Queensland’s line-up of festivals make it an ideal time to make a trip over to the state. Whether you’re keen to wind through Fortitude Valley’s intimate music venues or set up camp near the main stages of Gympie or Woodford, here’s five festivals worth adding to your calendar.
Sunshine Coast: Gympie Music Muster
Gympie has long been home to Australia’s biggest celebration of country music outside of Tamworth, and this year’s stacked line-up makes it feel more like four festivals in a row. Running August 25–28, its headliners include Brad Cox, Troy Cassar-Daley, Lee Kernaghan, John Williamson and Kasey Chambers, while indie-friendly acts deeper down the bill include the likes of Fanny Lumsden and The Pigs. Each day also brings line dancing, bush balladeers, ukulele workshops and assorted kid-friendly programs. That all makes for a festive communal vibe, complete with camping and surroundings filled with natural beauty at every turn.
Cairns and Great Barrier Reef: Savannah in the Round
An hour’s drive inland from Cairns, the rural town of Mareeba hosts Savannah in the Round, which specialises in modern Australian country, folk and rock. Running September 30–October 2, the 2022 line-up features US country star Brad Paisley, The Waifs, Tex Perkins, Ross Wilson, Jon Stevens, Shannon Noll, Richard Clapton, Vanessa Amorosi, King Stingray, Kirsty Lee Akers, Pierce Brothers and many more. Camping and glamping options are available, and you can even bring your dog if it’s kept on a leash.
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Back in the flesh for the first time since 2019, Bigsound is celebrating its 21st birthday this year. Known to be a quintessential party and networking bonanza for the Aussie music industry, the festival will take over Brisbane on September 6–9 and turn the city into what feels like one big ongoing gig. The line-up is yet to be announced but, going by previous years, expect a genre-hopping mix of local and international artists with a strong focus on emerging acts.
Gold Coast: Bleach Festival
Bleach is a vibrant contemporary arts festival on the Gold Coast featuring live performances, workshops, art installations, and more. Set to return August 11-21, the line-up is yet to be announced ¬– but last year featured Sarah Blasko, Briggs and The Necks, so you can bet it’s worth the wait. In the meantime, Bleach has been sourcing story submissions from the community for a Home Grown Opera project, in partnership with Opera Queensland.
Brisbane: Woodford Folk Festival
One of Australia’s music institutions, the Woodford is a nearly week-long celebration taking place on December 27-January 1. While the 2022 line-up hasn’t been confirmed, the performers are just one part of the appeal – Woodford is based around community and culture, with a specific vision that sees punters planting rainforest trees and other greenery around makeshift village “Woodfordia”. Really, it’s a festival about losing yourself in nature with like-minded people, and some of the best musicians and songwriters around.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland.