Ready for everything the desert can throw at you? Stay prepared with our guide to Wide Open Space 2017

Unless you’re the kind of festival goer who has been at it for decades, you’ll still be finding little surprises in each new event you attend. These caveats unique to each organisation are part of what makes the festival circuit such an addictive way of life – there’s something different for everybody.

Wide Open Space Festival, taking place this weekend up in Ross River Resort near Alice Springs, certainly has a few more of those distinctive characteristics than your average three-day camping fest.

Happy Mag's guide to Wide Open Space 2017
Photo: Wide Open Space on Facebook

Want to get the best of Ross River Resort and Wide Open Space this weekend? It’s a festival like no other, so preparation is key.


Have you ever been to a festival in the desert before? Unless you’re a Burning Man alumni… probably not. Deserts are great places to experience the full range of earth’s potent weather systems, from the fuck-you dry heat of midday to the fuck-you biting cold of the nighttime.

Here’s a handy list from the organisers themselves. You probably won’t need to go this hard, but it will definitely be a good guideline (pay special attention to the ‘Personal’ column, that’s the shit you’ll always forget).

Our recommendation: if you’re bringing your camera, leave it at your tent. Bring home some snaps home of your mates, but enjoy the live music while it’s happening.


The obvious starting point for a guide is often the hardest to cover. Wide Open Space is wide open to music fans from all walks of life, covering every major genre base under the sun. There’s a ton of hip hop, a slew of world-class DJs to bring the beats,  local acoustic purveyors, desert-faring songwriting sensations and heaps more.

Our recommendations: if you want soul, you can’t pass up on Hiatus Kaiyote. If you live for electronic music, Griff has your back (or check out Monkey Marc if you want to bear witness to one of the world’s most eco-friendly DJs). If you want to sample the local NT talent, don’t miss Resin Moon and Edward Francis.

You can catch the rest of the lineup at the bottom of this article.


Unsurprisingly, there’s a fair bit of room for activities in the middle of the desert. Wide Open Space is taking full advantage of this fact, offering a massive range of on-site workshops for the intrepid festival junkie.

Our recommendations: the spicy Wind Up dance classes if you’re feeling fresh as a daisy, but maybe some Meditation in the Dust if you’re a little fragile from the night before and need to think about what you did.

The Site

Ross River Resort is a beautiful part of the world, an idyllic piece of Australian landscape that spends most of it’s time pretty empty from human contact. Which is why you need to respect it.

Don’t litter, use the bathrooms like an adult, obey the parking rules, don’t go snapping branches off tress… simple stuff. Respect the land you’re on and everybody will have a great time.

Wide Open Space Festival 2017 is from 28 – 30 April. Grab your tickets here.


Altruism / Auramechanic
Ash Steel
Average Rap Band
Bass Bug presents: Roll Deep
BB Sabina
Beat Buffet
Bec Mathews
Billy Dread
Camp Oco
Chimpi (UK)
Common UnderGround
Cutlery presents: The Pool Party
Daddy LongLegs
Drazics Girlfriend
Edi Donald & The Transients
Edward Francis
Grim Tilla & the Dead Heart
Hiatus Kaiyote
Holy Dimes
J:Kenzo (UK)
JPS (The Operatives)
Kardajala Kirri-Darra
King Marong & The Tamala Express
Kodiak Kid
Liam Niko
Miss Moneytoast
Mojo Juju
MonkeyMarc with Vida Sunshyne
Ms Xavia
Native Dog
Plutonic Lab
Red Dirt Crew
Resin Moon
Reuben Stone
Sietta Soundsystem
Skank & Shake
Stellar Sea
Story Teller
Take My Song & Run With It
This Way North
Wax Museum
Wonqi Rose

Wide Open Space acknowledges and pays respects the Arrernte people, the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land we festival on. Particular respect goes to Damien Ryder, who is the custodian for the Ross River Resort site.