The wine tent will be in full swing by then too, and a few of your favourite food vendors will be on hand to serve some gorgeous food.
Take a stroll through the heritage trail any time on Friday and look out for sculptures by world famous artists.
The Artisan markets are much loved and this year there will be more than 120 stalls and pitches offering a plethora of wares. At DAF, we are passionate about handcrafted, artisanal products which is why we have such strict criteria for our stalls; no imported/factory-made or mass-produced goods. Items must be locally made and ideally and where possible materials locally sourced.
Lucky for us, Perth and Perth hills are replete with talented producers and we are excited to be hosting so many this year! You will find designer paper, hand-dyed and printed fabrics and clothing, jewellery made from silver, glass, beads, and wood. A range of preserves and Persian delights and other providor items in the new section of the festival line-up. There will be artworks and pottery, furniture made from wine barrels (get in quick – this stuff sells out early), fine marri wood furniture and so much more.
With so many talented artisan stallholders on-site offering unique WA-made wares, it is a great place for Christmas gift shopping!
With a push toward sustainability, vendors are being encouraged to reduce the amount of plastic that they bring to the festival.
You can help us too. Drinking water tanks will be available at the festival so please bring your reusable bottles and fill up for free.
Help us to recycle more. There will be special bins where you can put compostable foodstuffs, recyclable items and general rubbish.
Allie Cormack won the poster competition for the second year in a row. It is not hard to see why! Last year we loved it so much that we had Allie do an outline on the tennis club hit-up wall, and you helped us to fill it in with our paint-a-brick community art project. We were going to do the same again with this year's poster, but everyone loved the wall art from last year so much we had to search for a new spot to place it.
The Darlington Volunteer Bushfire Brigade (DVBB) came to our rescue and have let us use their water tank, so come along on the Saturday and help us paint-a-petal. This is a lovely thing for the little ones to do.
The volunteers will have other kid friendly events on too all of this is over near the kid's corner, with rides, face painting and more.
And while the kids play, pick up a really good sausage sizzle. Not your standard fare, these are a special German sausage made by a Darlington local and proceeds go the DVBB.
These are a crowd-pleaser. The kids love them and the parents seem happy to play along too. The line-up is still being finalised but will be similar to last year. Batik printing, felt, beading, ceramics, felting, lots of sticky, mucky, tactile stuff with expert guidance and lots of fun!
The wellness tent was another new idea last year and one that made a great impression. This year it has been combined with the art workshops and all of it is free (though we never turn down a gold coin donation if it is offered).
Make sure to stop by the area. There is a full program of events. There will be an aerial yoga display, yoga for kids, how to make beeswax wraps (you know you want to), an African Drumming Circle by Akwaaba, Tai Chi and more. These will be interspersed with art workshops such as pottery, jewellery making and maybe learn some crochet too.
Pop along for as many sessions as you like throughout the weekend. There will be a series of mini-talks offered throughout the day by stallholders. Honestly, you could spend all day in this one area there is so much going on! Plan your day here.
Bring some cushions and blankets and a picnic basket if you like, or stroll over to one of the many food vendors and grab some supper or a box of popcorn, curl up with the family and watch a fabulous film under the warm Perth sky.
Last year it was bigger and louder. This year it is bigger (and some bits will be quieter).
The main stage will have the family favourites, local choirs from schools and colleges interspersed with some big names including; the Hills Brass Band, The Sweet Teas, Midland Dance Studio, Blues ConFusion, Perth Harmony Chorus, The Band of Missfits, Cassis, Gypsy Lou, and Kyra Bee and the IllEagles.
For something a little sweeter, softer, more intimate, cross over to our newly borrowed venue at St Cuthbert's church. That's that pretty little stone church on Darlington Road. The acoustics are incredible. You can find Jimmy March, The Healing Tones, Gem Addison, Jere Sosa and Carrie Lee, plus a host of others.
If that's not enough, follow behind Junkadelic as they weave through the festival, along the historic railway reserve, and around the Sculptures on the Scarp. Catch PirateMan as he checks his crystal ball, get your face painted and roar like a lion!
Check out the line-up here.
This year DAF is hosting a retrospective of D Thornton Hick. Thornton a former resident of Darlington and one of the original festival founders, was a remarkably talented artist. His worked spanned sculpture, furniture, watercolours and more. Curated by Kristy Scaddan, this exhibition will show a carefully selected, broad body of work and will be a rare opportunity to purchase pieces of his work.
Sculpture on the Scarp, curated by Mikala Castledine is in its second year. It was a huge win last year and is definitely back by popular demand. This year there will be more work, bigger pieces and I am promised the exhibition will be outstanding. In the evening, the bush setting will be illuminated, bringing the space into a new dimension entirely! There may even be an acoustic ensemble nearby.
Artists you loved last year will be back this year including; Sam Hopkins, Shona McGregor, Claire Davenhall, Nicholas Kempt and Patricia Rose. We also welcome Jordan Sprigg Sculptures and internationally acclaimed Ron Gombok; Decade member of Sculpture by the Sea for Bondi and Cottesloe and Johannes Pannekoek (winner of Bondi Sculpture by the Sea in 2016).
Sculpture on the Scarp is set on the famous Railway Heritage Trail by old Darlington Station, nestled between the Nest Gallery, the old Post Office and the historic Darlington Hall. Follow the trail, discover the wonders and let us know which one is your favourite. There will be a people's choice award so your vote counts.
The highly successful Open Arts Exhibition is where DAF began all those years ago. Open Art will be curated by Amelia Birch and Amy Neville from UWA Design Studio. There are four categories and most works are available to purchase. With a top award (DAFA) of $5,000, this exhibition is attracting talented artists from far and wide. A real opportunity to invest or to just buy something because you love it. There are some spectacular entries this year.
Don't miss the Junior Art tent or the Youth Art on the mezzanine floor of the hall. Be sure to visit them all. Talent seems to know no bounds and even the junior tent will have gems to surprise you. Youth and junior art (some of last year's work shown here).
So here is the conundrum... how to be in five places at once. This year there is so much to see and in so many corners.
Start planning your Darlington Arts Festival experience today at www.darlingtonartsfestival.com. We hope to see you there!
Top Tip - leave the car at home and take the bus 321/322 from Midland Station bus stand 7, it will drop you off right next to the festival!
And… bring your Christmas shopping list. There is every chance that you will find everything you need, in one place, on one day.