Australia is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s the first country I visited on the backpacking trip that would forever change my life.
You better believe part of that life changing year included some parties, and some of the best parties took place at music festivals around the country. I still remember Stereosonic 2010 in Melbourne like it was yesterday. It might be one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to!
Australia is known for having not only some of the best music but also some of the best music festivals on the planet. If you’re spending any time there, you definitely don’t want to miss these upcoming music festivals in Australia.
1. MONA FOMA
Where: Hobart, Tasmania
Why: MONA FOMA, also referred to as ‘MOFO’ by some, takes place every year in Tasmania. Unlike other upcoming music festivals in Australia, this one is a little more diverse. It’s a contemporary festival, featuring not only singers and bands, but dancers, performances, visual arts, and more. The festival was started by Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes, a man who definitely appreciated all kinds of music. Whether you like a little punk or prefer some classical orchestra, this festival has got it all.
Stay: Hobart YHA
Where: Busselton, WA
Why: If you’re looking for something a little more groovy, the Southbound Music Festival is calling your name. Located on the Western Australian coastline, this festival isn’t just about the music. The entire weekend features markets, food trucks, and tons of people just camping out having a good time. The line-up is pretty sweet, so you can be sure to feel the good vibes while chillin’ out with new and old friends.
Stay: Dunsborough YHA
3. Sydney Festival
Where: Sydney (obviously)
Why: If you happen to be in Australia during summertime, then make sure to head to Sydney for the Sydney Festival. Similar to MOFO, this festival doesn’t just appeal to one kind of audience, but welcomes all interests with hundreds of events including performers from all over the world. Everything from contemporary music to drama shows are done here, and it’s more than enough to keep the 500,000 people who come here every year well-entertained.
Stay: Sydney Central YHA | Sydney Harbour YHA | Railway Square YHA
4. St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Where: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle
Why: 10 years ago, St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival started in a tiny Melbourne laneway, hosting local indie bands. Since 2005, the music festival has expanded, and can be found in five Australian cities, as well as other cities around the world. The music festival showcases up-and-coming local talents as well as big international names, so get your tickets now!
Stay: Melbourne Central YHA | Sydney Central YHA | Brisbane City YHA | Adelaide Central YHA | Fremantle Prison YHA
5. Byron Bay Bluesfest
When: March (Long Easter Weekend)
Where: Byron Bay
Why: Bluesfest is “Australia’s Premier Blues & Roots Festival,” and it’s been attracting festival-goers for nearly thirty years. Taking place on the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm in Byron Bay, there’ll be more than enough space for you and your friends to feel the beat. There are over two hundred performances including your favorite artists, like John Mayer, John Legend & BB King, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and many others. Camp out and enjoy the food stalls, market stalls, and beer gardens. There’s even children entertainment areas so the entire family can join in on the fun.
Stay: Byron Bay YHA
6. Groovin’ The Moo
When: April and May
Where: Maitland, Canberra, Oakbank, Bendigo, Townsville, Bunbury (all NSW)
Why: If the name of this music festival alone doesn’t intrigue you enough, then come on by to see what Groovin’ The Moo is all about. Though this music festival isn’t quite as large or well known as the others in Australia, it has taken off over the last decade by featuring some pretty big names. The festival has great vibes and you might end up following it to every city it goes.
Stay: Canberra City YHA | Hunter Valley YHA (30 mins from Maitland) | Bunbury YHA
7. Splendour in the Grass
Where: Byron Bay
Why: This Australian music festival was started as a way of providing entertainment during the months when music festivals in Australia aren’t as prevalent; it didn’t take long for the festival to become popular. At first, it was only a day, but now it lasts for three. Splendour in the Grass features artists from many genres, including alternative, rap, electronic, rock, metal, and punk. With such variety, it’s no surprise that the festival has won awards for its amazing line-ups over the years.
Stay: Byron Bay YHA
When: November – December
Where: Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne
Why: Stereosonic is the ultimate electronic music festival held throughout several cities in Australia every year. If you like house music vibes like me, you’ll feel right at home at Stereosonic. Because this genre is becoming more and popular in Australia and across the world, it’s no surprise that Stereosonic draws more and more people from around the world each year. With an awesome line-up featuring local and international names, it’s definitely an experience you’ll never forget.
Stay: Brisbane City YHA | Adelaide Central YHA | Perth City YHA | Sydney Central YHA | Melbourne Central YHA
9. Falls Festival
When: December – January
Where: Lorne, VIC, Marion Bay, TAS, Yelgun, NSW
Why: The Falls Music & Arts Festival happens for several days over New Year’s every year. The music festival is held in several cities, though originally it was only held in Lorne and then it only lasted a day. The festival has announced its incredible line-up for this year, and it includes artists you love, like Bloc Party, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Foals, Disclosure, and Gary Clark Jr. You don’t have any conflicting plans for NYE this year, do you? Of course not!
Stay: Apollo Bay YHA | Hobart YHA
This was an editorial collaboration with YHA, Australia’s premier hostelling network. All text and opinions remain my own.