If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. These guys have their formulas down to a fine art and have been pedalling some of life’s simplest pleasures for years: great music and the great outdoors.
The Falls Music & Arts Festival
Falls has been ringing in the New Year since 1993. This year the likes of Alt-J, Asgeir, The Presets and Spiderbait will perform across its three sites in Lorne, Marion Bay and Byron Bay. There are still tickets for the Tassie jaunt and, with its main stage overlooking the bay, we reckon it’s the best one.
December 28–January 1, Lorne, VIC
December 29–January 1, Marion Bay, TAS
December 30–January 3, Byron, NSW
Those who have ever wrangled hopelessly over a stage clash will enjoy Golden Plains’ one-stage policy. Watch Banoffee, Conor Oberst, Courtney Barnett, DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist, Something for Kate and Village People (yes, Village People!) from the comfort of your own couch (if you bring one) in the festival’s Supernatural Amphitheatre.
March 7–9 2015, Meredith, VIC
Byron Bay Bluesfest
Byron Bay’s blues and roots music festival is entering its 26th year and acts young and old come from far and wide to celebrate. Lenny Kravitz has recently been added to a line-up that includes The Black Keys, Gipsy Kings and Mexican guitar mavericks Rodrigo y Gabriela.
April 2–6, Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay, NSW
What exactly constitutes a boutique festival? Interactive experiences that go beyond the call-and-response of a traditional event? Luxury camping? Fancy food? Here are some that fit that bill.
The name Ourimbah might not have the same cultural resonance as Woodstock or Glastonbury, but it was here in 1970 that Australia saw its first rock festival. Fast forward four decades and we find the inaugural Lost Paradise taking place in nearby Peats Ridge, promising not only live music, but yoga, circus and woodland feasting.
December 30–January 1, Glenworth Valley, NSW
Mountain Sounds Festival
The Central Coast is having a moment: the sustainable Mountain Sounds Festival takes place one hour north of Sydney, with the Mount Penang Parklands providing a vibrant landscape in which to showcase an all-Australian line-up that includes The Griswolds, The Jungle Giants and Daniel Lee Kendall.
Saturday February 21, Mount Penang Parklands, Kariong, NSW
A Festival Called Panama
Might you be one of 1000 ticketholders to travel to a small-batch cider brewery in Tasmania for a weekend of garage, soul, folk and psych bands – with pop-up cabarets, candle lit bars and late-night vinyl soul clubs for good measure? A Festival Called Panama is creating a stir in the forest.
March 7–8, Golconda, Tasmania
FOR ONE DAY ONLY
Want your festival fix fast and furious without having to forgo showers for three days? A one-day affair in the heart of the city sounds just up your (ahem) laneway.
Sugar Mountain is described as Melbourne’s summit of music and art, its progressive line-up spanning countries and genres. Danish punk outfit Iceage perform alongside American chillwave musician Ariel Pink while local acts include King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Midnight Juggernauts, who reveal new audiovisual show MJX Pty Ltd.
January 24, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne
St Jerome's Laneway Festival
It’s grown somewhat since the first Laneway Festival occupied Melbourne’s Caledonian Lane in 2004. Ten years later you can catch some of the most dynamic alternative acts doing the circuit – from St. Vincent and Seekae, Future Islands and Flight Facilities to Jungle and Jon Hopkins – in five cities across Australia.
February 1, Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney
February 7, Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne
Future Music Festival
Future Music Festival sees Drake perform in Australia for the first time and The Prodigy appear live 20 years after the release of its seminal album Music for the Jilted Generation. Two very good reasons to check out this one-day affair at one of its pit stops.
February 28, Royal Randwick Racecourse, Sydney
March 8, Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
So Frenchy So Chic
For its third year in Melbourne, the family friendly festival has an inspired line-up of French artists, gourmet food hampers and flowing champagne. Electronic composer and singer Émilie Simon, French-Finnish electro folk duo, The Dø and pop-punk band La Femme will all play and gourmet picnic hampers and curated picnic boxes will be filled with baguettes, Provençal pork belly and deserts. January 17, St John's College, Sydney
January 11, Werribee Mansion, Melbourne
For those who’d rather digest their culture like grown-ups without the aid of a goon sack.
Mofo has carved itself a niche in the Australian arts landscape and this year fills it with happenings as diverse as NYC experimental rock act Swans, Syria’s wedding singer/electro outfit Omar Souleyman, a large-scale inflatable sculpture of light and colour called Exxopolis and morning meditation.
January 15–18, Various Venues, Hobart
Sydney Festival needs little introduction and this year’s offering is as extensive and eclectic as we’ve come to expect. Choose from music, theatre, dance, cabaret or simply just soak up the ambience of an extended festival village over three weeks of summer.
January 8–26, Various Venues, Sydney
Adelaide Festival of Arts
There’s a lot happening in Adelaide Festival’s program. Progressive and dynamic, highlights include a celebration of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton and WOMADelaide – which sees musicians converge from across the globe.
February 27–March 15, various venues, Adelaide
Royal Croquet Club
The Royal Croquet Club will be located at Birrarung Marr in Melbourne, where for 17 days, the banks of the Yarra below Fed Square will be transformed, with a giant croquet lawn, live music, entertainment, a bar, the Australian Open on a big screen and food by way of Broadsheet.
16 January to 1 February, Birrarung Marr, Melbourne