Summer is synonymous with beaches, road trips with friends, balmy nights, and music festivals. Australia is home to some of the best festivals in the world but with so many great ones launching every year, it can be difficult to know which ones actually match the hype. So we’ve gone ahead and done your homework for you! Here’s our list of the top eight music festivals that will keep you dancing all summer long.
Down for a weekend of techno, house, and glitch hop? Pop over to Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley Resort, just a three-hour drive from Sydney, and dance the weekend away. Check out all this festival has to offer, including workshops on yoga, belly dancing, bush tucker, healing herbs, cabaret and even speed dating. The best part? If it gets too hot, cool off at nearby streams and waterfalls.
NSW, December 4 – 6
Luxury tents, impressive headliners and a serene Gippsland Parklands setting make Beyond the Valley a music festival that’s a cut above the rest. Boasting an eclectic line-up, markets and food stalls, Beyond the Valley makes for a great way to bring in the new year!
VIC, December 29 – December 31
Perhaps the most popular New Year’s Eve destination for music lovers, The Falls Music & Arts Festival is back and it’s taking its musical showcase to three dreamy seaside locations – Lorne, Marion Bay, and Byron Bay. Comedy, puppetry, yoga workshops, and dance classes are at hand to keep you entertained between sets.
VIC, December 28 – January 1
TAS, December 29 – January 1
NSW, December 31 – January 3
Go glamping under the stars as you kickstart New Year’s Eve festivities at the Lost Paradise in NSW’s Glenworth Valley. Let headliners Angus & Julia Stone, Jamie XX, and Four Tet get you grooving all day and night long. There’s also plenty of activities for the restless adventurer – kayaking, abseiling, and you can even play laser tag.
NSW, December 29 – December 31
Curated by Hobart’s premier arts destination, MONA (Museum of Old and New), MOFO is a festival that pushes boundaries. Get taken on a ride through multiple destinations in Hobart, exploring performance art, cinema and sophisticated tunes.
TAS, January 13 – 18
It’s the long weekend so hop on a flight to Melbourne to attend the Sugar Mountain Festival, an annual single-day festival that fuses music and visual art to bring together a multimedia experience. Expect to see work by Daniel Askill (the filmmaker behind Sia’s Grammy nominated videos); watch performances by Hot Chip and Viet Cong; and sample dishes by Melbourne’s most creative restaurants.
VIC, January 23
The biggest travelling music festival around, Laneway brings the world’s most hyped bands to our shores and beyond (Singapore and Detroit are also on the festival’s map). Great news for under 18s, the Brisbane and Adelaide shows are now 16+.
QLD, February 6
NSW, February 7
SA, February 5
VIC, February 13
WA, February 14
Golden Plains is a boutique camping festival in regional Victoria that takes pride in upholding their no-commercial sponsors policy. This year, they are celebrating their tenth birthday so it’s bound to be a biggie! Expect to witness stellar performances by all-female punk rock band Sleater-Kinney, Afrobeat royalty Sean Kuti & Egypt 80, and Melbourne-based electronica band HTRK.
VIC, March 12 – 14
What to wear: Go for comfort! Sneakers or flat Chelsea boots are the best choice. Dress for the weather, but leave umbrellas at home and opt for a slicker jacket. Remember to also be sun-smart throughout the day – wear a brimmed hat or cap and UV-resistant sunglasses.
What to pack: Our top tip for surviving summer festivals is to keep hydrated – it’s a no-brainer! Make sure you carry around a bottle of water or a refreshing beverage with you at all times. Other essentials include SPF 30+ sunblock cream, earplugs, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and deodorant. Depending on the weather, bring a waterproof poncho or lightweight jacket for when the sun goes down.