Perth in February is the perfect place and time to bask in summer weather, festival events and sunset music.
There are so many things to do in Perth at this time of year, it still feels like summer vacation time, yet the school holidays are over, making room for you to sneak some time off without the crowds.
While the weather remains balmy, seek out a rooftop bar or outdoor cinema, watch the sun go down from a beachside restaurant or cafe, and take in the many music and arts events happening around Perth this February.
This guide to what's on in Perth during February brings you the key events to look out for, both ticketed and free. Make sure you book ahead to plan a perfect end to Perth summer.
February in Perth is festival time, as Fringe World makes way for the Perth Festival - highlight of the year for the arts. The Festival brings performers, visual artists and writers from around the world for a feast of innovative theatre, exhibitions, circus acts, dance and music.
Go to perthfestival.com.au to find out what's on at the Perth Festival in February. Not to be missed are:
- The Nature of Why - an energetic and immersive music and dance performance inspired by the curiosity of physics, featuring the British Paraorchestra with the Perth Symphony Orchestra and a group of extraordinary dancers.
- A Ghost in My Suitcase - a magical play for all the family by the wonderful Barking Gecko Theatre, set in Shanghai.
- Lang Toi - Nouveau Cirque du Vietnam present a circus performance that will have you catching your breath, a fascinating mix of music, imagery and acrobatics set in a Vietnamese village.
- A Dark and Quiet Place - a fascinating exhibition of imagery at Fremantle Arts Centre, created by David Noonan, who overlays found images to create new stories that fire up the imagination.
- Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir - a treat for classical music lovers, the world-renowned Choir will perform Bach and Arvo Part with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Free things to do during the Perth Festival include a stream of live music in Chevron Gardens featuring artists from around the world, and Boorna Waanginy in Kings Park - a mesmerising experience of Noongar culture in the form of a gigantic show of projected lighting and sound amongst the trees.
In February, Perth's Fringe World festival comes to an end so take the chance to catch shows that have received the best reviews.
These include 4x4x4 at The Actors' Hub, Hands Some Feet circus show at The Black Flamingo in Yagan Square, a hilarious show Dowstairs at the Maj called What Doesn't Kill You [Blah Blah] Stronger, Blanc de Blanc cabaret show at The Pear Tree, and Best of Fest at the Comedy Lounge.
St Jerome's Laneway Festival lands in Fremantle on Sunday 10 February, one of Perth's most popular music events. Laneway brings together a string of quality original and indie musicians from the US, UK and Australia - a chance to hear some of the best live music in a chilled and safe atmosphere.
The Festival will spread out on the Esplanade next to Fishing Boat Harbour and take over the west end of Fremantle. It's an 18+ event and there will be food trucks, bars and market stalls; patrons are also welcome to take a pass out to enjoy other things to do in Perth's historic port city, making this a fantastic day out. Check the following links for places to grab a meal or drink beyond the Festival:
Check the Laneway lineup and purchase tickets at fremantle.lanewayfestival.com Do book ahead, as this is invariably a sell-out event.
Make the most of balmy Perth February evenings with a picnic and live music at sunset.
Every Sunday in February, a Perth park will feature free live music from 5.30 to 7.00pm. Summer Concerts in the Park takes over Lawler Park in Floreat on the 3rd, with the ever-popular Adam Hall and The Velvet Playboys; the 10th sees Monty Cotton and The Threads serenading the sunset at Mason Gardens, Dalkeith; Velvet Amps heads to Allen Park in Swanbourne on the 17th; and the series winds up with Hi-NRG on the 24th in Dot Bennet Park, Nedlands.
These are family friendly concerts with kids' activities and food trucks, or take your own picnic and settle in for a relaxing evening that everyone will enjoy.
On 3 February, Perth family favourite sunset@subi hosts its final concert of the summer, featuring husband and wife R&B duet Aviida in Market Square, Subiaco. Bring a picnic or purchase snacks and coffee from the food truck.
The combination of Swan Valley food, wine and live music at sunset is one of the quintessential things to do in Perth summertime! So schedule in a twilight concert at Upper Reach Winery - a perfect way to spend the evening picnicking or dining at the RiverBrook Restaurant, with world class wines at your fingertips.
Upper Reach Winery has been producing hand-crafted wines in WA for more than 20 years, and runs tours and wine appreciation classes. RiverBrook Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and Twilight Concerts.
Held on alternate Saturdays, the concert series focuses on the cool sounds of swing, salsa, samba and soul, with February featuring Nueva Salsa on the 2nd and the Libby Hammer Quintet on the 16th.
February in Perth is the time to catch some outdoor movies before the weather changes. Another fantastic way to spend an evening amongst the vines with a glass of vino is at the Swan Valley's Cheese Barrel - a licensed fromagerie serving local and international cheeses accompanied by Olive Farm Wines.
Movies in the Vines are a selection of top French films presented by Alliance Francaise. Hire a beanbag, purchase a cheese platter and enjoy wine or coffee through the evening. Read about two of the movies here: Some Like it Veiled on 9 February and Caprice on Valentine's Day.
It's not too late to catch the last of the Lotterywest Films at Somerville Auditorium or Joondalup Pines, and do check what's on during February at Perth's Luna Outdoor or Camelot Outdoor cinemas.
Luna Outdoor in Leederville screens some excellent independent, arthouse and documentary films, while Camelot in Mosman Park is the place to catch that blockbuster you haven't got around to seeing yet. February movies include The Favourite, Mary Poppins Returns, Bohemian Rhapsody, Colette, A Star is Born, and Vita and Virginia.
All except the Pines are licensed, and you can purchase food to enjoy during the movie.
There are lots of outdoor and rooftop cinemas in Perth to choose from. Go to this link for more information: Outdoor Cinemas in Perth.
Chinese New Year
On Sunday 10 February, the Perth Chinese New Year Fair is likely to draw a crowd of well over 70,000 - the figure recorded last year. If you haven't experienced Chinese New Year celebrations yet, don't miss this colourful event!
Chinese New Year is traditionally celebrated over several days, the dates varying from year to year depending on the lunar calendar. In 2019, Chinese New Year officially begins on 5 February and marks the beginning of the Year of the Pig, a symbol of good fortune.
The Chinese New Year Fair will be centred on Chinatown in Northbridge, and spread along Lake Street and James Street. It promises to be a highlight of February in Perth, with around 100 stalls, a parade, cultural activities, games, rides, a multicultural concert, photo booth, and best of all, the traditional lion and dragon dancing.
Look out for special guest Brendan Pang from Masterchef Australia 2018, who will no doubt add zing to the celebration of Chinese food being served throughout the afternoon and evening.
This event will be up there with the most photogenic things to do in Perth this summer. Find more Instagrammable places and events here.
National Basketball League
February for the Perth Wildcats basketball team is a key time, as the National Basketball League comes to a head. This is the premier basketball league for Australia and New Zealand, the season running from October to the Grand Final in early March.
You can witness amazing skills as the Perth team goes head to head with the Sydney Kings on 10 February and the Adelaide 36ers on 15 February at the Wildcats' home court, RAC Arena, also known as 'The Jungle'.
There's heaps of entertainment before the game and during quarter and half time. Especially popular are the Dunk Team, who put on an energetic and highly watchable series of dunks during quarter time. A dunk is a controlled shot from the air, also called a slam dunk. Other highlights are dancers, music and Wilbur the Wildcat.
Before the game, youngsters can create a banner in the Wild Kids Zone, ready to hold up during the game, while small kids can head down there to colour in a pic of Wilbur at any time during the game.
The Wildcats are one of the top teams but have suffered some disappointing defeats this season, so lend your support this February in Perth Arena to help them push through to the semi-finals!