Australian concertgoers simply have different tastes when contrasted against music lovers in other areas of the world. There’s a substantial amount of overlap when it comes to favored acts, but the festivals themselves are far different. You’ll need to see it to believe it.
1. Field Day
Field Day is a New Year’s day music festival held annually at The Domain, a giant area of open space next to the Royal Botanic Gardens. This venue caters primarily to indie, hip hop, and house music artists. Expect to see artists like Childish Gambino topping the ticket on January 1st. Since it’s an open air festival that literally takes place in a field, you can expect a casual ambiance that will prove to be a great way to easily befriend total strangers that are enjoying the music just as much as you are.
2. Rainbow Serpent Festival
Rainbow Serpent is one of the largest festivals in all of Australia, and people travel from all over the world just to attend. Outside of trance music, there are also a number of tents set up to showcase art exhibitions, as well as sideshow performers. Rainbow Serpent is a community environment, and many people choose to camp right on the venue site. Since it’s home to one of the largest open air pop-up markets in the country, you’ll easily be able to survive solely off the goods available on the festival grounds.
3. The Town
The Town is more than just a music festival. It’s set in an interactive village in the Strathbogie Ranges that features live music, visual art, and performance art installations. It hosts several themed days with different vendors and creators, so each day of the festival is different. These are cultural events, featuring most different kinds of electronica and house music. The Town is an experience. If you’ve been to enough traditional music festivals to last a lifetime, you’ll appreciate all of the things that make The Town so unique.
4. Splendour in the Grass
Splendor in the Grass is a major 3 day festival that takes place in New South Wales. There are so many bands over the course of the 3 day weekend that you might want to consider finding a place to stay that’s close to the venue. The event features a wide variety of genres. Everyone from The Cure, The Strokes, and PJ Harvey to acts like Ladytron and Electric Six have made appearances at Splendour in the Grass. There aren’t many festivals that will allow you to see Modest Mouse and Devendra Banhart on the same day, and this is one of them. Prioritize this festival.
5. Meredith Music Festival
There’s almost no rhyme or reason to Victoria’s Meredith Music Festivals lineups, except for the fact that they’re all generally bands that don’t get to Australia much. Massively popular psych rock acts like Animal Collective and Tame Impala have rolled through Meredith. Niche acts like Andrew WK and Amanda Palmer have also made appearances in years past. Meredith piles on everything they can get. You’re sure to find a number of acts all of your friends will agree to see.
Australian festivals are held all throughout the year, though most of them take place between November and December, the peak of Australia’s summer. No matter what festival you decide to go to, make sure you’re packing some sunblock and some extra water.