can pick them yourself and bring them along with you to the festival to keep hydrated and quench your thirst. Try the strawberry pancakes or choose from the great selection of wines, jams and sauces from the gift shop.
The Tocumwal Palms Hotel Motel is also a great place to stop and recoup if you’re in a convoy and meet up with anyone else you want to be camping with. It’s a good opportunity to sit outside, enjoy a parmigiarna and because you’re now on the border of New South Wales and Victoria, you can argue with your fellow Strawberry Fields Festival attendees on whether it’s called a parmi or a parma.
What To Bring
Strawberry Fields is dusty. It might be the dustiest environment you will ever experience. After the first day, you will find dust in your nose, ears and all other surface parts of your body. So you’ll have to get used to it. No one likes dust inhalation however; so don’t forget to bring a scarf or a bandanna that can be worn over your mouth for protection.
Bring your swimmers and water toys! You’ll be using the Murray River as a shower, so remember to bring your blow-up boat and your towel. While the weather can hit a top of 40 degrees, that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be warm. What goes up must come down, including the temperature, so be sure to bring a warm coat for the evenings, and a spare change of clothes because it can rain—a lot. In previous years, unexpected torrential downpours of rain destroyed some artists’ equipment, so you’ll need to bring more than your brolly.
Where To Go
Strawberry Fields Festival differs from other more conventional and commercial festivals doing the circuit throughout Australian summer. The team behind the weekend work tirelessly throughout the year to bring the best in international artists of varying genres whilst providing an opportunity for local talent to perform alongside international greats. Make sure you wander between stages to experience both local and international-talented artists from electronic to reggae, jazz to hip hop and even classical piano.
But it’s not just all about the music. The Art and Performance program encompasses four elements of stage décor, installations, workshops & healing, and performance art. Stage décor in the past has included towering bamboo arenas, multi story temples, a saloon pub, oriental tea lounge and more. The team behind the stage décor work for months on end to provide a dance floor experience that you will never find anywhere else in the world.
Get involved in the workshops, which include Life Drawing and Sound Healing, Zen Shiatsu and even screen-printing your own t-shirts. Keep an eye out for the roving marching bands, stilt walkers and fire spinners who will surprise you when you least expect it.
Wander through the market stalls, which will be selling fine jewellery, artwork, clothes and other kinds of knickknacks that you can purchase to support local industries and have as a keepsake to remember the festival by.
Spoil your palate by tasting some of the delicious food options at the food stalls. The Middle Eastern, Italian and Asian selections are all returning favourites of the festival and the queue for the toasties will be very much worth your wait. If you didn’t get the chance to taste the fresh strawberries in Tocumwal town, now is your chance.
The best way to experience Strawberry Fields Festival is mainly by exploring. Art and décor is situated throughout the stages and campsites, to create an unforgettable environment and experience for all festival goers.
Leaving the festival won’t be the most enjoyable of times for you, as you’ll need to say goodbye to all of your new friends and you will have forgotten what it feels like to be clean. Have you ever been to a beach and river at the same time? Tocumwal has 25 beaches along the banks of the Murray River. The current in the Murray River is quite strong, so swimming is only recommended for those who are confident. And always swim with a friend.
The Town Beach is the perfect place to rest and relax after the festival has come to a close, and features basic toilet and shower facilities to wash up after the dusty weekend is over.