With summer just around the corner, it’s almost time for festival season. We’ve compiled a list of 10 festivals you should add to your hit list and keep an eye on this summer.
Sydney’s been in a bit of a dry-spell lately, with festivals and live music gigs being axed and choosing not to make their way here thanks to the strict ‘safety regime’ the Berijiklian government implemented. The response from the heads of major festivals such as Splendour In The Grass, Groovin the Moo, Laneway Festival, Falls Festival, Field Day, Listen Out, Harbourlife, The Plot; joined forces and created the Australian Festival Association. The Association publicly called out the government and admitted the consideration of moving their festivals from NSW to other Australian states “that that are willing to better support our business.”
If you want to learn more about the vendetta against NSW festivals, you can watch our sequel documentary, After The Lockouts: Gladys’ War On Music.
For now, we’re left holding on to our beloved festivals and scouting out some awesome festivals around the country to visit while NSW sits in live music turmoil.
Here are FIB’s Top 10 Aussie Summer Festivals to look out for:
St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival
What started off as a small festival in the streets of Melbourne has now erupted into a nation wide annual event, reeling in artists from overseas to perform throughout Australia. The Laneway Festival brings a variety of music genres together in one place for fans to enjoy. Just last year, fans were blessed with artists such as Mac DeMarco, The Internet and Anderson .Paak headlining the shows. And this year, they haven’t missed a beat. Some of the artists scheduled to perform include Australian rock band Ocean Alley, Kaiit, J.I.D, Earl Sweatshirt and Col3trane. Check out their full lineup on their website.
Sun Cycle NYD
Sun Cycle is a fresh new festival on the Australian scene and is set to debut on New Years Day The festival is set to feature some major artists while also sporting some local acts. In their debut run, they have managed to book in heavyweights, Sampha and Freddie Gibbs – not bad at all for a first attempt. Fans of the electronic music genre will also be delighted to hear that Floating Points will be performing at the event. Sun Cycle will be taking place in Melbourne on New Years Day so book your tickets early.
The Falls Festival
While it may already be established, the Falls Festival has proved to be one of Australia’s biggest events every year, stretching beyond music and incorporating elements such as comedy, theatre and dance. With acts like Playboi Carti and Peking Duk, their 2020 lineup is stacked for music lovers. The festival will be taking place in Lorne, Marion Bay, Byron Bay and Fremantle next year.
Wide Open Space Festival
Ranked as Australia’s best kept festival secret by Vice in 2015, the Wide Open Space Festival has only excelled since then. Held in Alice Springs, the 3-day festival features performances mainly from Australian acts, with potentially some overseas acts sprinkled in here and there. Fans may also be able to witness performances from Indigenous acts – a sight that is typically rare at other music festivals. While they have taken a hiatus in 2019 to revamp their model, they will be back in 2020 to bring some tunes and vibes your way. Wide Open Space is definitely a must-see for fans of local artists and desert culture. Keep tabs on announcements on their website.
Steering away from the music-heavy festivals, The Town is an interactive 3-day festival that focuses on the importance of sustainability. The family-friendly event holds activities that parody the ‘real world’ and teach festival-goers how to be sustainable in everyday life. The Town also features comedy, immersive games and theatre, there’s something to do for everyone over the course of the three days. The Town is a definitive pick for festival-goers that are looking for more than just the regular music and dance environment and want to get family and friends involved. In 2020, The Town will be focusing on Power as its primary theme and will be running from May 1st to May 4th. Read more about the activities and facilities The Town will offer in 2020 here.
Rabbits Eat Lettuce
For people that are looking for more than just a festival, Rabbits Eat Lettuce may be just what you’re looking for. The 4-day event is usually held in the wilderness of Queensland, meaning festival-goers are surrounded by nothing except greenery and wildlife as the party continues into the early hours of the morning. This also means that festival-goers will have to camp out for the duration of the 4 days so be sure you’ll be able to handle Mother Nature before you purchase any tickets. And if you’re still waiting for a reason to go to RBL, here it is – their primary sound is house and techno music. So if you’re ready to experience a 4 day bender, buy your tickets for April 2020 here.
“What matters most to me are the artists and the vibe, and in my humble opinion they killed it on both of those fronts.” Says Dreamland Magazine in their festival review.
For people that love to start fresh and party for days on end, Lost Paradise may just be a dream come true. The festival takes place over the course of three days, stretching into the new year. Much like RBL, the event takes place in the deep depths of nature, isolated from the rest of humanity – the dream for an end of year celebration. One side of the festival will be dedicated to performances from acts, including Lime Cordiale, Hilltop Hoods, & Matt Corby, while another side will be specially reserved for yoga and relaxation. So if you need some time to unwind from the lights and musicn you won’t have to talk too far.
And to balance out the usual Aussie heat, festival-goers can take a quick dip in the rivers located around Glenworth Valley, the location of this 3 day celebration. In previous years, Lost Paradise has featured interactive events such as speed dating and sports, so at times you may feel like you’ve entered a resort. Purchase tickets to Lost Paradise 2020 here before they run out.
Human Rights Arts and Film Festival
Bringing together lovers of film, the HRAFF showcases stories of human rights issues from all over the globe. Based in Melbourne and Canberra, the event takes place over 16 days and is great if you’re looking for a more introspective festival. While they haven’t made an announcement regarding the plans or dates for the festival in 2020, submissions are open if you’re an aspiring content creator.
Mona Foma Festival
Although sometimes hailed as the forgotten area of Australia, Tasmania hosts one of the greatest festivals year in and year out, known as Mona Foma. Put together by Violent Femmes member, Brian Ritchie, the festival takes place from Jan 17 – Jan 19 and features performances from Flying Lotus to James Rushford. The 2 day event features acts from all types of genres and is held near Mona Museum which provides wine tasting programs, so all bases should be covered. If you’re ready to head down to the city of Launceston, Tasmania, book your tickets now.
If you’re looking to ‘catch a vibe’ for one day rather than over the course of three days, then the Electric Gardens could be a match for you. The festival reels in performances from major DJs and techno artists for one day only as festival-goes are exposed to the ‘doof doof’ genre of music. 2020 marks the 5th anniversary of Electric Gardens and they reassure fans that the lineup is packed with international acts. Although an official lineup or tickets have not been released, pre-registration is now open to the general public. The event will be held in Centennial Park for its 2020 event.
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