Here’s our picks for the best 12 music festivals in Sydney & NSW

Sydney and NSW music festivals get their time in the spotlight with this non-exhaustive list of the hottest-ticket items on the state’s festival calendar. 

We’re well into 2024, and while this year has brought some disappointing news around NSW music festival cancellations, the calendar is still brimming with hot-ticket events.

NSW in particular has already revelled in the recent editions of Laneway Festival, Knotfest and many more, but they are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what The Premier State has to offer.  

laneway festival full line up 2024

From humble rural outings to large-scale starry events, we’re sorting through the best music festivals that regularly hit New South Wales.

If you’re a lover of country music, techno, hip-hop or everything in between, this is your one-stop shop. So put your dancing shoes (or in most cases, gumboots) on and pursue at your leisure below.

splendour line up 2024
Photo: Charlie Hardy

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival

What began in a small lane in Melbourne has since grown to become one of the country’s buzziest festivals.

Renowned for their no-skip line-ups, St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival has over the course of its 19-year run welcomed the likes of Lorde, Stormzy, Dominic Fike, Florence + The Machine, Lily Allen, and Billie Eilish, to name just a few.

A multi-city touring festival, Laneway usually hits NSW in February in its new location of Sydney Showground. Find more information about Laneway Festival here.  

Listen Out

An unmissable one-day festival held annually since 2013, Listen Out brings in revellers of all stripes, with past acts spanning hip-hop, rap, pop and electronic music.

Four Tet, AJ Tracey, Doja Cat and Denzel Curry are among the stars to appear at Listen Out, which usually hits Sydney’s Centennial Park around September and October. Find more information about Listen Out here

Field Day

Despite the sore heads that inevitably follow New Year’s Eve, Field Day has been the hottest New Year’s Day party for Sydneysiders since its inception in 2007.

Since then, The Domain-based festival has played host to Jungle, Amy Shark, Mahalia, Cardi B, Childish Gambino and more, treating attendees to the biggest names from home and abroad.

Field Day takes place annually on January 1 at The Domain, Sydney. Find more information here.     


Boasting perhaps the most picturesque setting on this list, Harbourlife pairs its waterfront views with equally dazzling electronic acts.

Patrick Topping, Claptone, Duke Dumont and Solardo have taken to the stage across the festival’s two-decade run, lapping up the unmatched location of Mrs Macquarie’s Point.

The one-day festival usually takes place annually in November, and you can find more information here.  

Long Jetty Festival

Putting the Central Coast scene on the map, Long Jetty Festival is a showcase of all things art, culture and music.

It has in the past shone a spotlight on killer homegrown acts like The Dreggs, Coterie, The Ruebens and Meg Mac, a pretty impressive roster for a relatively young festival.

Long Jetty Festival will take place at Long Jetty in the Central Coast on October 6, 2024. Find more info here

Splendour In The Grass

NSW is home to perhaps Australia’s best-known festival in the form of Splendour In The Grass.

While it regrettably will be skipping its 2024 edition, the multi-day, Byron Bay Parklands event has deservedly enshrined its place in Australia’s cultural canon, launching in 2001 and going on to become the biggest fixture on the country’s music calendar.

Jack White, Smashing Pumpkins, Powderfinger and Mumford and Sons are among the acts to have traipsed Splendour’s hallowed halls, and we certainly hope the best is yet to come.

Splendour In The Grass usually takes place in July. Find more information here.   

Byron Bay Bluesfest

Australian roots music steals the spotlight each year at Byron Bay Bluesfest, the country’s hub for all things folk, rock and of course blues and roots.

The multi-day festival launched in 1990 — a legacy event on Australia’s cultural calendar — and has since seen Jimmy Buffet, Mary J. Blige, Archie Roach and countless other stars take to the stage.

Byron Bay Bluesfest is usually held around late-March or April at Byron Events Farm (formerly Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm). Find more information here.  

Good Things Festival

While it’s only held three editions so far, touring festival Good Things has quickly established itself as the premier hub for all things rock, metal, and punk.

The one-dayer usually hits Sydney’s Centennial Park in December, and has boasted lineups featuring Fall Out Boy, Limpbizkit, Bring Me The Horizon, Deftones, and TISM — enough to excite any metalhead. Find out more information here

Lost Paradise

Holding its inaugural festival in 2014, Lost Paradise has gone on to become one of the country’s hottest-ticket items over the New Year Period.

Once home to killer electronic acts like Mall Grab, Cut Copy, Green Velvet and Flight Facilities, the Glenworth Valley-based event has since expanded its artist pool to include indie rock legends like Ocean Alley and global pop phenoms like Lil Nas X.

Lost Paradise takes place over four days from December 28 to January 1.  

Juicy Fest

You didn’t think we’d exclude hip-hop and R&b lovers from this list, did you? Hitting Australian shores in 2022, Juicy Fest is the country’s buzziest event for classic hip-hop, with a particular focus on the genre’s 90s and 2000s staples.

T-Pain, Trey Songz, Ashanti, Ne-Yo and Ja Rule have all appeared at the annual event, which is held at Sydney’s Accor Stadium in January. Find more information here.  

Groovin The Moo

While it will be skipping this year’s edition, Groovin The Moo remains one of Australia’s longest-running and most-loved regional touring festivals.

Each year it brings stellar acts to the state’s regional centres with a lineup credits list that includes Australia’s biggest names, from Genesis Owusu, to Hokey Dad, Montaigne and Baker Boy, among many others.

Groovin The Moo is typically held in Maitland — though its scrapped 2024 edition was to relocate to Foreshore Park, Newcastle — in April/May. Find more information here.  

Yours and Owls

Serving as Illawarra’s largest and most exciting, environmentally conscious music festival, Yours and Owls delivers quality events each year in Wollongong.

It launched in 2014, has featured the likes of Ball Park Music and Angus & Julia Stone, and remains one of the country’s most-coveted one-day festivals.

It is usually held around September/October at Wollongong’s Stuart Park, before relocating to the University of Wollongong in 2023. Find more information here.