Music, words and more at the 19th Woodend Winter Arts Festival

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Recognised as the longest standing winter arts festival in Australia, the highly-anticipated Woodend Winter Arts Festival (WWAF) returns this June, delivering a four-day feast of music, words and ideas in the heart of the Macedon Ranges.

Taking place over the King’s Birthday long weekend, from 7-10 June 2024, WWAF will present a dynamic program of music, and words and ideas events. World class performers will be joined by some of Australia’s brightest minds for a series of incredible performances and discussions – all within a relaxed and intimate village setting.

Over 100 artists will perform during the Festival in various venues throughout the charming village of Woodend. From the incredible acoustics of St Ambrose Church, to the intimacy of the St Ambrose Hall next door, this is an event where you can witness the musical genius of artists who usually perform at major concert halls.

Whether you are a classical music aficionado, or simply want to experience a different type of music, the program offers something for everyone.

Highlights of the music program include a lively performance by Southern Spanish guitarist Paco Lara, who will perform Flamenco of Southern Spain, accompanied by flamenco dancer Deya Giner. Jazz great Paul Grabowsky will showcase the piano across centuries, performing selections from his album Solo, while twice ARIA-nominated Nat Bartsch will transport the audience into the realm of new Jazz with her award-winning ensemble.

London-based pianist Piers Lane will perform Chopin, Smetana & Mozart, while Woodend’s own Jacqueline Ogeil leads Accademia Arcadia’s performance of the Early Solo Concertos on the Cristofori piano. Australian tenor Daniel Thomson returns from Europe to perform Schubert Lieder with John O’Donnell, who will also conduct two performances of Bach’s mighty St John Passion with Ensemble Gombert and Accademia Arcadia.

The Words & Ideas program will deliver engaging debates and discussions on challenging contemporary issues discussing topics ranging from ‘city versus country’, to ‘machines versus humans’.

Expect to hear from bright minds such as Nobel Prize winner Peter Doherty and broadcaster/journalists Gideon Haigh, Elizabeth Finkel, George Megalogenis, and Don Watson. Andrew Ford will reveal his latest book, while ABC Radio presenter Robyn Williams will lead a fun and insightful discussion on ‘Sex, Science and Singing’ with geneticist Jenny Graves.

Tickets are on sale now. To view the full Woodend Winter Arts Festival program of events and to book tickets, visit

Follow WWAF on Facebook @WoodendWinterArtsFestival or on Instagram @woodendwinterarts

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