CEL Feb 17 Masthead
multicultural festival_feature

Multicultural Festival 2017: What you need to know before you go

Olivia Afiabo

The Multicultural Festival can be a lot to take in (and walk through) so we have compiled a list of essential things you need to know about the three-day event.

WHAT

This year the festival will run from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 February 2017 for three days packed full of music, dancing, food and fun.

WHERE

Various locations across the city. Click here for details.

WHEN

Thursday 16 February (Opening Concert Part 1) – from 7.30pm. Tickets available now.

Friday 17 February – 4pm until midnight

Saturday 18 February – 11am until midnight

Sunday 19 February – 11am until 5pm

HOW MUCH?

As always, entry to the festival is free, making it a great event to take the whole family to.

WHAT’S ON

From 4pm this Friday until 5pm Sunday there will be entertainment across eight stages. Each stage will feature a program of local, national and international performing artists including dancers, singers, bands and other cultural creativity. There really is something for everyone. See the Festival Director’s highlights here.

The opening concert will take place over two nights from Thursday 16 to Friday 17 February (tickets will be required for Opening Concert Part 1 on Thursday night. Find more information here). The free concert commencing on Friday will begin at 4pm on stage one, Garema Place, and will feature headline performer Kate Ceberano along with Wiradjuri, Bollywood, Andrea Kirwin, Miriam Leiberman, The Borderers and Sol Nation. You’ll also find an amazing assortment of food and drinks from stallholders.

On Saturday, which is the biggest day of the festival, you will be able to catch even more terrific showcases including Food and Dance Spectacular, The FRINGE, Happy Chinese New Year, Pacific Island Showcase, African Village, European Village, India in the City, the Indigenous Showcase. On Saturday you’ll also be able to catch the Parade, one of the festivals liveliest events. As always, the food and drink will be available in abundance.

Sunday will be your last chance to sample some incredible food and drink from all over the world as well as seeing the Latin Quarter, Greek Glendi, Celtic Ceilidh and Contact Canberra.

HOW TO NAVIGATE

The Multicultural Festival now has an app!

The app was designed to help visitors navigate spaces, stalls and performance times. Download the app for Android or Apple here.

WHAT TO TAKE

A backpack or secure shoulder bag is your best bet to keep your belongings safe while walking through the crowds. A water bottle is also a good idea with the weather set to be in the 30’s. There will be no need for packing food with the festival renowned for its delicious and culturally diverse flavours, however, the lines can get quite long so packing some snacks could be a good idea.

WHAT TO EAT

Traditional favourites at the festival include the little Dutch pancakes, traditional German Pretzels and the Gozleme. Other more unique offerings include Iranian meat and rice Pilaf, Hungarian Lángos and Sicilian ricotta cannelloni.

HOW TO GET THERE

The best way to get to the festival is by ACTION bus, on Friday you can take a Blue or Red Rapid to the city from town centres and on Saturday and Sunday there will be additional 900 and 950 services available.

There are also park and ride facilities along these routes, so why not go for a ride with the kids and then catch a bus into the festival? More information about the action bus routes can be found here.

There will be a series of road closures in place in the city from Friday until Monday. These include but are not limited to Alinga Street, between Northbourne Avenue and East Row, East Row, between London Circuit and Mort Street and Mort Street, between Bunda Street and City Walk.

If you are planning on driving to the festival avoid these roads and get there early. The Canberra Centre car park fills up very quickly and there is nothing worse than frustrated drivers in a car park. Alternatively, you could try and park in Braddon and walk over.

SENIORS AND FAMILIES

For families with children or seniors there are special sanctuaries on the festival footprint, linked below, offering shade, free bottled water, entertainment and a cool place to rest.

the essentials

What: Multicultural Festival
Where: Canberra City
When: 17 – 19 February 2016
Cost: Free
Web: For more information on ACTION bus timetables: www.transport.act.gov.au
For more information on the festival: multiculturalfestival.com.au
Map of the festival: multiculturalfestival.com.au

Feature image: Martin Ollman

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Olivia Afiabo

Olivia grew up in Canberra before moving off to Wollongong to study creative writing at the University of Wollongong. After receiving a Bachelor’s of Creative Arts degree she returned to the Capital to pursue a career in writing and publishing. The first step in this journey has been interning at HerCanberra and, though she misses the beach, being back with family and old friends has been a welcome change. There’s nothing she loves more than reading, writing and watching football (the ‘no hands allowed’ variety). More about the Author

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