Time to start thinking about what stripe of fun you want to have over New Years, cats. Here is our round-up of all the best live music festivals during December, Australia-wide.
Subsonic Music Festival
Why should I go?: Workshops, spectacular dance performances and a healing area form the central village of Subsonic, the attendees of which always have the most elaborate costumes out. There’s a focus on electronic music, and this year they’ve confirmed reggae and dubstep iconoclast Lee “Scratch” Perry.
When is it?: 2-4 December, 2016
Where is it?: Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley Resort, Barrington Tops, NSW
Who’s playing?: Lee Scratch Perry meets The Mad Professor, Seth Troxler, Ben UFO, Josh Wink, One Day, Horrorshow, Machinedrum, Jimmy Edgar, Spit Syndicate, Jackie Onasis, Daedbeat feat. Tikiman, Wookie, Oro Carey, DJ Bone, The Correspondants, Sonia Moonear, The Mole, Lawrence, Alexkid, Dana Ruh, Archie Hamilton, Peak & Swift, Grouch, Honey Dijon, Rainbow Chan, Beddermann & Dahlmann, Madmotormiquel, Kingtide, Trinity (live), Claire Morgan, Bakoomba, Gambirra Mob, many more…
More info?: subsonicmusic.com.au
Meredith Music Festival (sold-out, but don’t worry)
Why should I go?: You absolutely, 100%, no bleating, must go to Meredith at least once in your life. 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. Although it’s already sold-out, there are lots of options; keep an eye on Facebook, Gumtree and especially your community radio stations (they often organise last minute sale forums where you can snap up a ticket if someone is selling theirs).
When is it?: 9-11 December 2016
Where is it?: Merideth Supernatural Ampitheatre, Meredith, VIC
Who’s playing?: Peaches, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Sheila E., Angel Olsen, Badbadnotgood, The Triffids, Kelela, Ben UFO, Japandroids, The Congos, Baroness, Archie Roach, Jagwar Ma, Mount Liberation Unlimited, Chiara Kickdrum, Cass McCombs, The Goon Sax, Ross Wilson, CC: Disco!, Cable Ties, Wilson Tanner, Silence Wedge, The Sugarcanes, Terry, Judith Lucy, Sheer Mag, Dungen.
More info?: 2016.mmf.com.au
Why should I go?: 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.
When/where is it?: 28-31 December 2016 – Lorne, VIC (sold-out)
29-31 December 2016 – Marion Ba,y TAS
31 Dec 2016 – 2 Jan 2017 – Byron Bay, NSW
7-8 January 2017 – Freemantle, WA
Who’s playing?: Childish Gambino, London Grammar, The Avalanches, Violent Soho, Mitch Corby, Alison Wonderland*, Catfish and the Bottlemen*, Fat Freddy’s Drop*, Ta-Ku, The Rubens*, The Jezabels, Ball Park Music, Grouplove, Bernard Fanning*, Jamie T, Broods, Tkay Maidza*, Grandmaster Flash, Illy, MØ, Hot Dub Time Machine, DMA’s, AlunaGeorge, Booka Shade, Current Liaison, Vallis Alps, Parquet Courts, City Calm Down, LDRU*, Modern Baseball, Tired Lions*, Remi*, RY X, Marlon Williams*, Lemaitre, Shura. (* not playing Freemantle)
More info?: fallsfestival.com.au
Beyond The Valley
Why should I go?: 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.
When is it?: 28 Dec 2016 – 1 Jan 2017
Where is it?: Lardner Park, VIC
Who’s playing?: Alex Lahey, Bag Raiders, Bakermat, Chance The Rapper, Dena Amy, DUNE RATS, DZ Deathrays, Eats Everything, Emma Louise, Giraffage, GoldLink, Harts, Hermitude, Highasakite, Hot Chip, Hudson Mohawke, Japanese Wallpaper, Jarryd James music, Jme, Kllo, Kölsch, Ladyhawke, Lastlings, LUNICE, Montaigne, Motez, MSTRKRFT, Oliver Huntemann, Paces, Pachanga Boys, Hippie Dance, Phantogram, Running Touc, Ryan Hemsworth, SAFIA, Skream, SLUMBERJACK, Sonny Fodera, Sticky Fingers, Thundamentals, TOKiMONSTA, Total Giovanni, Vera Blue, Wafia, What So Not, ZHU.
More info?: beyondthevalley.com.au
Festival of The Sun
Why should I go?: 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 Maquarie beach. You can’t poke a stick at that, nor the very grunge and hip hop-inflected line-up these guys have put together.
When is it?: 8-10 December 2016
Where is it?: Beachfront, Riverside, “Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park” – 1 Munster Street Port Macquarie
Who’s playing?: Gang of Youths, Seth Sentry, The Smith Street Band, Dune Rats, Urthboy, Montaigne, Boo Seeka, Luca Brasi, Tash Sultana, L-Fresh The Lion, Sahara Beck, The Lulu Raes, Patrick James, Middle Kids, Bec Sandridge, Good Boy, West Thebarton Brothel Party, Dumb Punts, Gold Member, Planet.
More info?: fotsun.com
NYE on the Hill
Why should I go?: This one is for those in the indie know; you’ve got your cult-followed local bands, your carefully-curated ticket numbers, and just look at that pozzie – you don’t get more idyllic than that.
When is it?: 30 Dec 2016 – 1 Jan 2017
Where is it?: The Farm, Loch, VIC
Who’s playing?: The Preatures, Pierce Brothers, Tash Sultana, The Bennies, Dylan Joel, L-Fresh The Lion, The Belligerents, Sex on Toast, Mosquito Coast, Columbus, Camp Cope, Ceres, Oh Pep!, Mesa Cosa, 30/70, Friendships, A.D.K.O.B, Man Made Mountain, Alice Ivy, The Fabric, Theme Team, The Outdoor Type, Horace Bones, Jamatar, Dream Fatigue.
More info?: nyeonthehill.com.au
Why should I go?: Featuring the famous Medicine Wheel (Shamanic healing, intuitive massages, Tarot readings and more), Lost Paradise is all about getting closer to nature and your body – while experiencing some absolutely excellent music and visual art. Wellbeing is king, so get your robes on.
When is it?: 29-31 December 2016
Where is it?: Glenworth Valley, NSW
Who’s playing?: Sticky Fingers, Flight Facilities, Heidi, Hudson Mohawke, Eats Everything, Hot Chip (DJ Set), Gang of Youths, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Bad//Dreems, Betty & Oswald, Big Scary, Doorly, Dro Carey, Flower Trauck, Harts, Harvey Sutherand & Bermuda, Human Movement, Kllo, Kölsch, Leon Vynehall, Luke Million, Lunice, Mark Pritchard, Methyl Ethel, Montaigne, Mosquito Coast, Mossy, Motez, No Zu, Ocean Alley, Optimo, Planet, Set Mo, Skream, The Belligerents, Wild Honey, Young Franco.
More info?: lostparadise.com.au
Why should I go?: If you’re familiar with the west of our great brown land, you know Southbound is the cream of the WA festival crop. However, it’s also supremely worth taking a trip for; the grounds are always meticulously curated with awesome installations and booze ‘n’ food pop-ups, and you are guaranteed a damn sweaty good time.
When is it?: 27-29 December 2016
Where is it?: Sir Stewart Bovell Park, Bussleton, WA
Who’s playing?: Boo Seeka, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Dena Amy, Discovery: Daft Punk Tribute, Elk Road, Grrl Pal, Hermitude, Hideous SUn Demon, Highasakite, Hot Chip (DJ Set), Hudson Mohawke, HWLS, Hydraulix, Just A Gent, Klue, Koi Child, Kucka, Ladyhawke, Lilt, Luke Million, Mathas, Montaigne, Mosquito Coast, MSTRKRFT, Nicole Millar, Nina Las Vegas, Odd Mob, Paces, Peking Duk, Phantogram, Remi, Running Touch, SAFIA, San Cisco, Set Mo, Slumberjack, Sticky Fingers, The Bennies, The Cat Empire, The Smith Street Band, Throttle, Thundamentals, Time Pilot, Tired Lion, UV Boi, Vera Blue, ZHU
More info?: southboundfestival.com.au
[All photographs and video from official websites of each festival.]