Avoid a Fyre Festival-type disaster (2017’s music catastrophe gift that kept on giving) with our bona fide guide to the best upcoming festivals. We’ve split them into those happening right now/this weekend, those over the New Year break, those popping up in January, and a couple of brand new events in the months following.

 

THIS WEEKEND

Fairgrounds Festival

8 Dec – 9 Dec, Berry (NSW)

A whiskey club, a record fair, a pool (and free swimming lessons), a chatty music panel hosted by Myf Warhurst (starring The Shins’ James Mercer!), a second-hand market, a whittling workshop, and an enormous array of delicious food and drinks. Safe to say Fairgrounds is going to be a total belter this year. And just look at this line-up…

Who’s playing: The Shins, Gang of Youths, Future Islands, Japanese Breakfast, Noname, Didirri, You Am I, Marlon Williams, Aldous Harding, Jen Cloher, Jess Locke, D.D Dumbo, Hockey Dad, Client Liaison and more.

Fairgrounds

 

Festival Of The Sun

7 Dec – 9 Dec, Port Macquarie (NSW)

Festival of the Sun gets to call itself that because, although the sun indeed shines on us all, in this case it is shining right on Port Macquarie beach. You can’t poke a stick at that, nor the eclectic lineup on offer in ’17.

Who’s playing: The Preatures, Sampa The Great, Hatchie, Kim Churchill, Holy Holy, The Bennies, Press Club, The Cactus Channel, Maddy Jane, The Pretty Littles and more.

Festival Of The Sun

 

Meredith Music Festival

8 Dec – 10 Dec, Meredith (VIC)

There’s only one stage so you never miss anything due to clashes, you can bring all your own stuff (food, booze, couch, pool table, so on), and there’s a strict ‘No D-ckhead’ policy.

Who’s playing: Todd Terje & the Olsens, !!!, Future Islands, Warpaint, Downtown Boys, Aldous Harding, Big Thief, Pissed Jeans, Japanese Breakfast, RVG, The Teskey Brothers and more.

Meredith

[Header image also from MMF]

 

OVER NEW YEARS

Falls Festival

28 Dec – 31 Dec, Lorne (VIC)
29 Dec – 31 Dec, Marion Bay (SA)
31 Dec – 2 Jan, Byron Bay (NSW)
6 Jan – 7 Jan, Fremantle (WA)

Often seen as the ‘gateway festival’, Falls is one of the most beloved events amongst the live music-adoring community – it attracts some of the biggest artists we’ve ever had visit our great land, as well as the cream of our local talent.

Who’s playing: Flume, Run The Jewels, Fleet Foxes, Glass Animals, Peking Duk, The Kooks, Foster The People, Liam Gallagher, Dune Rats, The Smith Street Band, DRAM, Everything Everything, D.D Dumbo, Bad//Dreems, Julia Jacklin, Alex Lahey, Ecca Vandal and more.

Falls Festival

 

Beyond The Valley

28 Dec – 1 Jan, Lardner Park (VIC)

If you’re into your visual art, Beyond The Valley is a feast. The whole site is sprinkled with beautiful oddities of creation, and along with a great selection of artists across three stages plus some impressive food options, you can’t go wrong.

Who’s playing: Schoolboy Q, Cut Copy, Cub Sport, The Presets, Stormzy, PNAU, Mallrat, Dena Amy, Mura Masa, Moonbase and more.

Beyond The Valley

 

Lost Paradise

28 Dec – 31 Dec, Glenworth Valley (NSW)

Featuring a shedload of masterclasses and workshops (Shamanic healing, intuitive massages, Tarot readings, yoga, acrobatics, a pile more), Lost Paradise is all about getting closer to nature and your body – while experiencing some absolutely excellent music and visual art.

Who’s playing: Little Dragon, DMA’s, Client Liaison, Matt Corby, Meg Mac, Cut Copy, San Cisco, Tourist, Middle Kids, Skeggs, Roland Tings, GL, Jack River, Alex the Astronaut and more.

Lost Paradise

 

IN THE NEW YEAR

So Frenchy So Chic

12 Jan, Pinky Flat, Adelaide (SA)
14 Jan, Werribee Park, Melbourne (VIC)
20 Jan, Bicentennial Park Glebe, Sydney (NSW)

You could easily go to SFSC just to loll on the grass with a champagne and one of the fest’s historically spectacular picnic hampers (there’s vegetarian and gluten-free options, along with the usual metric ton of cheese and charcuterie for the rest of us), but the beloved event – now in three cities – has also secured some brilliant French acts: stylish and incessantly merry rapper/singer Féfé, slick indie dream-pop trio Juniore, jazz-adoring soul pianist/vocalist General Elektriks, pop-goes-classical three-piece L.E.J., and in Sydney and Melbourne only (although they will appear in Adelaide on Jan 13), those eclectic princes of jazz-pop hearts the world over, Frànçois and the Atlas Mountains.

Who’s playing: Féfé, Juniore, General Elektriks, L.E.J., Frànçois and the Atlas Mountains.

SFSC

 

Zoo Twilights

26 Jan – 10 Mar, Melbourne Zoo (VIC)
02 Feb – 17 Mar, Taronga Zoo (NSW)

The Twilights program has an insanely grand lineup this year, helping them fight against wildlife extinction. Visit the animals, settle on the lawn with your wine and cheese (both zoos are fully licensed) and peep the talent.

Who’s playing: Peter Garrett & the Alter Egos, Kurt Vile, Liam and Neil Finn, Killing Heidi, The Living End, Jet, Martha Wainwright, Bjorn Again, Paul Dempsey, The Specials, Warpaint and more.

 

zoo twilights

 

Laneway Festival

26 Jan, Brisbane Showgrounds (QLD)
28 Jan, Footscray Community Arts Centre (VIC)
3 Feb, Art’s Hill Port Adelaide (SA)
4 Feb, Sydney College of the Arts (NSW)
5 Feb, Esplanade Reserve and West End, Fremantle (WA)

Beginning in 2005 as a live music party in one of Melbourne’s tiniest back-alleys, Laneway has exploded into an international institution with enviable sponsors and top tier artists. It continues its blessed run this year with a line-up that’ll make you cry with glee.

Who’s playing: Amy Shark, Anderson .Paak, The Internet, (Sandy) Alex G, City Calm Down, Wolf Alice, The War On Drugs, Father John Misty, Mac DeMarco, Loyle Carner, Moses Sumney, Bonobo, Alex Cameron and more.

Laneway

 

COMING UP

Download Festival

24 Mar 2018, Flemington Racecourse (VIC)

Download began in the UK midlands in 2003, and has since become the #1 day out for English (and European) heavy music fans. 2018 will be the first time it comes to Australia, and looking at the acts the organisers have secured, it’s going to do more than just scratch that Soundwave itch – it’s going to shred it to pieces.

Who’s playing: Korn, Prophets of Rage, Limp Bizkit, Mastodon, Good Charlotte, NOFX, Suicidal Tendencies, Arch Enemy, Of Mice And Men and more.

Download festival

[Image from Download Festival UK 2017]

 

Sydney City Limits

24 Feb 2018, Centennial Park (NSW)

Another brand newie for Australia, which has been lovingly molded in the shape of its revered older sister Austin City Limits. For its Sydney iteration, you’ll be loafing around the lush Centennial gardens enjoying a menu curated by beloved eateries Mary’s (Newtown) and The Unicorn Hotel (Paddington), meandering between four stages showcasing 30 acts, and perhaps stopping by the open-air gallery space which will be filled with works of photography, painting, video and street art. Also, Grace Jones.

Who’s playing: Grace Jones, Justice, Beck, The Avalanches, Phoenix, Vance Joy, Tash Sultana, Dune Rats, Gang of Youths, Car Seat Headrest and more.

Centennial Park

[This, but filled with wonderful music, food and people]