Festivals, markets and more prepare their post-lockdown return to Canberra

Lottie Twyford 1 November 2021
Festival stage

Raise your glasses for the return of live music and festivals to the capital. Photo: Supplied.

Grab your bucket hats, sunscreen and gang because the easing of restrictions means only one thing for event-lovers and festival-goers – they are on the way back!

Lockdowns around the country from July onwards saw beloved events like the Handmade Markets and the Canberra Fair cancelled, while new happenings like the French Christmas in July markets were postponed for a year.

Well, that’s all about to change.

The beginning of next year will see Canberra come alive with two major festivals already planned.

Summersalt will make its grand return to the Territory on Saturday, 26 February 2022 at Commonwealth Park, with a line-up to impress, including the likes of Missy Higgins, Birds of Tokyo, The Waifs, Pete Murray and more.

It’s not all about the music, however. The day will also feature local market stalls, food trucks and a wide variety of beverages.

Tickets for Summersalt 2022 went on sale on Saturday (30 October).


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Giving you only a couple of weeks to recover, Wine Machine is planned for Saturday, 19 March 2022

It’s got a killer ‘wineup’ including PNAU, Benee, The Presents and Thundamentals and promises the Best. Chardy. Ever.

Pre-sale tickets are available now.

Other big events on the horizon include the Canberra Fair, which will take place in early February. The event will showcase local businesses and innovation, as well as all things weddings and events – whether bridal gowns, suits, cakes or venues.

As for the Handmade Markets, while founder Julie Nichols says the details can’t be revealed yet, Canberrans should look forward to something exciting in December.

Watch this space.

market stallholder laughing talking to customers at the handmade markets

After three cancellations, the Handmade Markets are more than ready to welcome Canberrans back. Photo: Handmade Markets.

This much-loved staple of the Canberra events calendar has had a rough run of things recently; initially forced to cancel their usual event in March 2020 because of the first wave of COVID-19, the Handmade Markets had then been slated to make their big post-pandemic return with the June event, before the delta outbreak put a stop to it.

Then, the unthinkable happened when the ACT was plunged into a lockdown of its own – two days before a smaller, ticketed August event had been planned.

Fingers and toes are crossed this time.


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According to the ACT’s pathway forward, events with a cap of 500 people could go ahead from yesterday.

From 26 November, events can be capped at 1,000 people but must be ticketed or registered and the Check In CBR app must be used.

All events are required to have COVID-safe plans.

Events greater than 1,000 people can go ahead but will need an exemption from ACT Health, and any events larger than 10,000 people will need to work closely with relevant government authorities when developing their COVID-safe plans.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr has flagged that November’s eased restrictions could be brought forward, but what might change and when is unclear.


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