A weekend of music, good safe times, free camping and a complete sensory overload!
Join us for a diverse range of alternative music, acts and artists to allow you to indulge in the soundtrack of this weekend. Independence with a good dose of attitude mixes up the musical smorgasbord to unlock, soothe and shake up your senses.
BMF is located on the beautiful rolling hills of the former Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum (now decommissioned – PHEW!) farm, in the heart of Beechworth. The stage is set at the bottom of an outdoor grassed amphitheatre with mountain views in the background and tree shaded fence lines.
Beechworth is one of Victoria’s finest and best preserved historic gold mining towns and was built on the splendour of the early Victorian gold rush. Add to that the history surrounding Ned Kelly, his connections to Beechworth and the most comprehensive collection of artefacts housed at the Ned Kelly Vault in Beechworth’s historic precinct.
Indulge yourself and stay a little longer to discover and experience everything the region has to offer. From gourmet produce and award winning wines to breathtaking views, cycling, swimming, bushwalking and camping, you will always find plenty to see and do in Beechworth and the North East region of Victoria.
Music is a central point to any vibrant culture and in the N/E of Victoria and surrounding regions the calibre of musicians and artists is astounding. A key ‘Ideal’ of the Beechworth Music Festival is to provide local and regional artists and upcoming young artists with a new opportunity to perform and promote their music.
Playing alongside a diverse range of established national acts and artists, these local muso’s help create the uniquely curated Beechworth Music Festival, friendly to all. Playing in a live context on stage at BMF allows regional artists to further sharpen their entry point into the cultural fabric of the North East and become part of the backbone of the local and broader music industry and community.
These musicians and artists are unique and truly talented craftspeople who devote themselves entirely to the making of music and culture in an organic, inclusive manner and the organisers of BMF are extremely excited and proud to present these great acts on the line up for BMF each year.
Alongside these artists BMF organisers provide an opportunity for local and regional community organisations and businesses to build their capacity as they participate, provide services and share in the long term benefits this new festival brings.
Of the many ways to define culture, music is the one that provides a platform for people to build and participate in their community, enhancing their local and regional culture. Join us at BMF on the Australia Day long weekend for a unique community experience and help us to support our local and regional talent.
Acknowledgement of Country
We would like to show our respect and acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, of elders past and present, on which this event takes place.
Brief History of Mayday Hills and Madman’s Gully
Sometime between 1840 and 1852 a shepherd by the name of Meldrum settled on the Ovens River near Wangaratta. From here he organised several prospecting parties sending them into the May Day Hills, the earlier name given to part of the Beechworth area and Madman’s Gully just south west of Beechworth. One of these parties returned with a pint pot full of pure gold from a creek which became the famous Spring Creek goldfields. This was in January 1853 – by April in the same year, Madman’s Gully was proving to be very rich and the town of Beechworth was rapidly developing.
It is often thought that the name “Madman’s Gully” was due to its close proximity to the Historic Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, but in fact it was named some 13 or so years earlier – the asylum opened in 1867. One version of its naming appeared in the local press of the time: “When it became known that gold was plentiful at this gully (Madman’s Gully) a great number of persons moved there after their day’s labour, and the following morning some altercations about the ground were going on, when one of the diggers, stark naked, ran out of his tent, with a number of small sticks in his hand, and commenced marking out the ground for himself and others, threatening vengeance at the same time to anyone that would oppose him or be dissatisfied; Hence it is said, is derived this singular name, which is likely to pass down to posterity.”
The historic Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum opened in 1867 and was surrounded by almost 106 hectares of farmland, making the hospital self-sufficient (tended by the patients) with its own piggery, orchards, kitchen gardens, fields, stables and barn. For recreation, the asylum included tennis courts, an oval and cricket pavilion, kiosk and theatre. Despite its architectural Italianate beauty it has a dark and morbid past and after 128 years of operation Mayday Hills Hospital closed in 1995.