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The Festival

Australian folk-roots music festival in the historic country town of Newstead, near Castlemaine, Central Victoria.


Newstead Live Music Festival has been running for over twenty years, the first six years as Chewton Folk Festival. 


The festival takes place over the last weekend in January, when a range of diverse and highly regarded international and national artists perform in live music venues, concert spaces, workshops, impromptu sessions, spoken word performances and open-mic sessions. Music for all ages and genres, view our performer page to find out more. 

Newstead Live is managed by a voluntary body of members working together to develop their community.


Newstead Live has a number of unique and intimate venues. 

The Troubadour Live Music Venue

Andrew Pattison’s Troubadour was a much-loved acoustic music venue in Melbourne in the late 70s and early 80s. When he moved to the country to start a vineyard and take up winemaking, he continued The Troubadour tradition by running food, wine and music weekends at his vineyard, and by setting up The Troubadour tent at the Maldon and National Folk Festivals. In 2000, the Chewton Folk Festival was launched, with its centrepiece being The Troubadour. In 2007, the festival moved to Newstead and became Newstead Live. Although Andrew has retired from any active role, he continues as our patron. In homage to him, the nature of The Troubadour will remain unchanged. Andrew may even make the odd appearance as MC at this much-loved venue.

The Newstead Community Centre

Festival Reception is based in the foyer. The main hall is the prime concert venue of the festival. Food and wine and beer are to be had in the old Mechanics Hall section, and there is a Blackboard Concert in the courtyard.



For the rest of the year, this is the kindergarten. It features children’s shows in the mornings, and is a popular spot for more intimate performances in the afternoons.


Shedshaker Stage & Bar - new venue in 2020

Shedshaker Brewery of Castlemaine bring their portable bar to Newstead Park, next to The Men’s Shed. The Shedshaker Stage is largely a blackboard concert venue, but features some acts from the main line-up. It is a session bar in the evening, serving Shedshaker boutique beers. Wines include a selection from the Burke & Wills Winery. Bar open until 1am.

The Anglican Church

Located across the street from The Troubadour, immerse yourself in the delightful acoustic sound in this tiny country church.


The Enviroshop

This space is the refurbished workshop of an old service station. In keeping with its history, here you will find music workshops and perhaps themed events and workshops. 

Live 'n' Local Stage

The Live 'n' Local Stage showcases local artists of all ages from around the region. The stage is set up at the end of Panmure Street, beside the pool. Musical styles may vary widely from that of the mainstream festival. Access to this stage is free. 

Latest News

Earlybird Tickets 

Earlybird Tickets on sale September 1 - 30 

Volunteers & Accommodation Hosts

We rely on great volunteers and accommodation hosts to help us deliver Newstead Live. Registrations are now open. 

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