7 Music Festivals in Australia You Don’t Want To Miss

January 30, 2017

In many ways, the music festival is the ultimate party: sun, friends, music, dancing – all the best things in life. Australians love a good music festival and no trip down under is complete without a weekend road trip to see some A-list acts.

So gear up as we discover these top 7 musical must-sees for your trip to Australia!

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival

Where: Melbourne, VIC | Sydney, NSW | Brisbane, QLD | Adelaide, SA | Fremantle, WA

When: January/February

Why: This boutique indie music festival, started in a Melbourne Laneway (duh!) back in 2005, now tours five Australian cities and internationally in Singapore and New Zealand. From showcasing up-and-coming local talents to hosting a line-up of international big names, Laneway never disappoints. Whether you’re a music snob or a newbie bursting into the indie music scene, this is one for the bucket list.

Where to stay: Melbourne Central YHA | Sydney Central YHA | Brisbane City YHA | Adelaide Central YHA | Fremantle Prison YHA

MONA FOMA

Where: Hobart, TAS

When: January

Why: A summer festival of eclectic proportions – the Museum of Old and New Art Festival of Music and Art in Tasmania, Australia, is curated by Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes) and brings a beguiling mixed-bag of music and art to the island state. From post-punk to avant-garde orchestras, inflatables, installations and performance art, MOFO sprawls unconventionally across Hobart each January.

Where to stay: Hobart Central YHA

Splendour in the Grass

Where: Byron Bay, NSW

When: July

Why: ‘A music festival in the middle of winter? Best idea ever!’ – Said no one… UNTIL Splendour in the Grass came along. From its humble beginnings in 2001, SITG’s popularity exploded and it evolved from a one-day to now a three-day festival. Its impressive line-up is always a good mix of local and international acts like Coldplay, Mumford & Sons and Flight Facilities. Being one of the most iconic Aussie music festivals around, a little rain and mud never kills the good vibes.

Where to stay: Byron Bay YHA | Cape Byron YHA

Groovin the Moo

Where: Canberra, ACT | Bendigo, VIC | Oakbank, SA | Townsville, QLD | Maitland, NSW | Bunbury, WA

When: April – May

Why: Groovin the Moo’s founders wanted to create an affordable and engaging music event for young people in regional areas (plus backpackers and working holiday makers alike) that would be given the same respect as a big city event, and boy did they succeed! GTM is incredibly important for regional youth and travellers – it’s a rare all-ages festival where you’ll catch teenagers in their favourite band tees enjoying their first festival experience, very unique from the usual scene.

Where to stay: Canberra City YHA | Hunter Valley YHA (30mins from Maitland) | Bunbury Dolphin Retreat YHA

WOMADelaide

Where: Adelaide, SA

When: March

Why: The city of Adelaide comes alive when WOMADelaide comes to town. As the name suggests (WOMAD – World of Music, Arts & Dance), WOMADelaide is more than a music festival. The four-day fiesta attracts over 80,000 punters who gather to enjoy the massive international line-up and participate in various workshops that enrich the body and soul. You have to experience it first-hand to understand this spotlight South Australian event.

Bonus tip! YHA members receive concession rate tickets on single day, night, and 3 or 4 day passes.

Where to stay: Adelaide Central YHA

Electric Gardens Festival

Where: Melbourne, VIC | Sydney, NSW | Brisbane, QLD | Perth, WA

When: January/February

Why: Back for its second year in 2017, Electric Gardens brings a killer line-up to even more electronic house lovers around the country in three new cities. What better way to celebrate your Australia Day weekend than heading to this mega festival, which tours Moonee Valley in Melbourne, Sydney’s Centennial Park, Riverstage Brisbane and Perth’s Red Hill Auditorium in January and February.

Where to stay: Melbourne Central YHA | Sydney Central YHA | Brisbane City YHA | Perth City YHA

Tamworth Country Music Festival

Where: Tamworth, NSW

When: January

Why: Australia’s country music capital hosts one helluva hoedown every January. Tamworth swells with 55,000 visitors flocking in for the biggest country music festival in Australia, and the second biggest in the world behind only Nashville, Tennessee. Around 700 artists will perform almost 3,000 shows across 120 venues at a festival that has welcomed Keith Urban, Kasey Chambers, Troy Cassar-Daley, Lee Kernaghan, John Williamson, and the late, great Slim Dusty over the last 45 years. If you like your country music, this is one not to be missed!

Where to stay: Tamworth YHA

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