Let Them Eat Cake is the glorious unparalleled event that falls on New Years Day in Werribee, Victoria. It is described by the creators as an ‘architecturally abstract sonically lush and audaciously indulgent gathering’, resembling a ‘hedonistic aristocrat of the fabled garden party.’ As spectacular as that sounds, Let Them Eat Cake feels like even more than that.
There is no other festival in the world that feels quite like you have accompanied Alice to Wonderland and been dragged head first down the rabbit hole with her. The rabbit hole however lasts a mere day and will make you feel as though you wish you could be living in the world of Wonderland forever.
Set amongst the exquisite Werribee Mansion, immaculate gardens and pristine lake that surrounds the grounds, the finest artists of Australia and around the world frolic to the beautiful gardens to enjoy a day of fine dancing and twirling to the beat. It’s a day in which festival goers will choose to compose themselves during the festivities of New Years Eve to maximise the day that kick starts the new year in the best way imaginable.
The boutique festival has only been around since 2013, but is an unmissable event on the festival calendar of Australia. The array of electronic, house, techno, electro, hip-hop and drum and bass create an eclectic mix of delicious selections that are bound to satisfy all music lovers’ ears. Just like Alice does, drink the drinks and eat the food and take a seat at the Mad Hatter’s table because at this festival, you really can have your cake and eat it too.
Werribee Mansion is 30km from Melbourne CBD and the festival site can be reached by taking a train from the city to Werribee on the Werribee Line and there are shuttle buses available from the station. The event runs its own shuttle buses from the city so check out their website for more information.
The Werribee Mansion is an iconic tourist attraction of Melbourne. It was built in the 1860s by the Chirnside family who had hoped to build a pastoral empire. The 60-roomed home during the time was Victoria’s largest private residence. The Victorian Government acquired the mansion in the 70s and restored it to the beauty that it is today.
While you might not have the time on the day, it is worth visiting the Werribee Open Range Zoo on either New Years Eve, the day before or the day after the festival—if you’re not too hung-over. The zoo is conveniently located right next door along the Werribee River and you can see a huge range of native species of Australian animals and birds plus creatures from the African savannah. If you’ve ever wanted to see koalas and kangaroos in the open then this is the perfect chance. The 40-minute wildlife safari will take you around the zoo and you can see giraffes, zebras, rhinos and more. Or you can take the Pula Reserve Walking Trail where you can wander on foot and discover lions, gorillas, monkeys, hippos and cheetahs.
Where To Go
More like, where not to go? On the festival day, we highly recommend that you go on an adventure. Get lost in the gardens and through the trees—some which are listed on the National Trust Significant Trees Register—and witness the lush landscape of the magical wonderland. There are far more stages at Let Them Eat Cake than most other day festivals so do try to check them all out. Talented teams of artists have lovingly built each of the stages and all deserve a visit. The Bastille Stage has one of the most impressive views that an Australian festival has to offer. With the mansion as the backdrop it is striking in the day and incredible when the lights are projected upon it once it gets dark.
Through the trees you can find the Palace of Versailles and the Guillotine stages, with impressive architecture that is artwork in itself. Swamp Town is by the lake, so you can sit by the water with the ducks as you listen to some of the finest tunes during the day. And yet more smaller stages are scattered throughout the magical grounds.
Let Them Eat Cake puts an enormous effort in not just the music, but also the bar and food options. Try the selection of gourmet food stalls and the delicious cocktails on offer at the bar.
What To Bring
All you really need to bring is a comfortable or fancy outfit (with something warm for later in the day), a hat, your dancing shoes and your wallet. The festival is in the middle of the Australian summer so it does get quite hot in the day so popping a tube of sunscreen is a good idea too. However, in the evenings, a cool change can occur, so be sure to have some layers to keep you warm at night, (you’ll be thanking us later!) There are plenty of drink stations to keep yourself hydrated during the festival and since it’s simply a one-day festival, you won’t really need much else!
The only downfall to the fairy-tale day is trying to find a way home. The day comes to an end far too quickly and you’ll find yourself ushered out of the grounds by security. Thousands of revellers will all be trying to catch ubers and cabs once they leave the grounds and there are never enough to go around. To avoid being left behind and waiting for hours at the end of a long and eventful day, we recommend organising transport beforehand. If you have a friend to pick you up that would be the best option, otherwise Let Them Eat Cake offers a shuttle bus service where you can pre-purchase a ticket before the big day.