The magic & euphoria of Subsonic Music Festival, ten years on

One week on, and we’re still absolutely reeling from another stellar edition of SUBSONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL. Set in the lush greenery of the idyllic Riverwood Downs, Subsonic brings together an eclectic and eccentric bunch of music loving weirdos. And we can assure you that this year, their 10th year anniversary special was certainly no exception.

It’s often difficult to express exactly what it is that makes a music festival such as Subsonic so special. There’s always a few key things that we feel will help elucidate why we feel that it’s the perfect way to punctuate the beginning of Summer.

A mere three and a bit hour drive north of Sydney, Subsonic could not feel farther from real life. For us, good festivals bring together a lot of good core elements. One of the more fantasy elements of a well curated camping festival is total escapism. At Subsonic, this is achieved by creating an environment that feels completely different to the norm. A space that feels like it can only exist in a parallel universe to our 9 to 5 lives. In this festival space we are allowed to explore alternate realities, and to function on different frequencies.

At Subsonic the freedom of expression that punters are allowed is truly liberating. Stomping and dancing with these incredible people, we are already subconsciously breaking through some of those barriers of stress and anxiety that we’ve all had built up.

Subsonic goes beyond the escapist festival model. At its core Subsonic is about community, a group of like minded music lovers, artists, and community minded individuals that understand the type of impact that arts and culture has on not only shaping, but connecting humans. I have met some of my closest friends on the sweaty dance floor. But the people of Subsonic are my absolute favourite freaky crowd to get down with. The types of people that come together on the Subsonic dancefloor are unlike anyone you meet in your usual bar or club, it’s euphoric.

Music is the core foundation for each Subsonic Music event. Each year various crews bring together, diverse sounds through meticulously planning. Five unique stages provide a platform to showcase a strong mix of locals and international acts. These stages include, the PARADISO, PIZZA LAB, EL STOMPO, THE RIVERSTAGE and of course THE MAIN STAGE. Across each of the days, there was a total smorgasboard of music to suit all tastes.

Some of the stand out moments came from some of the Sydney locals that were booked, such as IRONGATE SOUND who dropped a wobbly reggae & dub infused set on a scorching Sunday at the Paradiso Stage. Pizza Lab turned up the heat with a mix of locals such as KALI, SIMON CALDWELL, KATO & COSMIC BOOGIE all playing techno bangers, disco and some warm fuzzy house. One of our absolute favourite stages at the festival has always been The Riverstage. This year was certainly no exception with a few really fun sets featuring on the stage over the weekend, including ALICE D HUNT, a local artist that made his Subsonic debut.

Curated by Sydney’s DUNGEON CREW some other favourites featured at the stage included RUINS, and of course the incredible DJRUM – who managed to blow the lid off of everybody. For those who prefer something a little slower, there were outstanding performances from TRUE VIBE NATION, as well as KID FICTION and local Indigenous dance crews.

The stand out set of the festival came from none other than HONEY DIJON – an incredible artist from the States that always plays a fun mix of soul, house and techno. After her debut set at the Riverstage in 2016, there was definitely a high bar set. But Honey definitely came through. She had the main stage packed to the rafters for an exhilarating and totally unifying final sweat session.

Subsonic Festival manages to tick so many boxes. We really like how the team has invested so much into developing a long term sustainability model for the event. We can see that a great deal of effort has been put into reducing the environmental impact of such a large scale event. And that the organisers genuinely value the breathtaking landscape that their event takes place.

After 10 years, SUBSONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL still manages to bring together a massive, and very diverse audience. They really manage to marry the unique environmental elements such as the river with its distinct cultural happenings. While it was definitely a good time, we definitely appreciate when Subs artists get really freaky and drop some out of this world music. Mind you, we were out there dancing our buts off the entire time. And there were some absolute belters that we hadn’t experienced in any club before.

We look forward to another 10 years of hedonistic magic. Catch you next year Subsonic Music Festival.

Photo by Duncographic

Words by Rosie Rae





You may have caught some of my awkward banter on air at FBi or Bondi Beach Radio radio; however I work work behind the scenes mostly, developing content and formatting programs. Equally passionate about social issues, the arts and raving on weekends. Rose and repartee are my forte.