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30 Music Festivals in Australia To Experience Before You Die

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Looking for the best music festivals in Australia?  Look no further.  I’ve compiled the ultimate bucket list of music festivals in the land down under.  Something I’ve realized about living in this amazing country, is that there is always something fun to do, and that includes music festivals.  Every weekend there’s always some event, party, or festival to check out.

Whether you’re living in Australia, backpacking around, studying abroad, or on a working holiday visa — definitely check out this list of the best parties to attend.  From the massive raves, boutique camping festivals, and epic bush doofs — Australia has all the festival junkies covered.

HOW MANY WILL YOU BE GOING TO…?



1.  Splendour In The Grass

  • When:  End of July
  • Where:  North Byron Parklands
  • Website:  http://www.splendourinthegrass.com/
  • Why:  Easily one of the biggest festivals in Australia, Splendour In The Grass is in a beautiful location, and always brings a top-notch line-up covering a wide variety of genres.  This will be a festival experience you’ll never forget.

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2.  Stereosonic

  • When:  End Of November / Beginning of December
  • Where:  Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne
  • Website:  http://stereosonic.com.au/
  • Why:  Australia’s largest electronic music festival definitely needs to be on your festival bucket list.  Every year they bring the biggest acts in the industry, build impressive stages, and create an incredible atmosphere.

*2016 Edition cancelled but will return in 2017*

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3.  Field Day

  • When:  January 1 (New Years Day)
  • Where:  Sydney
  • Website:  https://www.facebook.com/FieldDay
  • Why:  Set on the first day of the year at its beautiful iconic Sydney venue, The Domain. Field Day is the smart way to celebrate New Years and is also our city’s most popular boutique music festival. It’s known for a super-friendly atmosphere and quality line-ups mixing hip-hop, house, indie and electronic artists from around the world.

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4.  Harbourlife

  • When: Beginning of November
  • Where:  Sydney
  • Website:  http://www.fuzzy.com.au/
  • Why:  The one party a year with the view people travel 20,000km to see, Harbourlife brings quality house music to the best-located dance floor in the country.  Tickets can be hard to come by, so act fast and secure them before they sell out!

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5.  Lost Paradise

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6. Strawberry Fields

  • When:  Mid / End of November
  • Where:  Australian Bush, 2-3 hours outside Melbourne
  • Website:  http://www.strawberry-fields.com.au/
  • Why:  Strawberry Fields is an annual celebration of art, sound and creative expression held for three days each November, a few hours outside of Melbourne, Australia. Each year we bring you a diverse selection of both renowned and breakthrough electronic music from both Australia and overseas.  Indulge yourself in a sensory feast, including soul shaking sound, world class decor, dozens of eclectic market stalls, artistic installations, live performance art, workshops, forum discussion and more.

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7.  Subsonic

  • When:  Beginning of December
  • Where:  Riverwood Downs, New South Wales
  • Websitehttp://www.subsonicmusic.com.au/
  • Why:  Subsonic is a solid weekend of exceptional electronic, roots and soulful music in the gorgeous surrounds of Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley Resort – a therapeutic three hour drive from Sydney.  Nothing but the best minimal, house, and techno.  From what I’ve heard, this is a party that should not be missed!

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8.  Listen Out

  • When:  End of September / Beginning of October
  • Where:  Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney
  • Website:  https://www.facebook.com/ListenOut/
  • Why:  Listen Out is the antidote to many of the things you don’t like about bigger music festivals. It is a carefully handcrafted party, with a killer lineup of the dance music that matters and a philosophy of best, not biggest. Say goodbye to endless timetable clashes, long hikes to the 12th stage and spending your day with several thousand people you can’t relate to.

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9.  Wide Open Space

  • When:  Beginning of May
  • Where:  Central Australia (1 Hour from Alice Springs)
  • Website:  http://wideopenspace.net.au/
  • Why:  3 days of Australia’s best underground beats held in a resort at the foot of the MacDonnell ranges, about an hour’s drive out of Alice Springs.  This sounds like the ultimate outback festival!

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10.  Groovin The Moo

  • When:  End of April / Beginning of May
  • Where:  Oakbank, Bunbury, Benoigo, Canberra, Maitland, and Townsville
  • Website:  http://www.gtm.net.au/
  • Why:  On the cusp of winter, Groovin the Moo has become a place for those seeking warmth, a space for like-minded people to gather and open their ears to both new and familiar sounds. It’s a tradition for local host communities to participate in and celebrate.  This upcoming 2016 edition has one of the best line-ups that I’ve seen so far during my time in Australia.  With this festival hitting up each state in the country, you’d be a fool to miss out!



11.  The Town

  • When:  Easter Weekend
  • Where:  Strathbogie Ranges (2 Hours Outside Melbourne)
  • Website:  http://culturejam.com.au/
  • Why:  ‘A place of like-minded folk who’ve declared the real world a joke. We’re heading back to bikes and letters and the simplest of pleasures. From sustainable partying and funky-ass tunes, we invite you to get wild under the Easter full moon’.  Welcome to our interactive Village, part parodying every-day life with absurd theatrics and awesome set design, and part exploring what makes a healthy sustainable Town, all to a soundtrack of incredibly fun music. We aim to deliver a wacky new experiment never before seen on our Festival circuit

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12.  Happy Daze Festival

  • When:  End of May
  • Where:  Central Queensland
  • Website:  http://happydazefestival.com/  
  • Why:  A 3-Day Open Air Music & Arts Festival.  The Happy Daze Festival brings fresh eclectic flavours to Central Queensland. Gaining momentum from last years event, this realm of stimulating sights, sounds and activities is sure to tantalise the senses.

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13 ) Return to Rio

  • When:  Mid November & Mid March (Summer & Opening & ClosingParties)
  • Where:  Wiseman’s Ferry
  • Website:  https://www.facebook.com/ReturnToRio/
  • Why:  A 3 day- weekend filled with music and fun, dancing and drinking, and laughter and sun.  If you haven’t heard of Return to Rio before, you’re definitely missing out.  It’s an intimate weekend away that feels like just a gathering with friends to listen to top-notch underground house music.  This was honestly one of my favorite weekends in Australia!

Read my Return to Rio review & Check out my Return to Rio Photo Album


14)  Let Go Fest

  • When: February 4, 2017
  • Where:  Mornington, Victoria
  • Website:   https://www.facebook.com/letgofest/
  • Why:  One beautiful summer day of quality dance music, food, and entertainment.  While it may be one of the newer festival on the list, it will definitely be a solid event.  The line-up this year is looking amazing with Australian favorites RUFUS, Set Mo, and Hayden James

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15)  Rabbits Eat Lettuce

  • When:  Easter Long Weekend
  • Where:  Byron Bay (Doofville)
  • Website:   http://www.rabbitseatlettuce.com.au/
  • Why:  4 days of camping, BYO, 24 hour sound, yoga, workshops, awesome vibes & good music.  “Open your Heart.  Develop your Mind.  Move your Body”.  Everyone who has been has told me it is an absolute must!



16 ) Big Pineapple Music Festival

  • When:  End of May
  • Where:  Sunshine Coast, Queensland (woombeye
  • Website:   http://www.bigpineapplemusicfestival.com/
  • Why:  Whether it’s the magical energy that radiates from the pristine, treelined surroundings, or the laid back atmosphere that brings out the best in the performers and crowds alike, there’s a special vibe to the one- day camping event that continues to attract punters from all corners of the country.

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17)  Rainbow Serpent

  • When:  End of January (27-30, 2017)
  • Where:  Lexton, Victoria
  • Website:   https://www.rainbowserpent.net/
  • Why:  This is arguably one of Australia’s most popular festivals, and is guaranteed to be an experience of a lifetime.  For music festival junkies, this is a no-brainer.  “It’s a fresh discovery of opportunity and escapism, a chance to connect with like minded individuals and to celebrate nature, community and harmony.  No longer just an electronic music festival these days you can expect to experience a unique combination of music, art, performance, spiritual discussion, relaxation and healing.”


18 )  Earthcore

  • When: Nov 24 – 28, Nov 2016
  • Where: Pyalong, Victoria
  • Website:  http://www.earthcore.com.au/
  • Why:  “What is this Parallel Universe that beckons beyond the darkness?” Set on 1500 acres of pristine land one hour drive from Melbourne feat 5 epic stages across 5 days, Boutique Camping, Worlds Beyond Speakers Forum, Fractured Reality Art Zone, Yellow Sunshine Chill Out, Muffplex Cinema, Elemental Planet Lifestyle City, District 13 Theme Camp Zone, DIY Social Calendar, Kinky Karnival Freak Show, Mind Bending Art Installations, your closest mates and you!

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19)  Falls Festival

  • When: End of December – Beginning Of January.  New YEARS EVE
  • Where:  3 Locations.  Lorne, Marion Bay, Byron Bay
  • Website:  https://www.fallsfestival.com/
  • Why:  The Falls Music & Arts Festival is one of the finest, longest running, boutique music events in Australia.  The festival is based on European style events, featuring a diverse mix of over 70 renowned bands, DJs and comedians from throughout Australia with over 20 international acts.  Definitely a solid choice for bringing in the new year.

One the Australia’s Best New Years Eve Music Festivals



20)  Dragon Dreaming

  • When:  Mid October , 2016
  • Where:  Wee Jasper, NSW
  • Website:   http://www.dragondreaming.net/
  • Why:  Enter the mind and imagination of the Dragon for four days in October in witness of a most beautiful festival!  Dragon Dreaming takes pride in nurturing local artists, live bands and DJs while providing an environment suitable for families and children of all ages. Dragon Dreaming Festival is approaching its seventh year and intend leaving all attendees feeling satisfied, fresh and inspired.  Dragon Dreaming Festival admits to getting down to a wide variety of musical tastes and we will present a carefully selected line up ranging from live bands, gypsy, dub, tribal rhythms, psytrance, breaks, dubstep, glitch, progressive, ambient, house, reggae and the list journeys on… Find your groove over the weekend on three different amplified stages. So put on your stomping shoes or your belly dancing jewels and have a boogie with your friends and family.

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21)  Burning Seed (Burning Man Australia)

  • When:    September 28th – October 3rd, 2016
  • Where:  Matong State Forest, NSW
  • Website:  http://www.burningseed.com/
  • Why:  Red Earth City will rise once more in 2016 in our beautiful Matong State Forest location.  This regional burn in Australia is something that you defintiely should not miss if you’re in Australia.  For those burners who can’t make the trek to Black Rock City in Nevada — this is the festival you’ll need to attend!

**Unfortunately had to cancel it’s 2016 edition due to weather, but will be back in 2017

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21)  Maitreya Festival

  • When:  Mid-March (March 11-14, 2016)
  • Where:  Lake Wooroonook, Charlton, Victoria
  • Website:  http://www.maitreyafestival.com/
  • Why:  Maitreya Festival emerged from the cosmic counter culture organic superfood soup bowl ten years ago!  The ultimate intention was to provide a global platform for investigation into the self, the setting within which we live, and the places we might be able to go together as a species of intrepid travellers and explorers! Any revolutionary platform without art and dancing is definitely not one worth having, so we wanted to present you with an immersive visual and aural experience as well!


22) The Plot

  • When:  End of November / Early December
  • Where:  Parramatta Park, Sydney
  • Website:  http://theplot.co
  • Why:   With an impressively large and eclectic line-up, The Plot is a one-day festival that shouldn’t be missed.  Located in the beautiful Parramatta Park, spread over three stages, this festival will keep your feet moving the entire time.

 


23)  Laneway Festival

  • When:  Check Facebook dates for upcoming events (there’s tons)
  • Where:  Sydney College of the Arts, Balmain Road
  • Websitehttp://sydney.lanewayfestival.com/
  • Why:  This festival is touring all over Australia, New Zealand, and even stretches as far as Singapore.  With an amazing, large, and diverse line-up — Laneway Festival is going to be an experience worth checking out.  If you don’t go for anyone

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24 ) Electric Gardens Festival

  • When:  End of January
  • Where:  Centennial Park, Sydney — Perth Ampitheatrre
  • Website:  https://www.facebook.com/electricgardensfestival
  • Why:  This one day-festival in both Sydney and Perth is an absolute must.  Having experienced the Sydney event for myself, I can confidently say that this will be a party you will never forget.  They bring amazing talent, it’s very well organized, and the production value was top-notch!  Don’t miss this one!  Read all about my Electric Gardens Review !!





25 )  Woodford Folk Festival

  • When:  Dec 27 – Jan 1 (New Years Eve Festival)
  • Where:  Woodfordia, Queensland
  • Website:  https://woodfordfolkfestival.com/
  • Why:  Woodford Folk Festival is one of Australia’s largest and most iconic events (and one of the largest ‘folk’ festivals in the world). It is also the largest gathering of artists and musicians in Australia. The programme encompasses the depth and diversity of Australia’s cultural, artistic and social expression with music, dance, cabaret, circus, comedy, workshops, debate, street theatre, films, forums, visual arts, an entire children’s festival and many special presentations including a spectacular fire event on New Year’s Day.


26 )  Mushroom Valley

  • When:   October 7-9, 2016
  • Where:  Near the Whitsundays
  • Website:  https://www.facebook.com/Mushroom-Valley-137048089786715/
  • Why:  3 Day Music, Art, & Lifestyle festival near one of the most beautiful destinations in Australia.  Definitely could easily fit into your travels, or would be a great weekend getaway.

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27 )  Byron Bay BluesFest

  • When: March 24th- 28th, 2016
  • Where:  Byron Bay, NSW
  • Website:  http://www.bluesfest.com.au/
  • Why:  Bluesfest presents over 200 performances with up to 7 stages over 5, 12 hour days, as well as camping for up to 6,000 people, 5 licensed bars, over 100 food and market stalls, undercover food courts, beer gardens, and children’s entertainment.


28 )  Mona Foma Festival

  • When:  Mid January
  • Where:  Hobart, Tasmania
  • Website:  https://www.facebook.com/monafoma
  • Why:  Tons of different events spread over three 3 days.  Definitely worth checking out if you find yourself down in Tassie.

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29 )  Golden Plains Festival

  • When:  March 12-14, 2016
  • Where:  Meredith, Victoria (110 Minutes from Melbourne CBD)
  • Website:  http://2016.goldenplains.com.au/
  • Why: Golden Plains is a Premium Music Festival on an Epic Long Weekend in the Greatest of Outdoors. It is staged in Autumn so the weather is warm and stable. Afternoon goes on all day, the sun like honey on the trees, then a giant spike of excitement goes kabloooey at nightfall.  Join for an electric line-up, amazing food, and solid festival atmosphere.


30 )  Southbound Festival

  • When:  Dec 27 – 29, 2016
  • Where:  Busselton, Western Australia
  • Website:  http://southboundfestival.com.au/
  • Why:  Work off the Christmas Calories at an epic 3 day music and camping festival.  If you’re living around South Australia, than this is an event that shouldn’t be missed.       


Australia is an absolutely beautiful country, and it obviously has it’s fair share of quality music festivals.  Definitely looking forward to crossing a lot of these off my festival bucket list within the upcoming years.  Have you been to any of these?  What was your experience like?  Any major music festival missing from this list?  Let me know!  

Check out my other blog posts on music festivals.


Photo Sources:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 25


Thanks for Reading!  Share with your festival squad!

Stereosonic Sydney 2015: A Festival Review

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I crawled into bed at 2:00 A.M.  The only way to express the state of my body and mind would be utterly knackered.  I closed my eyes and could still see the lazers.  I tried falling asleep but still could feel the powerful bass pulsing through my chest.  I just got home from quite possibly the best night I’ve had in Australia so far, and a day I had been looking forward to for ages.  

Stereosonic 2015.  Wow.  What a night for the record books.  

With a line-up this stacked, how could it not have been…

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When it comes to music festivals, I’d like to say I’m a pretty experienced guy.  I’ve grazed the polo fields during Coachella, I’ve escaped into the mysterious realm of Tomorrowland, and I’ve danced under the stars at Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas.  I’m pretty stoked to say that I’ve crossed another massive name when it comes to electronic music festivals around the world.  

If there’s one things Australians love to do — it’s party.  And wow, Stereosonic was a prime example of how well they can do so.

It was the first major electronic music festival I’ve attended during my time on Sydney, and it just got me even more pumped for the upcoming parties I’ll be attending.  

Let’s talk about Stereosonic…

Getting to the festival.

I met up with my mates at the train station, and made our way to Olympic Park.  I couldn’t believe how easy it was to reach the venue.  The whole train was packed with Stereosonic attendees, all dressed up in their festival gear, and chugging the remaining pre-game mixes they had had prepared for the walk to the gates.  

With Stereosonic being a massive rave, and there only being one entrance — I was pretty nervous it was going to be hectic as hell to actually to get into the festival.  

But it couldn’t have been easier.  The entrance and security process lines took no more than 3 minutes total.  

 I entered the festival grounds, could hear the soothing sound of bass coming from all directions, and was prepared for the next 10 hours of electronic music.  

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Music Highlights

I spent the majority of the day in “The Woods” stage, which was the stage for the deep and tech-house lovers.  It wasn’t the biggest stage, or most popular — but it was quality music the entire day.  I stage hopped a little bit, but if you needed to find me — odds are you’d find me in the Woods.

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Claude Von Stroke — If there was one person on the entire line-up I cared about seeing — it was poppa Claude.  The “Godfather” of Dirtybird Records delivered a high-quality set of booty shaking house music.  He kept a solid groove going the entire time that kept my feet moving from left to right.  

Hannah Wants — I’ve had a few of her songs in my iTunes collection, but had never really had the opportunity to see her before.  She absolutely threw it down.  The crowd was solid, and she was dropping some dirty tech-house tracks. 

Armin Van Buuren — Now, I wasn’t planning on venturing over the main stage at all because I wanted to close out my night with MK in the Woods, but I couldn’t help myself to check out the MainStage at night.  And wow, it was impressive.  The pyrotechnics, the sound, the lakers — all top notch for a main stage festival.  I’ve seen Armin Van Buuren before, and I know he’ll always put on a good show.  His set at Stereo was just as I imagined it.  A mix between big room drops and pulsating trance bombs.  

JAUZ — Ever since I saw that Perth Stereosonic created a petition on reddit to put JAUZ on a later stage time, I knew I wanted to check out at least a bit of his set.  I probably only stayed for about 20 minutes, but it was one epic party.  Heavy trap and dubstep to get your heart pumping.  

The Worst Part About Stereosonic….

The Bathrooms.

I’ve been to many festivals, but the bathroom situation at Stereosonic was by far the worst I’ve ever experienced.  You’d have to wait in line for way to long, and girls were always going into the guys bathrooms because the lines for the ladies bathrooms were like 20-30 minutes long.

Oh…and the Condom situation

At any large electronic music festival, there will be a large amount of people sneaking in drugs.  When it comes to Australian festivals though, they have sniffer dogs everywhere around the entrance.  This leaves guys and girls one option to smuggle in their illicit substances.  I’ll let you guess where that is.

In almost bathroom I went to — there were condoms all over the place.  It was revolting.

Drug Death at Steresonic Sydney

I can’t write a review about this festival without bringing up the sad news of the passing of a 25-year old party attendee.  I can’t know 100%, but I’m actually pretty sure I saw the girl being driven out on a golf cart.

What’s my opinion on the matter?  Well, I really don’t think you can blame the organizer at all.  Stereosonic has gotten a lot of bad press recently.  But festival organizers always make sure there is the appropriate safety and security measures for it’s attendees.

Fun fact:  Australia ranks #1 for recreational drug use in 2014.

If you want to take drugs at a party like Stereosonic — than that’s your personal decision.

But it’s ultimately the person’s responsibility to take care of themselves.

Overall, Stereosonic was a complete blast.  Great music, atmosphere, and lots and lots of dancing.  I think my legs are still sore.  It was my first big festival in Australia, but I know I’ll be attending many more in the future.  Like the remaining festivals on the list below.

9 Music Festivals in Sydney To Keep You Dancing This Summer. 

Thanks for reading!