The arrival of summer means festival season is finally upon us. While the big-name events like Falls Festival and Laneway are well-known amongst most punters, there’s a host of new and old boutique festivals flying under the radar that are well worth your attention. Catering to a number of different musical genres and situated in some stunning locations, here are seven awesome Aussie festivals you need to get around this summer.
If you want to bring the New Year in with a bang there’s no better festival than Lost Paradise. Now in its fifth year, the festival has quickly become a favourite amongst music fans, always attracting a diverse lineup of artists. But it’s not just the tunes that attract thousands to Glenworth Valley, with Lost Paradise also featuring art displays, themed camps, roving performers, fashion markets, workshops, aerial artists and some of the tastiest food trucks from around Australia. Plus, Glenworth Valley is a spectacular part of Australia, making the hungover drive back that little bit more bearable.
Lineup: The Kooks, M.I.A., Joey Bada$$, Tash Sultana, Peking Duk, PNAU and more
Where: Glenworth Valley, NSW
When: December 28 – January 1
The First NYD
Melbourne’s newest New Years Day festival hasn’t disappointed with a rad mix of artists playing on multiple stages throughout the day. Aimed at those who like their hip-hop and electronica, The First NYD is curated by the directors that brought the globally renowned ‘Piknic Electronik’ to Australian shores and features New York rapper Action Bronson alongside Aussie favourites The Presets. Nurse your NYE hangover with a few quiet froths while watching some spectacular artists on what should be a thrilling day of tunes.
Lineup: Action Bronson, M.I.A., The Presets, Banoffee, Bloody Mary, Bob Moses and more
Where: Sidney Myer Music Bowl, VIC
When: January 1
Now in its second year, this multi-city event has become one of the must-attend festivals of the summer. Catering for the hip-hop and R&B crowd next year’s festival is headlined by self-proclaimed Queen of Rap Nicki Minaj, brothers Rae Sremmurd and producer Mura Masa. There’s only one stage so no fear of clashes and plenty of food and drink on offer. FOMO have also teamed with music charity Heaps Decent and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, donating one dollar from every ticket sold to both organisations, meaning you’ll also be helping the less fortunate while enjoying some great music.
Lineup: Nicki Minaj, Rae Sremmurd, Mura Masa, Amine, Kali Uchis, San Holo and more
Where: Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne
When: January 5, 6, 12 & 13
MONA FOMA Festival
Having experienced Tassie’s Dark MOFO festival last winter I’ve no doubt the summer version is just as eye-opening. Held in Launceston for the first time this eight-day cultural festival plays host to some top international and local musical acts alongside art and cultural displays. The notorious Faux Mo rave event returns Friday and Saturday night, and as always, the lineup remains under wraps. MONA FOMA is a great way to experience a summer festival while also checking out the sights of Tassie. Highly recommend.
Lineup: Neneh Cherry, Underworld, Julia Holter, Courtney Barnett and more
Where: Launceston, TAS
When: January 13 – 20
If you enjoy dressing up in bright colours and getting loose to doof music then Rainbow Serpent is the festival for you. Taking place over the Australia Day long weekend this multi-stage dance party features over 100 producers, bands and DJ’s alongside art exhibitions, markets, performance artists and all manner of weird and wonderful events. Now in its 20th year, Rainbow Serpent is an unforgettable experience for all your senses.
Lineup: Nick Warren, Aliji, CloZee, Kodiak Kid, Simon Murphy and more
Where: Lexton, VIC
When: January 25 – 28
Rolling Loud Australia
Sydney gets one over Melbourne in the festival stakes next year with the debut of Rolling Loud Australia. The biggest hip-hop festival in America finally makes its way down under for what is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience. Although the lineup is a little sparse, more acts are expected to be announced in the New Year, joining headliner Future and Soundcloud rap favourites Lil Uzi Vert and Smokepurpp.
Lineup: Future, Lil Uzi Vert, Tyga, Playboi Carti, Smokepurpp, Manu Crooks and more
Where: Sydney Olympic Park, NSW
When: January 27
Secret Garden Festival
Described as “a 48-hour forest disco,” Secret Garden Festival is a fantastic boutique party known for its community feel that features a diverse lineup of Aussie acts. Celebrating its 10th birthday next year the festival will consist of eight different stages of entertainment, the opportunity to consume a banquet feast and a formal themed fancy dress party on the Friday. What’s even better, the alcohol profits go to a variety of charities so you can get reckless knowing you’re drinking is helping others.
Lineup: DZ Deathrays, Holy Holy, Ecca Vandal, Lanks, Stella Donnelly and more
Where: Brownlow Hill, NSW
When: February 22 -23