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Australian Travel – 5 boutique festivals you NEED to experience

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In the current climate of festivals in Australia, there are literally thousands of one-day, weekend and week-long music festivals popping up.

How to know which Australian festivals to attend before they become too popular and over-crowded?

Whether it be celebrating Australian summer or a mid-year getaway, here are 5 quality Australian festivals you NEED to experience!

Wide Open Space – Central Australia


Three days of the best Australian underground beats held in a resort at the MacDonnell ranges, each May.  What an experience if you are planning to travel Australia!

Wide Open Space is around an hour’s drive out of Alice Springs.  A ‘best kept secret’ this festival relies on volunteers and grant funding to proceed each year.  Offering a “mental, emotional, social, cultural and environmental landscapes of the desert” 

Eleven years strong, this festival is the only event of its kind in the area, providing the ultimate cultural experience while travelling in Australia.

To top it off, in the true Australian way, the festival has an official ‘Good People Policy’. Quite simply “DON’T BE A DICKHEAD”

Add it to your list!

Best Australian Travel Accommodation.

Riverboats MusicFestival – Echuca, Victoria


On the third weekend of February, Riverboats Music Festival occurs in Echuca-Moama, 2.5 hours from Melbourne, on the Murray River.

Hosted by MC Brian Nankervis, Riverboats is one of the most popular music festivals in Victoria, which is set in a natural amphitheatre with only one stage.

Hosting iconic Australian music artists and plenty of food trucks alongside, a true novelty of this Australian festival is the Historic Paddle Steamers (which showcase sideshows) flowing along the river during the weekend.

‘Riverboats’ promote many environmental initiatives including single-use water bottles, reusable coffee cups and wine glasses and they state  “All food containers, cups and disposable wine glasses sold on-site are made from either bioplastic, sugarcane or paper sourced from managed plantations”

Past artists include:
The Waifs
Kasey Chambers
Mark Seymour
Paul Kelly
Dan Sultan
Tracy McNeill
Mick Thomas 

Bass In The Grass – Darwin, NT


This Australian festival was one of many I had never heard of and was the ultimate festival experience! Set in the sweaty heat of Darwin (usually a town on the quiet side), 10 thousand people attended this festival in 2019. 

Bass In The Grass is one of the best known Darwin festivals and is known for showcasing a selection of widely recognised artists and Triple J regulars, to an audience of a wide range of ages.

We arrived in 2019, at Darwins’ Mindil Beach, where there was a lot of grass (you’d hope so!), open spaces and phew!- water misting machines to deal with the extreme heat.

Friendly staff greeted us on entry, and the atmosphere was chill-but-party.  We laughed at the silent disco, ate from the food trucks and enjoyed the ciders to keep the temp down, and always had a good view of our preferred acts of the day.

2019 artists included:
Amy Shark
Meg Mac
Hilltop Hoods

Mt Beauty Music Festival – Mt Beauty Victoria


This Australian festival is three days of music and culture (including indigenous and traditional) from 26-28 April each year, with the aim of involving community groups to celebrate and raise money.

The town comes alive with arts and interactive installations, catering for the whole family,

Part ticketed and part free event,  there is an outdoor main stage, with markets, car displays, children’s entertainment, games and activities.

The markets range from quality stalls, a food and drink area, and showcasing local products and services.

A small town with a population of 2300, but over 100 community groups showcasing the true spirit of the residents.

Past artists include:
Affinity Quarter
Ann Poore 
Alana Wilkinson 
Slim Dime  
Matt Joe Gow
Little Wise
Charm of Finches

The town of Mount Beauty is worth the visit itself and with a weekend festival, this is highly recommended!

Beechworth Celtic Festival, Beechworth Victoria


A ‘true country Celtic festival which incorporates all facets of community involvement’, the Beechworth Celtic Festival runs 8-10 November, in North East Victoria.

A diverse event with something for everyone, including music and food at hotels around the town as well as the popular Bridge Road Brewery. Pipe Bands, Highland Dancers, Irish Dancers and Folk bands, you name it (in Celtic), it’s bound to be here.

General Admission tickets for the Festival start from $20 per person.

Past productions include:
The musical ‘Barry Versus Kelly’, dramatising the historic trial and execution of Ned Kelly.

‘The Old Gaol Tattoo’, a 90-minute spectacular in the style of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo featuring 200 musicians and dancers performing in the Old Gaol exercise yard celebrating the legends, traditions and heroes of the northeast.

If you’re into Celtic in any way, check the website for details!

There you have it, 5 Australian festivals that definitely should be added to an Australian travel itinerary.  Love to hear your thoughts if you have attended one or all of these festivals!

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