Big West is the leading community-based, contemporary arts and cultural festival in the western region of Melbourne. A biennial event, Big West runs for twelve days in November, and stages high quality, cutting edge and unique artistic works in the venues, cultural sites, suburban streets and industrial sprawl of Melbourne's west.
Big West is an artistically directed and multi-art form festival, its program featuring large-scale and intimate works that range from performing arts, music and visual arts (including installations), as well as cross-art form or hybrid work. A proud exponent of contemporary practice, Big West selects work that is innovative and that uses form, content and medium in entirely new or unexpected ways. It has a strong commitment to assisting emerging artists by providing mentorship, guidance and a platform to present works-in-progress.
Staged since 1997, Big West was established to address issues of geographic, cultural and social isolation of residents in the western region of Melbourne. It seeks to substantially challenge perceptions of the west as culturally impoverished by highlighting the rich diversity of local cultural activity in the region and facilitating dynamic arts practice. Big West does this by brokering relationships between professional artists and local communities; professional artists and local sites; local communities and local sites. The results of these relationships are then presented to audiences throughout the Big West Festival and in events held in the development year.