Firelight Festival to light up Docklands

A never-seen-before lighting installation, a spectacular liquid, light and laser show and a giant crystal lion will ignite Docklands this winter as part of our Firelight Festival.

​The event will return after a two-year hiatus, enticing tens of thousands of visitors to the city to enjoy firey installations, pop-up performances, live entertainment and foodie feasts from 1 to 3 July.

It’s part of a record year of events in Melbourne, thanks to a $25 million investment in Council’s draft Budget 2022–23 to turbocharge the city’s events calendar to encourage visitation, support local businesses and bring confidence to the city.

‘After two long years, Firelight Festival is back in Docklands with awe-inspiring installations, mesmerising light shows, foodie feasts, fire twirlers, flaming trumpeters, live music and family-friendly entertainment to celebrate our city in all its wintery glory,’ Lord Mayor Sally Capp said.

‘Gather your family and friends, pop on your winter woolies and head on down to Docklands to enjoy everything that Melbourne has to offer during the cosy winter months.’

The 2019 Firelight Festival attracted more than 75,000 people over three days, delivering $4 million into the local economy.

This year’s program is jam-packed with free, family-friendly fun, including:

  • A new lighting installation, which will transform Buluk Park into a magical forest with brilliant light stems and colourful petals stretching 6 metres into the air
  • A 10-metre crystal lion shimmering with thousands of LED lights, which will roam the festival emitting a spine-tingling soundscape
  • A seven-minute liquid, light and laser show with water jets featuring a larger-than-life fiery phoenix, playing every hour at Victoria Harbour
  • More than 100 performers, including dazzling fire breathers and twirlers, flaming trumpeters, roving entertainers, musicians and other artists
  • 40 fire pits and drums, 35 flame jets, two fire sculptures and two fire arches.

More than 20 food vendors will offer seasonal delights to warm even the coldest winter nights, from smoked meats, soup and woodfired pizza to mulled wine, hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows.

Docklands will be brimming with activity and excitement, with activations located along New Quay Promenade, Victoria Harbour Promenade and Harbour Esplanade to drive visitation and spend at businesses across the precinct. The festival sites are easily accessible by public transport.

Festivalgoers can also take advantage of the Docklands Dollars program, which offers up to $210 cashback on spending on hotels, restaurants and entertainment in the precinct.

City Activation portfolio lead Councillor Roshena Campbell said Firelight will bring Docklands to life and drive visitation to local businesses.

‘We know Docklands has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and events like Firelight Festival are critical to its economic recovery,’ Cr Campbell said.

‘Nearly 90 per cent of those who attended Firelight Festival pre-pandemic said they visited Docklands specifically for the event. They spent an average of $75 with local traders during their visit, providing a direct economic boost.’

For more detail and the full program, visit Firelight Festival.

Firelight Festival is being delivered with support from the $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund – a joint partnership between the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government. The City of Melbourne also thanks festival partner Development Victoria for its support.

For the first time, Firelight Festival 2022 will be a carbon-neutral certified event.