Our Australasian Festival Guide For Summer & Beyond
Are you tired of parting with copious amounts of your hard earned cash money to spend a day or two surging amongst sweaty bodybuilders sporting loose tank tops and bumbags, all to catch a glimpse or two of your favourite acts? Yeah, we are too.
That’s why we came up with a handpicked, compact and to-the-point bucket list of niche festivals that might have flown under your radar for this summer, with more of seeing your fave bands, and less of the sweaty dudes (unless you’re into that sort of thing).
SUBSONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL
Subsonic Music Festival is one of NSW’s best kept secrets, boasting huge electronic acts from the world over to show off their (as the name suggests) bass-heavy beats.
Just a mere 3-hour drive from Sydney’s CBD the Subsonic is a tantilizing weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the inner city, running from a Friday to Sunday with acts playing around the clock. On top of this the festival has a village area in the grounds to take care of your every need, from food and dance workshops to a soothing massage and healing center, just in case you party a little too hard.
WHERE: Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley Resort, NSW – approx. 3 hour drive from Sydney.
WHEN: 6th-8th Dec 2013
WHO: Chic feat. Nile Rodgers, Antix, Electric Empire, Salmonella Dub, LE1F, Opiuo, Zed Bias, Kelpe, True Vibenation, and more.
MEREDITH MUSIC FESTIVAL
Meredith is a 3-day extravaganza of music and shenanigans, bringing huge acts from all over the globe direct to the stage for your listening, viewing and dancing pleasure.
Similar to the Subsonic, Meredith creates a whole localized community out of it’s festival grounds and during it’s 3-day lifespan it begins to morph into it’s own world in a bubble, full of good vibes. And what’s more inviting is the festival’s explicit DICKHEAD POLICY. Basically what it says on the tin – if you’re a dickhead and don’t pull your head in, you’re outta there!
WHERE: The “Supernatural Amphitheatre”, the town of Meredith, VIC.
WHEN: 13th-15th Dec 2013
WHO: Chic ft. Nile Rodgers, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Deerhunter, Melvins, Spiderbait, Beasts Of Bourbon, Clairey Brown & The Bangin’ Rackettes, and more.
TICKETS **SOLD OUT**
WONDERLAND ‘UP THE RABBIT HOLE’ FESTIVAL
Wonderland Festival is a solid day filled to the brim with whimsy, purple Cheshire cats, tea-parties (BYO tea), and cracking good music. Still in it’s infancy, the festival has been running regularly since 2011 and has shown off nothing but good times and stellar acts, playing from a sweet main stage surrounded by lush scenery.
The event describes itself as “A boutique music festival for you to ‘lose your shit’ at.” What more do you need to know?
WHERE: Belvoir Ampitheatre, Perth, WA
WHEN: NYD (1st Jan 2014)
WHO: Peking Duk, Kite String Tangle, Sampology, Willow Beats, Indian Summer, Sable, Slumberjack, & Palace.
LET THEM EAT CAKE FESTIVAL
If you just got really hyped for Wonderland but kept reading to see that you live nowhere near Perth, don’t try to cry too much, because there is hope yet (if you’re a Victorian).
Let Them Eat Cake is a secluded garden party drenched in luxurious opulence, so much so that as the name suggests, you might think you were in some kind of futuristic electronic Versailles – depending on how much you’ve had to drink. Set across 10 acres of the gorgeous gardens at Werribee Mansion, the festival is a day of regal magnitude set to the soundtrack of eclectic cutting-edge electronic music from some of the world’s hottest acts.
WHERE: Werribee Mansion, Melbourne, VIC
WHEN: New Years Day (1st Jan 2014)
WHO: Bicep, Cyril Hahn, Digital, DJ Koze, Dusky, Eprom, Estere, Floating Points, Hypnotech, James Holden, Julio Bashmore, Kode9, LTJ Bukem, Mark Pritchard, Soul Clap, Tokimonsta, Wolf + Lamb + more.
SETS ON THE BEACH FESTIVAL
Here’s a festival series known to Western Australian locals as Sets On The Beach, not only taking the award for most literal name but also keeping the festival completely homegrown with all performing acts hailing from the land of Aus.
As it is a beach party, the scenery will obviously be a little different to the other festivals mentioned. No I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry – budgie smugglers are strictly prohibited – sorry to all you old skool Borat enthusiasts out there. Whilst the timeless Speedo ‘cock jock’ won’t be making an appearance this year, patrons are encouraged to bring inflatable toys such as beach balls – a pretty fair trade off.
WHERE: Scarborough Beach Amphitheate, Scaborough Beach, WA
WHEN: 19th Jan 2014
WHO: Lineup to be announced. Stay tuned!
Gallivanting around Australia, Auckland, Singapore [and even Detroit of recent years] sees one of the most well established boutique festivals on the planet – St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival. The one-day event will take your mind out of the music festival norm, as they exhibit their work in art schools, community centres and greenery whilst hosting a stellar lineup of fresh talent; waiting to make inevitably huge waves on our international music scene.
Showcased alongside art and market stalls, Laneway aims to please by delivering a huge buzz in a unique setting in each and every city it meets.
WHEN: 25th January – 8th February
WHERE: Singapore, Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Fremantle
WHO: Mount Kimbie, Jamie xx, Earl Sweatshirt, The Jezabels, Cloud Control, Savages., Adalita, Autre Ne Veut, Kurt Vile, Cashmere Cat, King Krule + More
CAMP A LOW HUM
Nearly every festival maintains a series of terms and conditions that the punters would rather go against – no passouts, no alcohol past the festival gates, age restrictions.. It can be a drag. Not with Camp A Low Hum.
Set in New Zealand’s beautiful Camp Wainui, the all ages festival runs for three days in early February. Not only are you able to bring your own grog, punters also have the freedom of coming and going as they see please. But why would you leave when there’s 150 artists of both the local and international scene to catch? While you’re there, take a dip in the lagoon on site or go for a bush walk amongst the partying with a bunch of your new and old friends. A serene and lively atmosphere, you’ll be taken out of reality for what could quite possibly be the highlight of your year.
WHEN: 7th – 9th February
WHERE: Camp Wainui, New Zealand
To keep you in touch with our subliminal natural environment, The Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre will see her 23rd year of festival utility. Taking place over three days in March, Golden Plains will help you nestle your well-being in tranquillity with an army of like-minded punters to catch a solid lineup hosted by one of Australia’s finest festivals.
Experiencing as much as possible, the event enforces a one stage policy so that you can catch everything it has to offer. Adamantly pushing the ‘No Dickhead’ rule, ease yourself into the magic as it unfolds over the few days of its existence.
WHEN: 8th – 10th March
WHERE: Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre
WHO: You Am I, Public Enemy, Flying Lotus, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Cut/Copy, Yo La Tengo, The Drones, Chet Faker, Seekae + More
SUGAR MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL
The inextricable link between visual art, music and partying is what Melbourne’s Sugar Mountain Festival is all about. Taking place at The Forum Theatre, become enchanted by the slew of live music available; put together by independent labels Two Bright Lakes and Wing + Gill, alongside prestigious artwork for your viewing pleasure.
A creative experience, Sugar Mountain Festival encourages the observer to identify the equal importance between these very expressive artistic platforms.
WHERE: The Forum Theatre, Melbourne