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Top 5 Music Events in Sydney [April 2016]

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There’s never a dull moment when you’re living in Sydney.  Every weekend there’s heaps of different options of club events, parties, and festivals  .  It actually kind of sucks sometimes when it comes to my financial situation.  Every weekend I try to tell myself I won’t go out and party, but I can’t resist a quality event if there’s good music…

I honestly could have extended this to make it much longer, but there are other websites for that.  For all you Sydney party folk, these are the top 5 events you should be attending this April.


1 )   Distrikt *SASH* – Sunday, April 3

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After a wildly successful 5 year anniversary last weekend, SASH is throwing possibly an even bigger event this upcoming Sunday.  Combining the energy of Burning Man, Subsonic, and SASH — this is a Sunday party that will definitely be worth calling in sick on Monday.  If you haven’t been to a Sash Sunday Session before, then this is the perfect time to change that.

“In alignment with the spirit of one of our home-grown events, Subsonic have teamed up with S*A*S*H to play host to Ben Seagren, DJ Kramer and Paul Geddes under the DISTRIKT banner as the Australian summer begins to cool.
Whether you’re gearing up for it, reminiscing about it or want a taste of it the DISTRIKT stage is one of the most sought-after highlights at the infamous Burning Man event with a style, pizazz and sound truly their own.”

Music Inspiration — Ben Seagren Live @ Desert Hearts

 

2pm till 10pm / $15 all day on the door

Join the Facebook Event 


2 )  Civic Underground Saturdays

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If you’re keen for a solid party on Saturday night, than you can’t go wrong with heading over to Civic Underground.  They’ve got great events every weekend in April, but I’d definitely recommend April 2nd, April 9th, and April 30th.  Any chance to attend a Blueprint Entertainment event will be a night of non-stop quality tunes, and having just seen Murat Kilic & Robbie Lowe at Return to Rio, I know the event on the 9th is going to be incredible.

2/4 – Blueprint
9/4 – Trinity & Phil Smart
16/4 – Sessions
23/4 – We Love
30/4 – Blueprint

Music Inspiration – Uone Live at Rainbow Serpent

Robbie Lowe Colour Sessions Mix

 

Tickets:   https://goo.gl/PsDiSx  // Guest-List:   https://goo.gl/nazBfC

Join the Facebook Event


3 ) Grooving The Moo — Saturday / Sunday April 23 -24

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Okay…so not technically in Sydney…

One of the biggest touring festivals in Australia is coming up in April, and Sydney party folk have two solid options to choose from.  Neither of these are actually close to Sydney, but it’s definitely going to be an event well worth the drive.  With a line-up this stacked, you’re definitely in for an epic one-day festival!  I’ll be making an appearance at the Canberra event, and I can’t wait to see Golden Features, Alison Wonderland, Ratatat, and Odesza!

Music Inspiration – Golden Features Hidden City Mix

 

Purchase Tickets — $110

Join the Facebook Events


4 )  Carl Cox Presents Pure — Saturday, April 23

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For all the techno fans in Sydney — this event is a no-brainer.  Carl Cox & Joseph Capriati are two of my favorite DJ’s to see live.  Their skills behinds the decks are impeccable, their song selection is perfect, and they are definitely going to put on one hell of a show.  With tickets being so cheap (relatively speaking), this is an event that should not be missed .  I’ll already be in Canberra getting ready for GTM, but if I wasn’t — this is exactly where I would be spending my Saturday night.

Music Inspiration — Mixmag Live & Direct — Carl Cox

 

Purchase Tickets ( $80 First Release / $90 Second Release)

Join the Facebook Event


5 )  Godskitchen Presents “The Last Dance” — Saturday, April 30

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TRANCE FAMILY.  ASSEMBLE.

This is arguably the best trance line-up that has ever been brought to Sydney.  It’s been quite awhile since I’ve been to a quality trance festival, and I’m definitely thinking that Godskitchen is going to change that.  I’ve seen almost all of these DJ’s before, and they are all incredible.  Funny story, when I was naming my little travel blog, I was listening to heaps of trance at the time.  #TranceAroundTheWorld

Line-Up:

COSMIC GATE
ATB
SIMON PATTERSON
SUPER8 & TAB
JASON ROSS
SUSANA (live)
ARTY
MENNO DE JONG

Music Inspiration – Cosmic Gate Live at Dreamstate San Francisco

Purchase Tickets ( $167)  **SOLD OUT**

Join the Facebook Event (try and buy tickets there)


Venue Listings + More Events

Get Together w/ Robbie Lowe, U-Khan, & Tristan Case — April 1st @ The Jam Gallery

Zoo Project — Dave Seaman (April 2nd)

Chinese Laundry — Grillz, Alex Niggermann, Mija, Will Clarke, and more…

Pacha Sydney Events — Elk Road, Party Thieves, Purple Disco Machine, Sigala, U2 & Oski

Marquee Sydney Events — Marlo, Tigerlily, Stafford Brothers

Argyle Turns 9 – April 15-16


Going to be an amazing month for music!  My bank account is going to hate me…

See you on the dancefloors.

For more Sydney Party information check out:

Resident Advisor — The best nightlife events in Sydney.

House And Techno Sydney (H.A.T.S) — Nightlife events for electronic music


Share with your mates…

Follow my adventures Around The World on FacebookInstagram, Twitter 

& Add Me On SnapchatJonesATW

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!

Electric Gardens Festival Review [Sydney, 2016]

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The day had finally arrived.  I woke up, got out of bed, and went straight to my speakers to turn on some morning techno jams.  I couldn’t have been more excited.  Not only was it the first festival in Sydney that had some proper underground house and techno music, but I also got accredited a Media Pass and would be allowed to interview James Zabiela.

I remember writing a blog post about music festivals in Sydney months ago, and knew that I would be in attendance for Electric Gardens.  They had only announced three names at the time, but with Fatboy Slim, John Digweed, and James Zabiela already on the line-up, this was one event I was not going to miss.

As I walked down to the local bottle shop to buy some pre-game essentials…

I felt it slowly starting to rain…SHIT.

As much as I’d like to say that rain at music festivals makes it more fun…it’s not.  It actually sucks.So I was definitely a little worried.  Was this unpredictable Sydney weather about to rain on my techno parade?

I carried back a case of 24 beers back to my house in the pouring rain.  As I waited anxiously for my friends to arrive to start pre-drinking — I had a feeling that today was going to turn around for the better, and I was definitely right.

Beers + Techno = Pre-game session.  Then right around 1:00 P.M – the sun started peaking through the cloudy gray sky.

Around 2:00 P.M, we got a lift to the Centennial park, and proceeded to the entrance.  I gotta say that the venue was the absolute perfect place for a summer day music festival.  Nice open fields of grass, lots of space, and to put it simply — a really beautiful park.  And the weather might have been bad in the morning, but it was nothing but nice clear skies the rest of the day!

Getting inside the festival grounds only took about two minutes, and thankfully I had a Media Pass because security almost turned me away for having a GoPro stick.  Fortunately, they allowed me to bring it in.

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I was actually kind of surprised they didn’t check my bag more thoroughly.  The only thing they saw was the GoPro stick, and didn’t even check all the pockets. I was kind of surprised.  I could have easily snuck in a bottle of vodka, or heaps of beer.  But then I realized why…

Because…there were DRUGS DOGS EVERYWHERE.

I knew this would be the case because music festivals in Sydney have been receiving a lot of negative attention recently.

There was a drug-related death at Stereosonic, and a girl went into a coma (and miraculously sprung to life) after Listen Out

Within the first five minutes of being around the entrance gate, I saw two people get arrested.  All I know is this, Australia is not a place you want to get caught with drugs.  They’re beginning to “make examples” of people, and giving them criminal records for drug possession.

Electric Gardens made this known on their Facebook page that there would be an increase in security.

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But THE GOOD NEWS…

There were zero deaths at Electric Gardens.  

Photo via Facebook

The Festival Map

One of the first things that surprised me about the festival was that the three stages were all lined up right next to each other, facing the same direction.

It seemed really strange to me that they wouldn’t have one of the stages at a different area of the park, but it actually worked out really.  Besides the minor annoyance of hearing both stages if you were standing in the middle of them (which was easily avoided), I really enjoyed the layout.

Stage hopping was as easy as 1…2…3

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Bathrooms & Beers

A very important aspect of a music festival for me is how easy it to access a bathroom when you need, and how quickly you can get some booze.

Both of these were extremely easy tasks at Electric Gardens.  I never had to wait in line for the bathroom, and I don’t think it took me longer than 2 minutes to purchase some beers.

Everything was so clearly organized, and was great to see a festival be on top of their shit.

There’s nothing worse than being at a festival, and having to wait in line for the bathroom or the bar.  The festival organizers planned it out really well, and I got to give them credit for it.

Let’s Talk Music…

Electric Gardens Set Times…

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When I’m at festivals, I pretty much tend to just follow the music, the crowd, and the vibe.  I was with a good group of friends, and we were always on the same page of who we wanted to see next.

We started out the day stage-hopping between Stacey Pullen at the Code Area, and Hernan Cattaneo B2B Nick Warren at the Digital Therapy stage.  (Just a 1-2 minute walk right next to each other)

To be honest, I had never heard of Stacey Pullen before researching the artists on the line-up, and I absolutely loved his music.  He set the tone for the rest of the day.  Just a solid groove of quality deep-house tunes.

Now Hernan Cattaneo & Nick Warren had a 3.5 Hour B2B Set.  They were absolutely destroying the place.  This was the only tented stage, so it definitely added a different element to the atmosphere.

What I noticed about the beginning of the day, is that the majority of the people at the festival were actually spread out between these two stages.  I wondered over to the mainstage for a bit of Norman Jay’s & The Pachanga Boys sets, but there actually weren’t that many people there.  The music was good, but the party was happening elsewhere.

We caught about 20 minutes of Nic Fanciulli’s set, which was nothing but amazing tech-house.  This is the type of music I fell in love with while living in Spain, and I was really bummed to leave.  I definitely was keen to listen to more of his set, but too many artists, in too little time.

The festival crew and I knew that we needed to check out the legendary James Zabiela.

This was the best set of the day in my opinion.  He absolutely crushed it.  

Song after song was a complete tech / house banger.

James Zabiela in action spinning right when he dropped this tune below, and it’s been stuck in my head ever since.

After James Zabiela’s set, my friend Rachel & I journeyed backstage to meet up with the press manager.  We waited around for 20 minutes or so while we waited for the interview with James to happen.  [See Interview at the end of review]

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The whole process took about 45-60 minutes, and we cruised out to meet the rest of the group around 7:30P.M.  For around 30 minutes we checked out the different stages and couldn’t stop dancing.  At this point, I had been drinking for a solid 8 hours, and just finished an awesome interview — so I was feeling pretty damn good.

We cruised over to the mainstage to catch the last little bit of Erick Morillo’s set, and it honestly bummed me out because I could tell he just put on an incredible show.  Erick has an incredible stage presence, and you can tell he’s having just as much as the crowd.  He was playing some really fun upbeat house music, and keeping the crowd entertained.

But the time had come — the main headliner of show

Fatboy Slim

I had seen Fatboy Slim twice before at Tomorrowland & Coachella, I was expecting him to play an absolute banger of a set.

Which I think he played — but only for the first half of his set.  

Now, this might not be the most popular opinion, but I actually found the second half of Fatboy Slim’s set to be quite boring.

Let me explain:

This was a full-on day festival.  I love a good day-drink & dance just as much as the next person, but I’m a firm believer festivals are much better at night.

With only 90 minutes of actual darkness, complete with lazers and LED screens, and Fatboy Slim playing the main stage — I was just expecting him to bring the house down.  His mixing was fantastic, and he played a lot of crowd favorites — but I really wanted him to play some FILTH. 

Especially since the other stages ended their music at 9:30 P.M.  He had the only music playing for the last 30 minutes, and it would have been great to play some epic electro.

Was it a good set?  Yeah, but for being the headliner and closing set of the night — I was left a bit disappointed.  He started off really strong, but just kind of lost it to towards the middle / end.

With that being said, it was still a great show, and tons of fun!

PIcture with Fatboy Slim!

Conclusion

I’ve been to four music festivals in Sydney now, and I can definitely say that this was by far my favorite.  The organization was done really well, the production value was fantastic, and the music was loud & bumping.  My only complaint is that it ended at 10:00 P.M — because the festival atmosphere was strong, and I definitely could have stayed and danced the entire night away!

Electric Gardens Festival Aftermovie

Watch in HD

Interview with James Zabiela

When I found out I was going to be able to interview James Zabiela, I couldn’t have been more stoked.  I was also pretty nervous about it though.  What was I going to ask him?  I’m a big fan of electronic music, but I wouldn’t really consider myself a music journalist.  I’m a travel blogger.

So I decided to interview him strictly about the traveling aspects of being a world-touring DJ.

We started out chatting and let him know that this was just a very casual interview for my humble little travel website Jones Around The World.

I didn’t record this interview, so I’ll just write his responses to my travel related questions…

If you could only eat three types of food for the rest of your life, which three would you choose?  

  1. Thai Food — Definitely the favorite.
  2. Japan — Can’t live without Sushi
  3. “Can I just say Breakfast Cereal”??…hahaha.  Well played, James.

If you could only live in three countries for the rest of your life, which three would they be? 

  1. Argentina — Really amazing gigs and friendly people.
  2. Japan — A mix between sensory overload and super zen.
  3. England — Can’t stay away from home and family for too long.

Three Favorite clubs around the world to play?  

  1. Watergate (Berlin)
  2. Cielo (New York)
  3. Kristal (Bucharest)

If you could be a billionaire for one full year, but you weren’t allowed to leave the city, where would you live? 

James gave it a minute to think about, and then responded with San Francisco, California.  He loves the city, but also added that there are a lot of homeless people, and joked about how awesome it would be just to hand them out money like in the scene from Dumb & Dumber.

If you were given three first class tickets to anywhere in the world, where would you choose?  

  1. Hawaii
  2. Bermuda
  3. Iceland

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Thanks for the chat James.  You’re a legend.  Looking forward to seeing you play again someday!

Check out this insane Essential Mix from James Zabiela, Nic Fanciulli, and Richie Hawtin back from 2007.

Were you at Electric Gardens?  Who was your favorite DJ?

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!

9 Music Festivals in Sydney to Keep You Dancing This Summer

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Music Festivals in Sydney during the Summer…?  You’ve got some incredible options to choose!  There are tons of amazing music festivals in Australia, but there is no better place for a festival junky than to spend your summer in Sydney.  Get your festival crew together, purchase your tickets (if available), and start planning for an epic party!

Not all of these festivals are actually in Sydney, but close enough near by that would be easy to travel to.

1)  The AFTERLIFE

Halloween.  24 Hours.  Non-Stop Party.  Camping.  Secret Forest Destination.  Doesn’t this sound like the most epic way to spend your evening on the spookiest night of the year.  The crew over at Have You Heard Events is known for throwing some of the sickest parties in Sydney, and they’ve got something really special lined up for everyone attending The Afterlife.

“This Halloween, we will take you on a voyage of discovery to what lies beneath and gazes down from above. An adventure like no other. For 24 hours you will dive deep into the rabbit hole where beautiful scenery, fun and games including a swimming pool,  Sydney’s finest local DJs and a few more surprises await you.” 

Tickets are ALMOST Sold-Out, so act quick and secure your tickets now.

From The Garden of Eden to Valhalla to The Purgatory and back again. Where will you end up?

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2) Harbourlife

  • When:  November 8, 2015
  • 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.  With a stacked line-up that includes Derrick Carter, Eats Everything, Dixon,  and Bookah Shade (and more) — this is guaranteed to be one solid party.

Tickets Sold Out.  (Check Gumtree & Facebook event in hopes of finding a ticket )

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3)  Stereosonic

  • When:  November 28, 2015
  • Where:  Sydney Showground
  • 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.  The line-up this year includes names like Armin Van Buuren, Major Lazer, MK, What So Not, Andrew Rayel, Claude Von Stroke, Will Sparks, and so many more.

Join the Facebook Event Page

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4)  Subsonic

  • When:  December 3-5, 2015
  • 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.

Join the Facebook Event   

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5)  The Plot

  • When:  December 5, 2015
  • 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.

Join the Facebook Event

 

6)  Lost Paradise

  • When:  December 29, 30, 31
  • Where:  Glenworth Valley, New South Wales (75 minutes outside Sydney)
  • Website:  http://www.lostparadise.com.au/
  • Why:  A 3 day festival of camping, music, food, art and yoga, lovingly wrapped in community.  Can you think of a better place to welcome in the new year?

Join the Facebook Event

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7)  Field Day

  • When:  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.

Join The Facebook Event

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8)  Electric Gardens

  • When:  January 23rd, 2016
  • Where:  Centennial Park, Sydney
  • Website:  https://www.facebook.com/electricgardensfestival
  • Why:  They might have only released three names at the moment, but with a name as big as Fat Boy Slim — that’s reason enough to check out this epic party.  Supported by John Digweed & James Zabiela, you know this is going to be a day filled with non-stop incredible dance tunes.  Book your tickets, and get ready for an epic day in Centennial Park.

**UPDATE:  This line-up has grown into a festival better than I ever could have imagined.  Dubfire, Erick Morillo, and Nic Fanciulli are massive additions!  This is guaranteed to be one of the highlights of summer in Sydney! 

Join The Facebook Event

9)  St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival

  • When:  February 7, 2016  (Sunday)
  • 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

Join The Facebook Event

 

Summertime in Sydney = Festivals Galore 

Make sure you check out my other blog posts on music festivals.

Which Festivals Will You Be Attending?

Like this post?  Share with your friends in Sydney!

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