TOP FIVES: Boutique Festivals

It’s no secret that over the past few years, some of Australia’s most popular festivals have suffered from average ticket sales. People will blame the price, the quality and originality of the line up, the competition, or a combination of the three as the reasons why the mainstream music festival market has struggled so greatly.

With the downfall of large-scale music events in Australia, it has opened up an opportunity for a boutique market. Instead of forking out at least $130 to see a bunch of acts that live music enthusiasts, including myself, have most likely seen before at some point, we have been prepared to try our luck and check out artists that are almost completely unknown to us.

Some of my personal boutique festival experiences have been much more memorable than seeing a huge act that I’ve loved for years at a huge commercialised inner city festival. As soon as you enter the venue of these niche events, there is a certain vibe between the punters, as though the friendship has been there for half a decade. Everyone attending has a very positive attitude towards both the music and the people and aren’t they the primary reasons why we (should) attend music festivals in the first place?

Without further ado, I give you Australia’s top five boutique music festivals for you to explore, discover your new favourite artists and get to know your new best friends.

OUTSIDEIN FESTIVAL (NSW)

Date: November 10, 2012
Line Up: SMOKE DZA, OLIVER TANK, HTRK, FLUME, SHIGETO, AFRICA HITECH, EVENINGS, COLLARBONES, POLOGRAPHIA, FISHING, LV + more
Basic Rundown: Astral People, the organisers of this event, are well known for their ridiculously great taste in music. They are that trustworthy that people are happy to buy a ticket without having any idea what the artists playing will even sound like. To me, that’s pretty damn special.
www.outsideinfestival.com

SUBSONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL (NSW)

Date: December 7-10 2012
Line Up: DJ KENTARO, CHRISTIAN MARTIN, NICO STOJAN, CATZ N DOGZ, ADULTNAPPER, WORTHY + more
Basic Rundown: BYO beverages to witness some of the world’s best underground DJs in a beautiful location. What more do you need for the most amazing party ever?
www.subsonicmusic.com.au

THE GUM BALL (NSW)

Date: April 2013
Line Up: TBA
Basic Rundown:  Remember those bush camping trips in high school? Imagine that, minus being told what to do and with some of the best blues, funk and indie acts performing live at a private gathering.
www.thegumball.com.au

ALL TOMORROW’S PARTIES (VIC)

Date: February 16 & 17, 2013
Line Up: MY BLOODY VALENTINE, GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR, SWANS, THEE OH SEES, THE DRONES, BEASTS OF BOURBON, LOST ANIMAL + more
Basic Rundown: Dear music nerds, this is the only festival you need to go to for the whole year. If you love your underground indie and rock music, this is the one for you!
www.atpfestival.com/events/australia2013.php

MEREDITH MUSIC FESTIVAL (VIC)

DATE: December 7-9, 2012
Line Up: PRIMAL SCREAM, SPIRITUALIZED, FOUR TET, GRIMES, REGURGITATOR, TURBONEGRO, SUNNYBOYS, CHET FAKER, POND + more
Basic Rundown: A merry death to those who come from far and wide to witness the wonders of the supernatural amphitheatre, to taste the treasured pink flamingos and to dance…like you’ve never danced before.
www.mmf.com.au

SPECIAL MENTION: WONDERLAND (WA)

Late December, 2012
Lineup: Drops Sept 25th
Past events have included: CUT COPY, SPARKADIA, VAN SHE, PARACHUTE YOUTH, FLUME, STRANGE TALK, INDIAN SUMMER & More
www.metricpromotions.com

Words by Tony Kingston, check out his street on POSSE.COM

About:

During the week Tony works in a busy retail corporate office. Once day becomes night, there’s a good chance you’ll see him at a gig or DJing at a house party.