10 of the best regional music festivals in Australia
The music festival has been a huge part of Australian live music experience for decades now. Cities and towns all across the country feature some of the greatest talent in the world and it feels like there are more events added each year.
While big touring acts tend to steer clear of touring regional Australia, a festival can be a great opportunity for those not living in cities to get a dose of great music. Why should people in the cities have all the fun? And what better way to draw people out of the city than a solid lineup in a scenic setting?
Big Red Bash - QLD
Birdsville, QLD (10-12 July 2018)
Birdsville, population 140. Claiming to be "the world's most remote festival", this is a mighty line up on the edge of the Simpson desert. There's also desert drag races and indigenous craft workshops. Kids 11 and under are free and there's family camping too.
2018 headliners: John Farnham, Hoodoo Gurus, The Angels, Daryl Braithwaite, Kate Ceberano
Barunga Festival - NT
Barunga, NT (8-10 June 2018)
Set in a small aboriginal community, Barunga celebrates the best of remote Indigenous Australia. This festival is drug and alcohol free. You can bring the kids, but be warned there is a creek in place of a shower block.
2017 headliners: Missy Higgins, Skinny Fish Sound System, Justine Clarke
Babylon Festival - VIC
Carapooee West, VIC (23-25 February 2018)
This festival kicked off in 2017 in the middle of Victoria’s north-west wilderness. Or as the organisers describe it “the corner of perception and reality.” Expect techno, psytrance, trip- hop and deep house. 18+ only.
2018 Headliners: Agents of Time, Atish, Avalon, Burn in Noise, Carl Cox
Nannup Music Festival - WA
Nannup, WA (2-5 March 2018)
There’s bush poetry, an Art Walk, jam sessions and a Family Fun area. This festival's got a strong connection with indigenous music too. Nannup is part of the Noongar Boodjar lands.
2017 headliners: Tash Sultana, Skinny Fish Sound System, Southern River Band
Vanfest - NSW
Forbes, Central West NSW (1-2 December 2017)
Vanfest was designed to draw more people out to the regions and it's got the perfect line-up to do so. 18+ only.
2017 lineup: Amy Shark, Tash Sultana, Dean Lewis, Ali Barter, San Sisco
Party In The Paddock - TAS
Burns Creek, TAS (8 - 11 February 2018)
An extra day has been added to Party In The Paddock for 2018, most likely to cater for the amazing and extensive line-up. Kids are more than welcome and if they're under 12 then they will get in for free.
2018 headliners: Grouplove, Gang of Youths, The Avalanches, Meg Mac
The Handpicked Festival - SA
Langhorne Creek, SA (11 November 2017)
It’s at the Lake Breeze Wines vineyard and there’s also a Cocktail Forrest, a food tasting trial and a little shopping land. Kids under 12 go free.
2017 headliners: Matt Corby, Jet, San Cisco, The Jezabels
Strawberry Fields - NSW
Tocumwal, Southern Riverina NSW (7-19 November 2017)
Four stages and a lineup of electronic artists from Australia and abroad. There's also a tea lounge among the Ghost Gums and the "Playa Del Murray". There's glamping options if you feel like being luxurious. 18+ only.
2017 line up: Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project, Sampology, Peggy Gou
Woodford Folk Festival - QLD
Woodford, Moreton Bay Region QLD (27 December 2017 - 1 January 2018)
Strap in for six days at one of the oldest festival's in Australia. There's pretty much an entire festival for kids within the Woodford event, and there's no risk of getting bored.
2017 headliners: John Butler Trio, Kate-Miller Heidke, Sampa The Great
Groovin The Moo - National
Maitland, Townsville, Bendigo, Wayville, Canberra, Bunbury (April/May)
Perhaps the biggest regional festival going around. Groovin The Moo grabs some of the hottest acts on the planet and puts them on a touring scehdule that many artists never get to experience. It's a great initiative that allows younger people living in regional Australia a chance to see the bands they've been thrashing all year long.
2017 headliners: Violent Soho, The Darkness, Metyl Ethel