Announcing the inaugural Melbourne Cocktail Festival

A celebration of Melbourne’s cocktail culture, the festival will feature local and international experts and run from 26 February–1 March 2020

Cocktail experts and enthusiasts unite for the inaugural Melbourne Cocktail Festival (MCF), taking place 26 February–1 March 2020. Created by the team behind hospitality industry hub Worksmith, the MCF will showcase Melbourne’s thriving and innovative cocktail scene. Activities and events will cater to everyone from industry experts to the cocktail curious and all those who appreciate the art of the craft.


Under the curatorial direction of 2018 World Class Global Bartender of the Year, Orlando Marzo, the MCF will unite venues across Melbourne and enlist some of the most notable names in the industry to engage with visitors and locals alike.


“We created the Melbourne Cocktail Festival because this city has a very active cocktail culture,” says Orlando. “There is a pride and respect in the craft and high level of expertise found in Melbourne’s many bars. As with the food scene, the customers are knowledgeable and understand flavour. There is a great sense of fun and exploration in this industry. We wanted to share that energy with our customers.”


Image credit: James Morgan

With a program catering for industry professionals and cocktail lovers alike, the MCF will offer a thoughtful lineup of workshops, guided tours, tastings, seminars, art installations and activations – all centred around the art of the cocktail.


Headlining the festival are Agostino Perrone and Giorgio Bargiani of The Connaught Bar in London, the iconic venue famed for having revolutionised the hotel bar scene and was named  ‘Best Bar in Europe' at the 2019 World's 50 Best Bars Awards. Agostino and Giorgio will share their knowledge and insights on The Connaught’s world-famous hospitality and mixology approach. They will explain what goes into delivering memorable experiences and the details of their famous martini trolley. Agostino and Giorgio are appearing at the MCF with thanks to Galliano.


"We are incredibly excited to take part in the Melbourne Cocktail Festival and more generally to have the opportunity to be ambassadors of The Connaught Bar in a city like Melbourne where the cocktail scene is thriving. Experiences like these always offer us great inspiration and fuel our love for this profession and its creative industry. We can't wait to meet old and new friends, discover Melbourne’s bars and explore the city," Agostino and Giorgio commented.


Other MCF events will include a workshop by New York’s renowned fermentation expert Sandor Katz together with The Fermentary’s Sharon Flynn; Paige Aubert from Speed Rack & Coleman's Academy; and Jaye O'Dwyer from Behind Bars amongst others. Full program details will be announced on 18 January 2020.


Tickets for the MCF Symposium, Tasting Day and Bar Safari (details below) will be available for purchase via the MCF website on 13 December, with tickets to individual events to be released in January.


Festival Dates:

26 February–1 March 2020

Select Tickets on Sale: 13 December 2019

Full program announced and all tickets on sale: 18 January 2020

Website: melbournecocktailfestival.io

Social: @melbournecocktailfestival


Ticket Details:

The below tickets are on sale via the MCF website from Friday, December 13

Tickets to further events will go live in mid-January

- Symposium (held on 26 Feb 2020) - $40/early bird price $30 until

   31 Dec 2019

- Tasting Day (held on 27 Feb 2020) - $25/early bird price $20 until

   31 Dec 2019

- Bar Safari pass - $20

Bar Safari ticket holders will have access to:

✓ Free entry to the closing party, held on 1 March 2020

✓ A $15 flat-rate for cocktail creations specially developed by

    participating venues across Melbourne

✓ A digital recipe book of all unique MCF cocktails for guests to recreate

    at home

✓ Special rates and discounts on MCF merch

✓ Entry into the MCF prize draw (prize is a home-bar spirit set-up valued

    at more than $600)