Summer is on its way, and with it comes the festival season.
If you’re starting to think about your New Year’s Eve options, a weekend of bands, wilderness and friends is a great way to go.
Start assembling the crew and stocking up on Shapes (you may have a distance to travel) – we’ll help you choose the right Australian festival to ring in 2016.
Lost Paradise, Glenworth Valley, NSW
Lockouts in Sydney are brutal, so why not trade a typical night in the concrete jungle for three nights in a real, lush one. Set among the green hills of Glenworth Valley (about an hour north of Sydney) the festival’s “boutique” status might be stripped from them if they continue to go so hard in the line-up game: Jamie XX, Four Tet, Angus & Julia Stone, Jon Hopkins, Tkay Maidza, The Jungle Giants and City Calm Down have already been announced. The festival also wins the title for “most elaborate costumes” as well as offering some pretty cool upgrades, which include “glamping” in a mini tepee city, yoga classes, creative workshops and the option of a three-course feast in the woods catered by some of Sydney’s top chefs.
Beyond The Valley, Lardner, VIC
Luckily for the Melburnians, Jamie XX, Tkay Maidza and The Jungle Giants are making a road show of their New Year’s celebrations and hitting up the Gippsland Highlands for Beyond The Valley, too. The solid bill also features Boys Noize, Flight Facilities, Pusha T, Oscar Key Sung and The Rubens. In similar fancy-camp fashion, you and your 12 mates can upgrade to a “Tipi” equipped with pillows, power and cotton bedding. With two main stages, plenty of food trucks, hammocks to lounge in and ocean views, it’s a no brainer.
NYE On The Hill, The Farm, VIC
A slightly more intimate affair (capped at 2500) NYE On The Hill revels in the best in local music and a friends-of-friends kind of vibe. The line-up includes SAFIA, Sex On Toast, Pearls, Jesse Davidson, Ainslie Wills, Kim Churchill with more to be announced. Housed on “The Farm” about 20 minutes from Wonthaggi, the 48-hour event is also BYO! So bring your best Bloody Mary mix, but no glass, no salsa, you know the drill.
Falls Music Festival, VIC, NSW & TAS
Falls – the ruler of all NYE festivals – once again cements its status as the biggest party with the granddaddy of all line-ups: Foals, Bloc Party, Kurt Vile, Courtney Barnett, Mac Demarco, Disclosure, Hiatus Kaiyote (just the tip of the iceberg). As usual, the festival blows up Lorne, Marion Bay and Byron Bay, so we’re spoilt for alternatives and it’s an excellent excuse for a road trip. Stay tuned for even more artists to be added to the four-day bender.
Let Them Eat Cake, Werribee, VIC
A solid option for anyone not fully sold on the idea of a three-day blowout, but still a reputable New Year’s Day choice, held in the garden playground that is Werribee Mansion. Praised for hosting some of the best in electronic music, the line-up will be announced in September, with tickets going on sale shortly after. The 2015 roster involved some huge international artists including Cashmere Cat, Jamie XX, Hudson Mohawke and Fatima so we can only expect another raving welcome to the New Year.
New Years Evie, Tallarook, VIC
Bruzzy’s Farm isn’t just for Boogie Festival (which happens in March). Kicking off on NYE and rolling into January 2, New Years Evie is the sister festival with equal good vibes. Last year the line-up included The Harpoons, Chela, Fraser A Gorman and Misty Nights – you’ll have to stay tuned for this year’s drop. But rest assured, the giant slip and slide will return on NYD.
Camp Nong, Kinglake Ranges, VIC
This one’s a tight guest list and for good reason. Set in the Kinglake Ranges, Camp Nong is a site normally used for school camps and corporate team-building getaways, but lends itself to the ultimate 48-hour NYE escape. There are roomy cabins, a kitchen with communal cooking facilities (some meals included), scheduled bushwalks and even a swimming pool. It’s BYO with a sharing-is-caring vibe. And don't forget to subscribe for the golden ticket.
Woodford Folk Festival, Woodfordia, QLD
The 29th Woodford Folk Festival spans six days and six nights bringing in the New Year with more than 2000 performers set on 500-acres of parkland one hour north of Brisbane. The line-up is a mixed bag of country, jazz, pop and rock (The Cat Empire, Kate Miller-Heidke, Sticky Fingers, Husky have previously played). The festival also features dances, street theatre, circus performances, art-and-craft workshops, acoustic jams and comedy sessions. Line-up coming soon.
Origin Music Festival, Perth, WA
Origin Festival has had its fair share of setbacks (last year the festival was without a venue for a hot minute due to council regulations) but this year the one-day event returns, bigger than ever and sprawled across the natural amphitheatre of Claremont Showgrounds. Known for a line-up rich in hip-hop, rap, bass and house, this year’s bill is no exception. With Boys Noize, Pusha T, Skepta, Golden Features and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs all headed WA way.