Looking for the best Adelaide Music Festivals!? Well, you’ve come to the right place, mate…
The ‘City of Churches’ isn’t just that anymore. Along with its Eastern state neighbors, Adelaide has really developed into a destination in its own right.
As I type this, Adelaide is ranked 5th on the list of the world’s most liveable cities, and 1st on Australia’s National list of most liveable cities! It’s made the “Most Friendly Cities” list AND Lonely Planet has deemed it one of the coolest cities in the world for street art.
“Rad-elaide” is really certainly earning that title.
In addition to beautiful beaches, great local produce, and its location on the precipice of some of Australia’s most majestic peninsulas, the Adelaide music festivals scene is another amazing reason to visit the South Australia state capital!
No longer is the Adelaide Fringe the only iconic live event in this city, because there really is no shortage of amazing events, concerts, and parties to choose from.
So without further ado, take a browse through what I believe to be are…
The Top 20 Adelaide Music Festivals
1) Adelaide Fringe
When: February / March
Where: Various locations across Adelaide
Genre: Music, dance, performance
“We were born 58 years ago (although we don’t look a day over 25) and we’ve grown up to become the Southern Hemisphere’s largest, and Australia’s biggest ticket selling open access arts festival! We completely take over Adelaide, her surrounding suburbs and even some regional areas of South Australia for 31 magical days and nights each year. The city practically pulses with creativity.”
2) Sounds by the River
Where: Mannum, South Australia
“For many years the award-winning SOUNDS BY THE RIVER has been delivering amazing national and international acts on the banks of the magnificent Murray River. 2019 brings a massive rock mix of international and Australian legends of rock to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of this destination event in South Australia.”
Where: Botanic Park, Adelaide
Genre: Global music
The iconic open-air festival set in Adelaide’s stunning Botanic Park is an award-winning celebration of the very best of the World of Music, Arts & Dance.
“WOMADelaide is a four-day festival of Music, Arts and Dance celebrating cultural and creative diversity held since 1992 in Adelaide’s beautiful Botanic Park. The festival has become a truly unique part of the Australian festival landscape, showcasing the best, the essential – and the surprising – in global music, dance, art and ideas. WOMADelaide attracts around 18,000 – 20,000 people per day, (not including children 12 and under who are admitted free) with over a third of attendees generally coming from interstate and overseas.”
4) Laneway Festival
Where: Hart’s Mill, Port Adelaide
“St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival is about leading new and revered seminal music. The festival has always been interested in finding what’s fresh and bringing it to unique settings and surrounds to be appreciated by music lovers. The size of the festivals, the locations and the way we encourage community all form part of the way in which the Laneway team strive to present a live music experience like no other.”
5) Groovin the Moo
Where: Adelaide Showground, Wayville
“It’s time to pack your bags and get excited! We’ll once again be cruisin’ down the great open road, making pit stops in six regions around Australia, over three consecutive weekends – all while enjoying incredible tunes, seriously good times, and taking those unbeatable Australiana views along the way.”
6) FOMO Festival
Where: Elder Park, Adelaide
Genre: Hip-Hop / Electronic
“One of the best music events Adelaide has seen in recent years. Taking place on an afternoon where the heat ruled before it settled into a balmy evening, FOMO Festival will surely go down in the memory of punters as as one of the best music events Adelaide has seen in recent years. The quality of acts at the forefront of popular hip hop and electronic music are a far cry from the disposable pop of earlier years. Many of the tracks today are mainstays of club nights across the world, so to hear them in this setting was very special for many people.”
7) Fleurieu Folk Festival
Where: Willunga, South Australia
“Fleurieu Folk Festival is South Australia’s largest folk music festival. It’s an annual three-day family-friendly folk music festival, held in the picturesque township of Willunga, in South Australia’s premier wine region, where the Festival has been held since 2007.
Each year, we present over 50 of the best local, interstate and international folk musicians covering a broad range of genres including traditional and contemporary folk, acoustic, Celtic, blues, musical theatre, Americana, roots and bluegrass.”
8) Handpicked Festival
Where: Lake Breeze Wines, Longhorne Creek, South Australia
Genre: Folk / Alternative
“Hidden amongst vineyards and gum trees, unplug and reconnect with barefoot dancing, picnics on the lawn, amazing wine, world class music, laidback vibes and a dash of surprise…a carefully curated journey of the senses, handpicked just for you. Spend your day stretched out on a picnic blanket over lush lawns, sip on local, family produced Lake Breeze Wines, meander through the lane of lights for handmade goods by a myriad of local artisans and enjoy delicious, regional produced filled dishes from an array of local food trucks. All this while enjoying the excitement that comes from hearing the familiar tunes from Australia’s top musicians just meters away…that’s Handpicked.”
9) Port Noarlunga Blues Festival
Where: Various venues, Port Noarlunga
Genre: Blues / Roots
“In its 6th year, the now newly located and branded “Port Noarlunga Deep South Blues Festival” is happening over 3 massive days and nights in November over 10 venues. The whole township of Port Noalunga will be transformed into a “boutique style” festival showcasing the very best of local and national artists in the Blues and Roots on offer and presented as a smorgasbord of themed venues and varied performances types. will be experienced by all.”
10) Autumn Valley Jamboree
Where: The Three Brothers Arms, Macclesfield
“The Three Brother’s Arms presents their first Autumn Valley Festival. See seven stellar acts over 10 hours! Situated on the Three Brothers Arms beautiful decked backyard area, overlooking the valley and gardens with a tributary of the Angus River trickling in the distance, the Autumn Valley Jamboree will send off the summer months in style. Bring a rug and choose a space on the lawn or a seat on the deck and settle in with a glass of red (or whatever beverage takes your fancy), beautiful music and great company.”
11) WAR of the Surf & Rock Guitar Festival
Where: Fort Granville Conservation Park, Adelaide
“Think 60’s Beach Blanket Bingo meets 70’s/80’s Coachella Rock Festival… Endless Summer meets This is Spinal Tap…starting to get the idea … when BOOM.. it lands in a Colonial Fort… an Epic Festival like no other!”
“Protecting our shores from the mundane and guitarless tunes… The Rock Vault brings you ‘War of the Surf & Rock Guitars’ – an unprecedented battle at Fort Glanville Conservation Park. Complete with cannon salutes and a view of the surf, you’ll hear the waves of guitar riffs from some of the biggest guns in Surf & Rock music. Bring ya towel, ya air guitar, ya boardies or ya black T and let the Guitar Gods ROAR. One concert only! War of the Surf & Rock Guitars is a joint production by The Rock Vault & Concert Sound, with support from the Department for Environment and Water, National Parks South Australia and Fort Glanville Historical Association.”
Rock Vault Australia present AN EPIC NEW FESTIVAL exclusive to ADL & Fort Glanville (our FORT ARENA). TIX only available @ https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/war-of-the-surf-rock-guitars-af2019
Posted by WAR of the Surf & Rock Guitar Festival at The Fort on Friday, January 4, 2019
12) Electric Gardens Festival
Where: The Barton Theatre, Adelaide
Genre: Electronic, Dance, EDM
“Electric Gardens is pleased to announce an Adelaide homecoming! We had an amazing time with you last year and can’t wait to be back showcasing the very best from the electronic music world. Electric Gardens has moved from Serafino Winery to Thebarton Theatre. The line up has now changed with Paul van Dyk now added to the line-up.”
13) Crush Festival
Where: Various venues, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Genre: Wine and music
“Discover what’s cool about the Adelaide Hills during CRUSH, a sensory summer weekend of stylish wines, regional produce, earthy music, art and theatre. the event showcases regional wine alongside a lively mix of dance, music, culture, art, fashion and food. Celebrate the best things about life in the Adelaide Hills at more than 30 participating venues.”
14) The Wirrina Bluegrass & Acoustic Roots Festival
Where: Wirrina Cove Holiday Park, Normanville / Yankalilla
“The Wirrina Bluegrass and Acoustic Roots Festival is an annual gathering for people to hear, play and share acoustic music from the Bluegrass, ‘Old Timey’ and other related traditions. Bluegrass is great music. That’s why it heads up our festival. Our stage attracts world-class musicians; many come back each year to perform, to run workshops, and to join in the fun and inspiration of all that a Wirrina festival is.”
15) Umbrella Winter City Sounds
Where: Various venues across Adelaide
“In 2017 Umbrella Festival hosted more than 300 live music events in over 100 venues…
Now in its third year, the festival takes over the city for two weeks to showcase the local music scene with a range of curated and open-access events. Those curated events have in the past included pop-up concerts in city trams and experimental music in a former asylum, and this year’s program is even more ambitious. Beginning with a free opening night street party in one of Adelaide’s laneways, this year’s events include a floating Bastille Day celebration on the River Torrens with French food and song, a “jam” session with scones and cream provided by the Country Women’s Association and a free four hour improvised drone performance at a secret outdoor location.”
16) South Australian Country Music Festival
When: May / June
Where: Barmera, South Australia
“2018 marks the 40th Anniversary of the SACMF. There will be events throughout the Riverland and at a number of Venues. There are a number of days where we have walk up artists, there will be buskers in the street at Barmera. Country Music identities will be inserting their hands in concrete guitars at Rocky’s hall of Fame on the Saturday Morning. We have a talent Quest in the Bonney Theatre in Barmera on the Saturday followed by a concert in the Theatre Saturday evening and then a Country Music Spectacular at the Barmera Monash Football Club on the Sunday. This event is in conjunction with the Running of the sheep and the Barmera sheep dog trials.”
17) uneARTh Festival
When: March / April (Easter long weekend)
Where: Whyalla, South Australia
“The City of Whyalla is once again teaming up with the Adelaide Fringe and local performers, artists and stall-holders to present the 2019 uneARTh Festival. Held over Easter next year at Ada Ryan Gardens, the event continues to grow with more than 15,000 people attending the two-day festival last year. The uneARTh Festival is an eclectic mix of performers, artists, events, stalls, food and refreshment. Last year’s event boasted something for everyone from international entertaining artist Hans to local lads Alterdrive who rocked the gardens and a host of pop-up artists. More than 3000 turned out for the colour run and the events spread throughout Whyalla during the festival.
18) Island Sounds Festival
Where: Victor Harbor, South Australia
“The Island Cafe and Oceanic Victor present the first of many awesome events on Granite Island; the Island Sounds Festival. Come farewell the last weekend of summer with us on Granite Island, as we bring you an sweet lineup of local and regional acoustic artists across the night! Kicking off at 6pm until late (music until midnight-ish), bring your crew down for tunes, fresh and original food from our restaurant and stalls, cocktails on tap, and beer and wine specials all night. Artists to be announced within the next few days – grab your early bird tickets before they sell out! With a waterfront stage, SAs best in food and drink flowing, picnic rugs and hampers and maybe a cheeky dancefloor as the night progresses – how could you say no? Come party with us , fam.”
19) So Frenchy, So Chic
Where: Pinky Flat, North Adelaide
Genre: French Pop and Experimental
“Listen. Dance. Dine. Recline. The French pop garden party returns in January 2019. Join us as we celebrate France’s epic wave of talent via an influential all-female line-up. Groove under the summer sky, soak yourself in simple pleasures and forget the outside world. Kids 12 and under attend free. Come share your joie de vivre, mes amis.”
20) Adelaide Guitar Festival
Where: Adelaide Festival Centre
“The Guitar Festival is an immersive winter festival celebrating the world’s most popular instrument.
While the full Guitar Festival is held biennially, with the next in 2020, Adelaide Guitar Festival continues to expand its supplementary annual events to connect and strengthen relationships with students, artists and audiences throughout South Australia.”
Am I Missing Any Epic Music Festivals in Adelaide…?
When I was doing my research for all the different Adelaide Music Festivals, I really did discover that it’s quite a happening city with lots going on! I’m sure I could have missed one or two that could have been on this list, so please do let me know! Drop me a comment, or send an email and I’d love to get this article updated!
Looking for more Australian & International Music Festivals….?
My website is filled with articles just like this one, so take a quick browse through some of my favorites below and start planning your next epic music festival!
Planning a trip to Australia…?
I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around the land down under, and my website has some super helpful articles for those making their way down here soon! Check out a few of these below for some trip inspiration!
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