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Eel Festival

22-23 March 2024

First Nations dancers at the Eel Festival Twilight Ceremony on the banks of Lake Bolac

About the Eel Festival

Lake Bolac, in the Western District of Victoria, Australia, is sacred to the First Nations people of the area.

For tens of thousands of years, it has hosted a large gathering of clans for the eel season. 

There, clans met for special and important business, especially the exchange of ceremony and lore, trading of goods, and marriage celebrations.

Today, the Lake Bolac Eel Festival, which recognises this historic gathering, attracts people from all walks of life out on to country to gather by the shores of the lake to share, learn, remember and celebrate. 

The festival is held every two years in the autumn and reflects the season when the eels traditionally begin their migration to the open ocean to spawn. 

From 2005 to 2014 the festival was held annually and since 2016 biennially. The festival is relaxed and friendly offering plenty to engage people all ages. 

Festival program

Core activities

Helper at the Eel Festival Art Auction displays an aboriginal artwork to audience

Art Auction and

First Nations dancer at the Eel Festival Twilight Ceremony

Twilight Ceremony

Presenter at the Eel Festival Forum addresses the audience

Festival Forum

Participants of the Healing Walk 2022 make their way through the route

Healing Walk

An Eel Festival attendee at an information stall

Workshops, stalls and displays

Two singers perform on stage at the Eel Festival 2022

Live music

What people say…

What an amazing vibe. The little festival with a big, beautiful heart!

It was sensational, we had the best time; relaxing, inspiring, creative, friendly environment, a good time for the whole family.

A truly moving and revelatory experience. Thank you.

A welcoming and friendly atmosphere! Lots of great people happy to talk, share and get involved.

Eel Festival partners 2024

Bank of Bendigo logo
Pitch Logo
GWM Water Logo
Glenelg Hopkins CMA logo
Beyond Bolac Catchment Action Group Logo
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