April in Canberra brings a heady mix of vintage music, brand new fashion and, er, dirt bikes. And if that doesn’t grab you, there’s always the wonders of the night sky. Here’s our guide to what’s on in Canberra this April.
National Folk Festival
The great thing about this festival is that the folk stretches far beyond music. Over 200 Australian and international acts cover dance, spoken word, circus and film. At the Poets’ Breakfast, poets of all levels and abilities get together over a morning coffee and discuss their art of choice.
As for the music, there’s an embarrassment of riches, with country, roots, blues, Celtic and plenty more featured in the 100+ concerts. And if you’re too busy browsing the market stalls for crafts or clothing, or learning a new instrument or folk dance at a workshop, you can catch one of the many jam sessions at the Session Bar.
They call it 5 days in a perfect world. We think they’re right.
Where: Exhibition Park, Canberra
When: 2 – 6 April
Cost: Prices vary depending on how many days you wish to visit. For an adult Monday day ticket, the price is $79 if you buy it online, $85 on the gate. Prices then increase up to $335 for a season ticket (covers you for the whole festival), or $450 with camping included. These prices are the online prices though. By them at the gate and you’ll pay more. You can find a full price list here.
Photo courtesy of National Folk Festival website
Autumn Mt. Stromlo Observatory April Public Night
Fancy a tour of the universe to accompany your Australian travels? Talks will be given by a number of brilliant speakers, pointing out exciting things in the southern skies. The talks will go ahead regardless of the weather but the star-gazing won’t happen if it’s cloudy.
Take some warm clothing. Things might get a bit chilly.
Where: Mt. Stromlo Observatory, Mt. Stromlo Road, Weston Creek
When: 24 April
Photo courtesy of Australian National University website
Hustle and Scout: Twilight Fashion Market
This clothes and food market is held in an old hanger so there’s plenty of room for more than market stalls. You’ll find over 60 independent clothes labels, 30 food and drink stalls, and live music and dance performances. There are 2000 free car parking spaces too.
There’s a strong focus on encouraging local designers and providing Australians with a platform to sell their products direct to their consumers. That makes this a great place for stallholders to build a solid customer base, and for you to find uniquely Australian goodies to complement your Australian travels.
Where: Hanger #47, 8-10 Point Cook Avenue, Fairbarn
When: 2-7pm, Saturday 11 April
Photo courtesy of Hustle and Scout
Kowen Forest – Dirt Bike Rally
The Dual Sport Motorcycle Riders Association (DSMRA) hosts this two-day event for riders of all abilities. The event features a number of different trails of varying difficulties, and all those registered are automatically in with a chance of winning a top prize of a KTM 500EXC. Second prize is a $1500 Canberra Motorcycle Centre voucher, followed by the third prize which is a $500 Canberra Motorcycle Centre voucher.
There are no spectators allowed at the event, so if you want to attend you’ll need to register here.
Where: Kowen Forest – off Sutton Road
When: 11-12 April, from 9am Saturday morning to 3pm Sunday afternoon
Cost: $185 entry fee
The Vinyl Lounge
Where Canberra’s vinyl warriors gather to play their collections, discover new music and enjoy styles ranging from rock to funk on a proudly analogue sound system. The only digital things you’ll hear in here are your fingers tapping along.
Where: National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA)
When: 5:30pm, 10 April and first Friday of every month (there are free drinks and nibbles from 5pm)
Photo courtesy of National Film & Sound Archive website
The Australian War Memorial will host the National Ceremony commemorating those who died serving their country. It will be attended by official guests and visitors and be followed by the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.
This year will be particularly poignant as 25 April marks the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the Gallipoli Campaign.
At 4:30am there will be a series of three 15 minute readings taken from diaries and letters written by Australians who experienced the war. This will be followed by a 15 minute silence until the service commences at 5:30am. The service will end around 6am, when the Commemorative Area will open. It, and the Hall of Memory, will close again at 8am.
The ceremony starts at 10:15am and although there are some ticketed seats for officials and veterans, you can take your own seat or rug and watch the service on one of the large screens around the memorial grounds. The service will finish at 12:30pm when the War Memorial will reopen.
The day concludes at 4:45pm in the Commemorative Area. This year will see members of the Australian Defence Force joined by the Turkish Defence Force at the service to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli landings. Members of the public are welcome to participate in the service.
There’s limited parking but a free shuttle bus will operate for all services. Check the website for details.
Where: The Australian War Memorial, Treloar Crescent (top of Anzac Parade)
Campbell ACT 2612
When: Saturday 25 April
Photo courtesy of ANZAC Centenary website