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 an hour drive out of Alice Springs. A festival that relies on volunteers and grant funding to proceed each year, WIde Open Space offer a “mental, emotional, social, cultural and environmental landscapes of the desert”
Having run for eleven years, this festival is the only event of its kind in the area, providing a unique festival 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!
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.
Riverboats is hosted by MC Brian Nankervis and is one of the many popular music festivals in Victoria.
Set in a natural amphitheatre with only one stage, Riverboats showcases iconic Australian music artists, with 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:
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, open spaces and thankfully, 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:
Mt Beauty Music Festival – Mt Beauty Victoria
This Australian festival is three days of culture and music, including indigenous and traditional.
Usually held on 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 food and drink, quality stalls, and a showcase of 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:
Matt Joe Gow
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 Celtic festival which incorporates all facets of community involvement’, the Beechworth Celtic Festival is held in North Victoria, on 8-10 November.
A diverse event with something for everyone, including music and food at hotels around the town as well as the busy 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 production ‘Barry Versus Kelly’, which dramatises 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!
These 5 Australian festivals definitely should be added to an Australian travel itinerary.
Love to hear your thoughts if you have attended one or all of these festivals!