Return To Rio is Australia’s most unique festival, and nobody knows it yet

Booking a good lineup and fostering a community within a music festival are two completely different beasts. Most festivals struggle with one or the other, and very few successfully nail both.

Too often it feels like music festivals book their lineups, sell their tickets, and forget about the punters altogether. You walk in, watch the music, walk out. It’s on this front that NSW’s own Return To Rio separates itself from the rest of Australia’s festival landscape.

return to rio

Water skiing, a dating service, and random acts of kindness: Return To Rio is the most unique festival in Australia, and it’s time you joined in on the fun.

Not only do Return To Rio consistently deliver world-class lineups, but they also prioritise a unique and memorable experience for their patrons – it’s not just a music festival, it’s a small, tight-knit community, all gathered for the purpose of great tunes.

Waltzing into the magical world of Return To Rio is like entering some lost wonderland – a paradise filled with likeminded music lovers and irresistibly danceable music. It’s Australia’s answer to Burning Man, a place to be free from the chains of society and let that inner freak flag fly.

At Return To Rio, not only will you be able to see dance music icons like Sasha live, but you’ll also get to experience the festival’s many quirky activities. We’re talking crazy golf, water skiing, a giant jumping cushion and splash park, and the country’s most vibrant fancy dress party (again, look to Burning Man in two days if you need some costume inspo).

In addition to this bonkers range of festivities, the three-day event also offer their own matchmaking service… so if you’re single, you don’t need to be for long. A devoted team of cupids will match you with the partner of your dreams, and organise your first festival date.

People come for the weekend and make friends for life”, says the festival’s Chief Mischief Maker Ricky Cooper. We’ve had Rio weddings and just recently, offspring. Festival first dates is designed to get people off Tinder and find them their happy ever after in our magical kingdom.” 

All guests are also encouraged to contribute to the festival’s colony with random acts of kindness. Bring a bouquet of flowers to hand to a stranger, offer face painting services at your campsite, or even just pay for a round of drinks! Be kind and the kindness will be returned unto yourself –  and don’t be afraid to go big.

How many festivals can you think of where anyone does anything like this? I can only think of one – and it’s Return To Rio.


Return To Rio is held at Wisemans Ferry, New South Wales, right by the picturesque Hawkesbury River – just a 90 minute drive out of Sydney.

Third release tickets are priced at $300 and include a $10 Eco-Bond (this will be refunded if you do your bit to help preserve the beautiful surrounds of the tranquil camping areas).

Grab more info and tickets here.


Lee Burridge
Roni Size
Greg Wilson
Late Nite Tuff Guy
Mr C
Tara Brooks
Oona Dahl
Alex Ludlow
Andrew Wowk
Andy Bird
Andy Ef
Ben Ferris
Ben Nott
Beth Yen
Black Angus
Dave Goode
Dave Stuart
Eclipse DJs
Eddy Wells
Garth Linton
Jermaine Jones
Jesse Koora
Jimmy Galvin
Kerry Wallace
Mark Craven
Micky Price
Monkey Tennis
Murat Kilic
Nick Law
Nick Reverse
Nine One
Omar C
Paul Moritz
Pip Dalton
Ricky Cooper
Robbie Lowe
Rotary Disco
Sam Arrelano
Shane SOS
Start Cue
Steve Birch
Steve Marx
Stuart Hunter
The Owl
The Syndicate
Tristan Case
Uncle Ru
Wild Fox
Zankee Gulati

Return To Rio:
9 – 11 November, 2018
Wisemans Ferry, NSW