Big West Festival

Big West Festival

Big West celebrates the diversity and character of Melbourne’s western suburbs and reflects the area’s flourishing arts scene and local talent. Reaching from Footscray to Werribee, Big West brings the many multi-cultural, multi-faceted, multi-talented communities of the West together for a truly unique event.’

Big words for a big festival from the Minister for the Arts, the Hon Heidi Victoria MP, at the launch of the 2013 festival in an inclusive invitation to participation in one of the nation’s leading community-based contemporary arts festivals.

Held in the November of every uneven year since 1997, Big West is for, by and about the West. The Festival showcases the exceptional cultural, economic and industrial qualities of Melbourne’s West.

The program mobilises local artists across multiple forms and engages the broader community in a vibrant blend of arts and culture that traverses class, ethnicity and language. Big West attracts and creates award-winning, high quality contemporary art and events focused on long-term community involvement in a dynamic display of diversity.

In 2015 Big West is celebrating its tenth festival, taking over Nicholson Street, Footscray, our heartland and extending that tradition of community connections with an ambitious mix of large scale outdoor events in the street with more intimate performance and visual arts shows most of them free of charge.

In recent years Big West Festival has grown beyond the expectations of a biennial festival and now provides subsided rehearsal and office facilities to artists and community members, runs a program to support the creation of new theatre work in the West, and stages a range of site-specific and place-making events that enliven and enrich the Western suburbs.

The organisation receives ongoing funding from Arts Victoria and the City of Maribyrnong for core costs, but to generate the artistic program we raise funds on a project-by-project basis through philanthropic grants, sponsorship and donations.

Big West is for everyone – celebrating community and diversity, people and place.

  • Attendance in 2013 was 39,000+
  • 54% female, 46% male and 69% were between 25 and 49. 
  • 71% came from the Western suburbs and 71% were Australian-born. 
  • 29% came from overseas but after enjoying their involvement and engagement in Big West a big 73% will now seek to attend more events and attractions in the West.

Interested in becoming one of LeadWest's affilliates?

LeadWest works with and supports a number of organisations in Melbourne's west that are community-focused.  

LeadWest Affiliates are organisations that participate actively in our regional leadership networks, helping LeadWest better understand the needs of Melbourne's west and better hone our advocacy campaigns.

If your organisation would like to become a LeadWest Affiliate, please contact us.