The Macquarie Credit Union’s DREAM Festival is one of Sydney’s biggest regional music and arts festivals. It celebrates creativity in all kinds, evident in the lantern and lights displays, music, markets, art contests, traditional dances and much more.
DREAM is an acronym that stands for Dubbo Regional Entertainment Arts and Music. It takes place for 10 days every October, and features art, workshops, music, food, wine, and local artists. The festival organizers work closely with the local arts communities, organizations, and schools to curate a creative and artistic line-up of events each year. The week long event takes place in different locations around Dubbo, and there is no entry fee for anyone who wishes to attend.
Not to be missed is the lantern parade, a major highlight of the event. It features a display of impressive sculptured lanterns created by children in the Central West region. The lantern parades begin at lower Talbragar Street at the evening, followed by mass lanterns that pass through various streets in Dubbo with culminations at Victoria Park in Darling Street. During the weeks leading up to the festival, lantern-making workshops will be held and everyone is invited. The laser shows are another impressive feature of the festival, which has always been a crowd favourite, drawing thousands each year around the region.
Music + Markets is perhaps the most famous and well-attended aspect of the event. Victoria park lights up with dozens of market stalls selling gourmet food, arts and crafts, children’s clothing, and more. Kids can look forward to their very own Dreamland, a hotspot for child-friendly entertainment, activities, and education. There will be bars serving alcohol for attendees aged 18 and up. Most of the events will be held outdoors, so be sure to bring a blanket or low chairs to unwind.
To get to Dubbo from Sydney, head over to Lithgow via the Blue Mountains. From Lithgow, you can either drive a car through Mudgee and Gulgong or go west through Bathurst and Orange. Considering that the journey from Sydney to Dubbo takes around five hours, the best way to make the most out of the DREAM festival is to spend a few days in town.