The highly anticipated, dark and mysterious WinterWild returns to Apollo Bay this August

AAR-WinterWild-The-DogwatchApollo Bay’s WinterWild is finally here to mystify, delight in the darkness, and seduce the senses. The Otways will be filled with music, art, food, and fire, for three days on Gadubanud Country on the last weekend of winter, 25 – 27 August 2023.

Discover the dark side of Apollo Bay at WinterWild and see the town as locals see it in the off season: intense, wild and raw. Take a plunge into the sacred or the profane at WinterWild. Highlights of the 2023 WinterWild festival include:

Jen Cloher and supporting acts
Apollo Bay Mechanics Institute Hall: Friday 25 August
Ngapuhi and Ngati Kahu songwriter and performer Jen Cloher will take on the Bay on opening night. Jen’s taut, terse brand of rock is charged with the static tension that comes with being an eternal misfit. Jen will be supported by disco-infused space-pop project Zoë Fox and the Rocket Clocks, Apollo Bay’s beloved singer songwriter Sid O’Neil, and the soulful vocals of local indie-jazz five-piece band Outtatime.

A Night at the Museum
Apollo Bay Museum: Friday 25 August
Step back in time at Australia’s last remaining cable station. Join the knowledgeable team at the Apollo Bay Historical Society for a captivating evening of storytelling, traversing the famous shipwrecks of our coastline and the changes to life in and around Apollo Bay, through artefacts and visual displays.

Cold Immersion and Breathwork
Apollo Bay Foreshore: Saturday 26 August
Visitors can take part in a transformative two-hour session of guided breathwork and cold immersion to reconnect with themselves and others led by expert facilitator Mark Kluwer.

The Wild Feast
Apollo Bay Foreshore: Saturday 26 August
A chance to rug up and share a meal around roaring fire pits alongside the ocean. There will be fluffy, fresh bao from
Chubby Bao, Dutch poffertjes from Dutch Café, soups and strew from Wildlife Wonders, pans of piping hot paella from The Paella Guy, Webber roast pork rolls and hot cinnamon donuts from Great White Buffalo, slow-cooked American BBQ from Workers BBQ, plus many more. Warm your hands with a mulled wine and choose from a range of local craft beers from Otway brewers Prickly Moses, delicious wines from Otway Estate and cocktails from the Apollo Bay Gin Distillery.

The DogWatch
Apollo Bay Foreshore: Saturday 26 August
At the throbbing heart of WinterWild is fire. And nothing embraces, sculpts and worships fire quite like The DogWatch. Witness this large-scale outdoor performance around the Festival Brazier. Incorporating fire, pyrotechnics, movement and song, The DogWatch features a horde of local artists, performers, dancers, musicians and Apollo Bay stalwarts. A passionate, eerie performance that goes to the dark heart of the Otways in winter.

Dane Blacklock & the Preacher’s Daughter
Apollo Bay Mechanics Institute Hall: Saturday 26 August
Dane Blacklock & the Preacher’s Daughter headlines the Saturday night rock extravaganza. In this decidedly wicked aural and visual presentation of music, audiences will surrender to the desires of the flesh with Australia’s premiere satanic gospel experience. They will be supported by s p o r e s who will perform a blend of lazy disco, spectres of doom, and noise punk. Dive down the rabbit hole of dirty and hypnotic heavy riffs covered in fuzz, dreamy licks, dirty bass and driving drumbeats from Otways psychedelic trio MELT.

Apollo Bay Sailing Club: Saturday 26 August
Dance under a blanket of stars by a raging ocean, with some of Australia’s best alternative electronic artists at the MoonGarden. Headlined by Harvey Sutherland (DJ Set), with Milo Eastwood and Post Percy.

Apollo Bay Foreshore: Sunday 27 August
After partying the night away and needing to settle down from a weekend of feasting, dancing, and connecting, visitors can ignite their qi and drop into presence and connection with Apollo Bay’s own Dani Cullen.

WinterWild takes place at Apollo Bay from 25 – 27 August. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: The DogWatch (supplied)