Top 5 Music Festivals in Australia

by Daria Winters
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music festivals

Music festivals are events that stay with you for the rest of your life. They combine music with a fierce atmosphere and some great socializing. It’s like they’re super-parties for the musically-inclined. However, there are tons of them to choose in Australia, so where do we go? I can’t give you a simple answer since it depends on your taste. However, here are a five music festivals in Australia I’ve visited that I think are interesting enough on their own to warrant a visit.


If you’re a big fan of the underground electronic scene in Australia, you’ll probably already familiar with Subsonic Music Festival. It’s one of those gigs that stick by the underground and indie scene no matter what. For those that are unfamiliar with the festival, now is the perfect time to get acquainted with it. It’s one of those experiences that every big fan of electronic music needs to have.

As per the words of the organizers – it’s a place for creativity to bloom. It’s not just about the music, either. The scenery does wonders for enhancing the electronic music festival experience. It’s located in rural Riverwood Down, but the festival sticks out like a sore thumb in the rural backdrop. When you visit, you’ll be greeted by some flamboyant and psychedelic visual elements which complement the music. Visiting is a bit like entering into a psychedelic portal full of vivid and colourful imagery.

As a big fan of electronic music, Subsonic music festivals truly feels like a blessing. Not only does it get revered legends to perform, but it also seeks out some very underground artists to help give them a push.

Rainbow Serpent

Culture and history aren’t the first words to come to mind when music festivals come up in a conversation, but they really should be. Rainbow Serpent seems to be changing this with the cultural themes they use to improve the festival experience. It’s a festival that takes its name from an important aboriginal creation figure.

Personally, I wasn’t all that familiar with much of aboriginal culture, but Rainbow Serpent did pique my interest quite a bit. It’s a festival that tries its best to be in tune with nature, spirituality, and environmentalism. It aims to achieve complete sustainability during the three days that it’s held.

While the focus is on the music, the festival also incorporates aboriginal traditions and history during its line-up that lasts twenty-four hours. If you happen to swing by Lexton on the twenty-fourth of January, you might see artists such as Patrick Topping and Matador.

Bluesfest in Byron Bay

When the seasonal blues hit you, it’s best to just roll with them and vibe with some appropriate music. If you’re into the Blues scene, you’re going to love the aptly named Bluesfest in Byron Bay. It has previously billed itself as the premier contemporary Blues & Roots music festival of Australia. Still staying true to its name and reputation, it hosts many Blues legends to this day.

Even if you’re not the biggest Blues fan, you’re going to love some of the musical offerings that are featured that stray from the genre a bit. The likes of Iggy Pop and Kendrick Lamar have graced the stages of Bluesfest. Bending the rules a tiny bit doesn’t seem to hurt their attendance, though. It’s not uncommon for the festival to have crowds of over a hundred thousand going strong, meaning they seem to hit the right notes with their picks.

Grapevine Gathering

Festivals aren’t just about music. They are also great social events where people from different cultures and countries can come together and enjoy some good vibes. When these vibes are combined with food, wine, and a picturesque natural backdrop, you have yourself a Grapevine Gathering.

It’s a festival where you can listen to some relaxing indie and alternative favourites while still jamming out to dance hits occasionally. Sit back, have some wood-fired classic pizza and meet other like-minded people. It’s not usually my forte, but lots of friends recommended it for finding some friends and possibly a date. It’s a great social event that is often recommended by matchmaking experts. Even if you’re a bit of an introvert, the laid-back atmosphere can help quite a bit.

Origin Fields Festival

If you enjoy some good New Year’s parties, Origin Fields Festival might just be right up your alley. It’s without a doubt Western Australia’s biggest New Year’s festival, which boasts a pretty powerful line-up. Here, you’ll find everything from indie to metal music, while also featuring everything in between. In the past few years, it has featured popular hit-makers such as M.I.A. and Cardi B. You won’t be hard-pressed to find some more “out there” names, either. Seeing Khalid sing live was a treat, it’s even better than the radio, to be honest.

Formerly known as Origin NYE, Origin Fields Festivals has changed its location and concept since 2018. As a festival, there’s a lot more flexibility than there was as a simple NYE party. It now lasts two days instead of a single night, meaning it can accommodate a larger number of artists without being tight on the timeline.

While the location and name have changed, you can be sure that some crucial parts have stayed the same. For one, the dedication towards getting the best artists is still very much there. It’s still going strong as one of the best New Year’s parties you can find anywhere. Enter into the next year with a bang during this wonderful party. It always starts on December 31st, as you might expect from a New Year’s party.

This Year, Visit Music Festivals in Australia

As it turns out, Australia has more than enough interesting festivals to meet every kind of music taste. You could fill a phone book with all the music festivals in Australia that boast brilliant line-ups and great scenery. Still, you have to pick a couple of them to visit this year, and why not try out some tried-and-tested examples? I knew I’d like the festivals that matched my taste, but I needed some confirmation before visiting something that’s a little bit out of my comfort zone. These festivals are the cream of the crop, so try not to miss them.

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