What is Real Festival?
Real Festival is a free to attend event held at Tench Reserve on the Nepean River in Penrith. It takes place from 15-17 September and features a huge program of activities and entertainment for all ages.
What sets Real Festival apart from other events is all the interactive elements. This is your opportunity to be active, crafty, creative, and inspired at every corner of the riverbank.
Real’s program of amazing performances, activities, entertainment and experiences takes place over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There’s also a few workshops where pre-registration is required. Book now to secure your spot!
Where can I find out what’s happening at Real Festival?
You’re in the right place! This website has everything you need to know about what’s happening at the Real Festival. Have a look at the full program to see what’s happening across Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Where is Real Festival held?
Real Festival is held at Tench Reserve, Jamisontown, Penrith at the Nepean River. For details on how to get there and public transport options, check out the Plan Your Trip page on this website.
What date/time is Real Festival?
Mark these dates and times in your calendar.
Friday 15 September: 4pm – 10pm.
Saturday 16 September: 4pm – 10pm.
Sunday 17 September: 10am – 3pm.
- Check out the full event program here.
Can I still access Tench Reserve car park as normal in the lead up to Real Festival?
Tench Reserve car park will be closed to the public from 7am on Wednesday 13 September. Parking along Tench Avenue will also be closed from 7am on Friday 15 September.
Can I still access Tench Reserve as normal in the lead up to Real Festival?
There will be limited pedestrian access to certain areas of Tench Reserve from Tuesday 12 September. This is to keep everyone safe as we prepare for Real Festival. There will be lots of trucks and people coming and going, so please be mindful of them.
Will the Great River Walk be open as normal in the lead up to Real Festival?
Yes. You can still access the Great River Walk path which goes around the Nepean River at all times in the lead up to the Festival and throughout the event.
Will the boat ramp at Tench Reserve be closed?
Yes. The boat ramp at Tench Reserve will be closed from 12am Tuesday 12 September to 12am Tuesday 19 September. This also means the Nepean River will be closed to the public between the M4 Bridge and Victoria Bridge during these times. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and hope everyone can join us to enjoy the Nepean River at Real Festival.
How do residents of Tench Avenue access their properties during Real Festival?
Residents have full access to their properties throughout Real Festival. Tench Avenue is closed to northbound traffic from 7am on Friday 15 September, through to 8pm on Sunday 17 September, residents can access their properties from Jamison Road. If you're a resident of Tench Avenue and you would like to talk to someone about access during Real Festival, please call the Events Team on 1300 736 836.
How do I get to Real Festival?
To help get you to Real Festival check out the Plan Your Trip page on this website. You can drive, catch public transport, car pool, get dropped off and there’s also the free park and ride shuttle bus service starting from Penrith Train Station, and picking up from our overflow carpark at Jamison Park, operated by Busways across Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The options are endless!
What happens if it rains?
Fingers crossed it doesn’t but if it does, make sure you’re connected with us on Facebook and Instagram and to get all the up-to-date information about the event. We’ll also update this website as soon as we can in the event that Real Festival has to be cancelled. Please note if the event is cancelled, it won’t be rescheduled.
Do I need to purchase tickets to Real Festival?
No. Real Festival is a free event for everyone to attend. Workshops are also free but some do require pre-booking.
is this a cashless event?
Eftpos is the preferred way to pay. Please note there won't be any ATM’s at this event.
Can I bring my own picnic blanket?
Absolutely! We have lots of space at Real Festival and while there is seating and tables throughout the event, if you feel like bringing your picnic blanket, cushions or rugs, please feel free to do so. There will be live music and entertainment both day and night so we want you to be comfortable. No chairs or marquees are permitted for safety reasons.
Can I purchase food and drinks?
There are loads of food and beverage options onsite including some of Sydney’s best food trucks and we know you’re going to LOVE the amazing dining options available. Picnics and food are welcome, though please respect the venue by bringing reusable plastic bottles and cans. Glass is strictly prohibited.
What can’t I bring?
Alcohol and illicit drugs are not permitted to be brought into the venue or car parks. Security has the right to conduct bag and pram checks as required. Intoxicated persons will be refused entry. No glass or weapons will be permitted. Alcohol can be purchased from the bar, so leave your drinks at home and head to the bar if you’re thirsty.
Where can I stay during Real Festival?
There are lots of places to stay in Penrith. Check out Visit Penrith for a variety of accommodation options. There’s somewhere to suit all budgets, but we suggest you book early to avoid disappointment.
What happens to lost property?
Lost property can be taken to the Festival Information Booth at the event. Items will be returned to their owners who are able to correctly identify the items. Any items that are not claimed will be taken back to Penrith City Council Civic Centre.
What is the procedure for lost children/persons?
Let’s hope this doesn’t happen but if you do find a lost child or lose your child contact the Festival Information Booth immediately. The Information Booth staff will work with security and the police to reunite lost children with their parents as soon as possible.
Large crowds are expected – we recommend you plan a meeting point with your children in case they become separated from you. There are wrist bands available at the Festival Information Booth for you to write your contact details on and secure on your child’s wrist.
Penrith City Council is proud to lead the way in prioritising child safety for those that live, visit, learn and play in Penrith. Protecting and enhancing the wellbeing of children and young people in our community is of paramount importance to us. We embed child-safe practices into our leadership, governance and organisational culture as part of our unwavering commitment to being a child safe organisation.
What should I wear for on-water activities?
Apart from a hat and suncream during the day, we recommend wearing clothes you can move easily in and that can get wet. Consider bringing a change of clothes and for evening activities, it may get cool so bring a jacket.
Will there be fireworks?
There won't be a firework display at Real Festival 2023, however the program incorporates many visual and illuminated attractions. Click here to see event highlights.
IS Real festival accessible?
The Penrith Real Festival welcomes all members of our community, including patrons with disability and with mobility support requirements. Every effort has been made to ensure all aspects of the Festival are inclusive and accessible and can be enjoyed by all.
Some areas of the newly upgraded Tench Reserve are quite steep, with uneven terrain. If you require assistance navigating the site, please find a Council Staff Member (yellow hi-visibility vest) or Accessibility Event Guide (pink hi-visibility vest), or our Public Safety Team (Police, Security or First Aid) – who will be patrolling the site. Our team is happy to assist you with movement from zone to zone.
Accessible amenities are available across the site, including existing facilities at Tench Reserve, the new amenities block (M-LAK fitted) and portaloos. Please refer to the accessibility map for locations.
Our Busways Free Shuttle Bus Services from Penrith Station via Jamison Park to the Festival Site will be accessible services.
Limited accessible parking spaces will also be available at the Festival Site. Please ensure you have a valid permit.
If you would like further information on accessibility and inclusion considerations for the Festival please contact Penrith Council on 1300 736 836 or email
Click here to download the accessibility map.
Can I bring my dog?
Real Festival is dog-friendly.Please ensure your furry friends are leashed at all times.