Australian music festivals guide

AAR Bluesfest Byron BayWith year-round sunshine, a fun-loving lifestyle as well as stunning beaches and cities, you won’t be surprised to hear that there’s no shortage of incredible music festivals in Australia. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to see in the New Year, the ultimate beach party or just an unforgettable few days of your favourite type of music, there’ll be a festival to suit you.

Packing for the occasion is always easy. Australia’s great weather means you just need some lightweight clothes, some comfy shoes and, of course, plenty of sunscreen. Then all you need to do is secure your ticket and decide whether you’re going to camp or find some cheap accommodation. Unsure of which event you want to go to? Here’s our pick of the best Australian music festivals.


Rainbow Serpent Festival
Date:
24 – 27 January 2020
Location:
Lexton, Victoria
Genre:
Music, art, performance, spiritual education, relaxation and healing

A heady mix of music, art and lifestyle and an explosion of colours makes Rainbow Serpent Festival one of the most unique on the list. From pumping electronic music and aboriginal ceremonies to yoga workshops and sacred temples, they don’t get much more eclectic than this.


Ultra Australia
Date:
7 – 8 March 2020
Location:
Sydney and Melbourne
Genre:
Electronic

This electronic dance music festival takes place over two days, in two different cities and features some of the world’s best-known DJs.


Byron Bay Bluesfest
Date:
9 – 13 April 2020 (Easter Weekend)
Location:
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm – north of Byron Bay
Genre:
Blues

Make the most of your Easter long weekend and head to the beautiful Byron Bay for one of Australia’s biggest blues festivals. With names such as Crowded House, Lenny Kravitz and Dave Matthews Band, it’s no wonder this five-day event has so many awards under its belt.


Groovin the Moo
Dates:
24 April – 9 May 2020
Locations:
Wayville, Canberra, Bunbury, Bendigo, Townsville and Maitland
Genre:
Rock

Many of Australia’s must-see festivals are held in the big cities, but Groovin the Moo puts its focus on smaller, rural towns. But don’t let that deceive you of its popularity. It always boasts an impressive line-up and has sold-out every year since it began in 2005.


Melbourne International Jazz Festival
Date:
May – June 2020
Location:
Melbourne
Genre:
Jazz, blues and funk

Jazz and blues lovers can look forward to a jam-packed schedule of their favourite artists, spread across 10 days. There couldn’t be a more perfect location for this vibrant and energetic jazz-fest than the artsy city of Melbourne.


Splendour In The Grass
Date:
24 – 26 July 2020
Location:
North Byron Parklands, New South Wales
Genre:
Indie, rock, hip-hop, alternative

Easily one of Australia’s biggest and most popular festivals, Splendour In The Grass is held in a stunning location, just north of Byron Bay and draws international artists and a crowd of over 30,000 people.


Listen Out
Date:
September and October (2020 dates yet to be announced)
Location: Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney
Genre: Dance

This touring music festival sees some of the biggest names in dance, hip-hop, electronic and pop travelling to four of Australia’s biggest cities, so there’s no excuse to miss out.


Origin Fields Festival
Date:
31 December 2019 – 1 January 2020
Location:
Wellington Square, Perth
Genre:
Multi

One of the country’s biggest New Year’s Eve festivals, Origin Fields Festival brings a variety of artists to Western Australia, such as Skepta and Ella Mai, seeing in the New Year in style.


Falls Festival
Date:
28 December 2019 to 5 January 2020
Locations:
Lorne, Marion Bay, Byron Bay and Fremantle
Genre:
Multi

Hosted at four different locations across the country, between Christmas and over the New Year period, Falls Festival is not to be missed. Its star-studded line-up features names such as Halsey, Vampire Weekend, Disclosure, Lewis Capaldi, Peking Duk, PNAU and John Farnham.


Woodford Folk Festival
Date:
27 December 2019 to 1 January 2020
Location:
Woodford, Queensland
Genre:
Multi

An iconic music and arts festival, Woodford Folk Festival puts on the country’s biggest gathering of different artists, performers, stalls and workshops for more than 132,000 people to enjoy over the course of six days. Cultural, colourful and at one with nature, it’s reminiscent of 1969s world famous Woodstock.


How many of these music festivals have you already been to? Which one would you like to go to next? Maybe we’ve missed one that you would include in the list?

Image: Byron Bay Bluesfest (supplied)

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