Ironfest is a medieval arts festival that includes arts stalls, music, street performances, blacksmith demonstrations, and historical re-enactments. The festival was founded by Macgregor Ross, a Lithgow artist and current festival director, in April 2000 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the steel industry, celebrating the connection between humanity and iron, steel, and other metals. The festival provides an opportunity for artists, designers/makers, blacksmiths, young performers, musicians, historical re-enactors, and machine enthusiasts from Australia and the world each year to contribute to an annual theme recognizing the cultural heritage and diversity in the Lithgow region.
The first event featured 25 artists at Lithgow’s Blast Furnace Park and included an exhibition of metal sculpture, paintings, and drawings, along with blacksmith demonstrations from Harry Piers and a performance by The Mullpigs. As a result of the growing popularity of the festival in recent years, it is now annually hosted at the Tony Luchetti Sports Ground.