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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.


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 Music Festival. Although Andrew has retired from any active role in the festival, he continues as our patron, and his wines continue to feature at the venue.

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. Together with The Troubadour, 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.

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.

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 themed events. 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.

Newstead Park
Known to the locals as The Playground Park or The Pirate Park, this is a free venue, so grab a sausage from the Mens Shed and a take-away from the pub, and enjoy a sample of some of the offerings of the festival.

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, near the pool. Musical styles may vary widely from that of the mainstream festival. Access to this stage is free. 

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