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Everything you need to know about the 2021 Ballarat International Foto Biennale

Visit Ballarat

24 Aug 2021

Filed underSee & Do

This spring, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB) will take over the city’s galleries, buildings, cafes and laneways.

Now in its 16th year, it is Australia’s most significant and prestigious photographic arts festival.

Open to regional Victorians from 23 September, the popular photography festival has been extended until 9 January 2022.

In 2021, the event has a special focus on some of the greatest rock stars the world has ever seen.

The full program of more than 260 artists across 100 venues includes 25 Australian premieres – most of which are exclusive to Ballarat.

Linda McCartney, Sgt Pepper’s Press Launch, London, 1967

The Australian premiere – and exclusive season – of the Linda McCartney: Retrospective sits at the centre of the 2021 program.

Encompassing more than 200 photographs by the world-famous photographer, the exhibition offers an intimate look into the life of the McCartney family, along with photographs of the 1960s music scene plus a series of never-before-seen prints from McCartney’s time in Australia.

On show at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, the exhibition has been curated by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney.

Another BIFB exclusive is Number One | Gudinski, a celebration of Michael Gudinski’s lasting legacy and impact on the Australian music industry.

Presented in conjunction with the Mushroom Group, the exhibition of band and artist photos will look back at Gudinski’s advocacy for the arts and his lasting impact on the Australian music industry.

The images will be exhibited at the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute, a fitting venue which has hosted many musical performances during its 162-year history.

Michael Jalaru Torres, Empress from the series BLOSSOM, 2019

The full BIFB program features a range of indoor and outdoor exhibitions:

  • Core Program (14 exhibitions on show at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, National Centre for Photography, Ballarat Mining Exchange, Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute, Ballarat GovHub, St Andrew’s Uniting Church, Post Office Gallery, Ballarat Town Hall, and 29 Main Road)
  • Core Program – Outdoor (more than 16 curated exhibitions featuring the works of international and Australian artists in Ballarat’s laneways and streets, including Alfred Deakin Place, Sturt Street and the Bridge Mall)
  • Open Program (89 exhibitions across 75 Ballarat venues)

Tickets are available for a single day pass or three-day pass for multiple entries to the biennale’s core exhibitions in various venues during the festival.

All festival passes include a single timed visit to the Linda McCartney: Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

The BIFB’s events line-up includes artist talks, masterclasses, foto walks, panels, live music and bespoke dining experiences.

For more information, visit

The festival will be operating under significantly reduced capacity restrictions, so we highly recommended booking your festival tickets in advance and checking for updates at


The City of Ballarat acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land we live and work on, the Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung People, and recognises their continuing connection to the land and waterways. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging and extend this to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.