Across the world, there are few events quite as unifying, cleansing and colossal as music festivals. From Glastonbury to Lollapalooza to Pinkpop and beyond, festivals old and new have become the platform for the world’s finest musicians to build beautiful, lasting memories into attendees through dazzling performances and the unique intimacy of everyone’s common cause.
If you’re still tossing up which Aussie festival you’ll be heading down to in the coming months, fret not. Let this list guide you through the best of what Australia’s music festivals have to offer.
Struggling to pick which music festivals to blow all your hard-earned savings at in the tail end of 2016? Here are our top picks.
While it has been thoroughly covered through the countless pages of Happy’s fanatical library in recent times, we really can’t stress enough how huge this one’s gonna be. Unique from its more performance based counterparts, BIGSOUND 2016 offers an insight into more than just great acts, although there are many.
From across the globe, countless speakers, inspirers and music industry heavyweights will be heading down under to witness the best of what we have to offer and, let us tell you, it’s a hell of a lot. With a full lineup now revealed which includes some of the most promising acts in the country (150 in total!) BIGSOUND truly is a marvel to behold. Check out the full lineup here.
Something growing rather rapidly in popularity across Australia is the bush doof. Attendees travel from far and wide to live out a common goal of peace, harmony and creative enlightenment over a number of blissful days. Up in Queensland, at the Cherrabah Resort, Manifest is soon to be loosed upon hoards of love hungry psychotics, promising “vine ripened beats with a dash of springtime served on a bed of culinary and visual delights”.
Psytrance beats and tasty eats. If that doesn’t get your juices flowing with anticipation, we don’t know what will. Lineup here.
Beyond the Valley
Based in Lardner, Victoria is the sleeping giant that is Beyond the Valley. An old school approach and just a good old fashioned festival vibe has seen BTV skyrocket in recent years with 2016 promising to be the biggest one yet. Punters making the trip will be lucky enough to catch global acts like Chance The Rapper rubbing shoulders with some Aussie heroes like Dune Rats and DZ Deathrays.
The lineup is genuinely colossal and the festival is due to be a historical phenomenon of musical fantasy. Lineup here.
Festival of the Sun
This December, Port Macquarie is set to transform into a sun-soaked musical oasis when Festival of the Sun hits its shores. FOTS is no stranger to ridiculous lineups and 2016 is no exception, with Gang of Youths, Montaigne, Seth Sentry and Dune Rats topping the bill. Plus there are a bunch of awesome locals playing too including The Lulu Raes and Planet.
This year, the Gold Coast will come alive when Shakafest brings its street surf vibes in sweet festival format. Drapht, Dune Rats, The Vanns are at the top of the bill with plenty more in the way of hip-hop, surf rock and garage bangers filling it out.
For the perfect loose summer festival, look no further.
Score 2 for Port Macquarie in October with Wildwood Festival bringing the blues-roots vibes in their billions. Aussie roots legends, Blue King Brown are heading up the bill with blues machine, one man band Claude Hay and pop darling Montaigne following closely behind.
Wildwood is set to be the flower from which us ravenous bees can extract some of Aussie music’s finest nectar as spring catches its stride. Check out the lineup here.
Yours & Owls
In October, Yours and Owls are setting up a luscious Lagoona Beach for us to splay our tired limbs and let Ball Park Music, Sampa the Great and Vera Blue among countless other musical angels anoint us with their jams.
Based in the Gong, this is an unmissable event for Sydneysiders and punters across the country offering some of the best booze, tunes and vibes available. Check out the lineup here. They’ve also announce an awesome under 18s version of the event too.
Mitchell Creek Rock n’ Blues Festival
Looks like Queensland and NSW are the places to be for music fanatics this festival season with Mitchell Creek Rock n’ Blues Festival adding yet another notch in QLD’s illustrious, glittering belt. With a rock line up to drool over, including the likes of Ash Grunwald and Stonefield, there really is no better place to be for rock n’ rollers as spring rolls in. See the full lineup here.
Sad Grrrls Fest
As with all festivals, Sad Grrrls Fest is about bringing people together but, in this case, there’s emphasis on togetherness, awareness and safety in a festival environment. Taking place later this year in both Sydney and Melbourne, Sad Grrrls is set to bring some of Australia’s best live acts from Jaala to Le Pie to a crowd that can rest assured that any discomfort they might feel in the festival atmosphere will be immediately nipped at the bud. See the full lineup here.
This month Oxford Art Factory will play host to a ridiculous amount of Aussie talent over 2 days for Volumes Festival. Heading this one up are Nicholas Allbrooks, Mossy, Koi Child, Donny Benet and a seemingly bottomless rabbit hole of musical delights.
A small scale extravaganza like this will be the perfect way to kick off your 2016 festival season and to ease your body into a hard few months of getting down. See the full lineup here.
The lord of all doofs, Psyfari is hitting Capertree Valley over 4 days this month, giving punters from all over to leave their troubles behind and spend some time connecting to their true self. It sounds silly but, there really is nothing better you can do for your troubled mind than reconnecting with nature, art and, most importantly, people.
With bands like Ocean Alley and The Bennies combining with DJ sets from the like of psytrance wizard Gumnut, Toyo and so much more, the weekend will be a nonstop love fest for the ages. Full lineup is here.
Sticky Fingers, Flight Facilities, Gang of Youths, Fat Freddy’s Drop: it’s like a dream come true. Lost Paradise has spent a few years shuffling to the forefront of the Aussie festival scene with unbeatable lineups and the best New Year’s experience you could possibly have.
If you’re lucky enough to attend this New Year, savour that shit, it just keeps getting better. Get at the full lineup here.
Meredith Music Festival
Australia’s premiere ‘no dickheads’ festival, Meredith has a long been renowned for pumping out maximum levels of good vibes with nay a shirtless knob-jockey in sight. They always book an electrifyingly eclectic lineup and this year is no exception with Peaches, King Gizzard, Badbadnotgood and Japandroids just the tip of the iceberg.
This year, the Supernatural Stage has been beefed up with a massive new sound system, so shit is going to be pretty wild. Check out the full lineup and enter the ballot here.