Keen to dive into this year’s DRIFT Arts Festival, but not quite sure where to start? 

With a stack of multi-disciplinary events and performances taking place across the Mornington Peninsula, we’ve picked out a few of our favourites from the program. Whether you’re a music-lover, an avid adventurer or a budding wordsmith, there’s something for everyone on this year’s line-up.

Our top picks by genre


The Smith Street Band

Friday 28 April 2023, Rosebud Sound Shell

See The Smith Street Band live by the bay, performing songs from their sixth studio album, Life After Football. Having toured relentlessly and released a bevy of chart-topping hits, this Melbourne-based band have cemented their status as Australian pub rock royalty. See all program items in this category.


Life Drawing with Leyla Bulmer

Sunday 30 April, Badcoe Hall, Point Nepean 

Take part in a powerful workshop exploring the beauty of the human form with local artist Leyla Bulma. Leyla will guide participants to work with different techniques and mediums with the model as a muse. All are welcome, no drawing experience is needed and all art materials are included. See all program items in this category.


Deadly Drift

Friday 21 April, Rosebud Soundshell 

Celebrate the voices, stories and songlines of the oldest living culture, our First Peoples, in this immersive, multi-disciplinary event. Taking over the entire DRIFT Festival Hub, the program includes works from prolific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, cultural practitioners and organisations. See all program items in this category.

Walk or Climb 


13-22 April, The Briars

Take part in an immersive theatrical night walk in the Briars Wildlife Sanctuary. Make your way along the boardwalk to experience four beautifully crafted acts that respond to the land and the creatures that inhabit it, then relax and refuel with live music and local food trucks. See all program items in this category.


Words and Music

Saturday, April 29, The Portsea Camp

The Sorrento Writers Festival and Drift Arts Festival co-present Words & Music, a celebration of the magic that happens when meaningful lyrics connect with beautiful music. Featuring the Songs of Joni Mitchell and a preview of Stella: The Miles Franklin Story. See all program items in this category.


Comedy Fest’s Neighbourhood Sessions

Thursday, April 20, Rosebud Memorial Hall 

Who said you had to leave your ‘hood to get a good laugh? For one night only, Rosebud Hall is hosting some of the biggest names in comedy, with a hand-picked line-up that gives you a glimpse of what’s to come for the 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. See all program items in this category.


Strata Exhibition - Point Nepean Visual Arts Precinct

April 21-30, Quarantine Station, Point Nepean 

Explore this curated exhibition of 20 artists whose works talk to the history, buildings and natural environment of the Quarantine Station. "Strata" reflects the complex multilayers of the Quarantine Station, delving into the environmental impact and social implications of migration. See all program items in this category.


Bernie Dieter's DRIFT Arts Festival Spectacular

April 23-24, The Shoreline Big Top 

Join award-winning cabaret icon, Bernie Dieter for a dangerously funny night under the big top lights. The show is a gloriously hazy mix of cabaret, circus, death-defining aerial and fire-breathing burlesque at its most inappropriate. See all program items in this category.

Open Studio 

Peninsula Studio Trail Artist Open Studios

April 29-30, The Studio, Mornington

Step inside the studios of local artists to meet the makers, see works in progress, ask questions and get a glimpse behind the scenes as to how artworks are created. See all program items in this category.


How We Rise

Friday, April 21, Silver Leaf Art Box 

An experimental dance performance by queer-identifying artist and choreographer Zoë Bastin. Working in response to the coastal ecologies of Merricks Beach, waves are used as a poetic allegory to explore ideas of consent and control. Featuring original music composed and performed by Grace Ferguson. See all program items in this category.

Check out the full program here. We’ll see you out there! 

The Ninch is a proud promotional partner of DRIFT Arts festival in 2023.

All images are supplied by artists, check the DRIFT website for credits.