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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 a range of 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.


The Festival Village

Located in Panmure Street, near the swimming pool and Lilliput. Everyone is welcome in The Festival Village. This is the home of the Live’n’Local outdoor stage. There are also food vans and market stalls.

NOTE: This is an unticketed area. Yes, it’s free!


1. 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. In homage to him, the nature of The Troubadour as a music venue remains fundamentally unchanged. Food & alcohol are supplied by the Newstead Football Netball Club, including wine from Andrew’s Burke & Wills label.
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.

2. The Newstead Community CentreFestival Reception is in the foyer. The main hall is one of the prime venues of the festival. The Community Centre Café operates in the old section, featuring Klua Sathorn Thai food, and a beer and wine bar run by The Crown Hotel. The hall and the café are both airconditioned.

3. LilliputThis is the local kindergarten and pre-school. It provides a more intimate space for performers, and is airconditioned.

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

5. The Enviroshop
This space is the refurbished workshop of an old service station, and operates commercially as a business with a focus on sustainable energy solutions. In keeping with its history, here you will find performance workshops, including the festival choir. Located 400m from the Community Centre. Remember there is a shuttle bus to get you there if the walk is too much or if the weather is too hot.

6. The Playground Park
Officially named Newstead Park but known locally as The Playground Park or The Pirate Park, here you will find kids’ shows in the morning, and a selection of festival artists in the afternoon. Watch out for Michael the Balloonologist. Bring along your picnic rug, graba sausage from the Men's Shed and pack your esky for a family-friendly day of entertainment. This is a FREE VENUE.

7. Live 'n' Local Stage

An outdoor stage which celebrates all types of music featuring local artists. The stage operates on Friday and Saturday and is located in the Festival Village in Panmure Street. Musical styles may vary widely from that of the mainstream festival. Access to this stage is free.

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