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9 Australian Music Festivals You Have to Attend This Season

posted by Dan Murphy on November 19, 2014

While most other parts of the world pack up their festival tents for winter, Australia, having opposite seasons than North America and Europe, actually boasts a busy music festival season from December through April. Many of these events aim to bring big international artists to the sometimes-neglected continent while showcasing Australia's best local talent. 

Some of the best music of the last few years has come from down under, so these festivals are definitely worth checking out whether you're a local or flying from abroad. If you need help narrowing them down, we've listed our favorite 9.


Meredith



Meredith Music Festival 2013 by Jason Whitelock for The Courier

Where: Meredith (VIC)
When: December 12-14
Who: The War on Drugs, Tiny Ruins, Ty Segall, De La Soul, Factory Floor, Jagwar Ma, Mark Lanegan, Ghostface Killah, and more

Victoria's Meredith Festival actually features one of the cooler lineups we've seen this year. It's devoid of huge headliners, but managed to get artists that have put out this year's finest records like The War on Drugs and Ty Segall. Sometimes the best festivals are the smaller ones, and Meredith is no exception.


The Falls Music + Arts



The Falls Festival 2013 via the festival

Where: Lorne (VIC), Marion Bay (TAS), and Byron Bay (NSW)
When: December 28-January 3
Who: Alt-J, Julian Casablancas + the Voidz, Run the Jewels, Tensnake, Cold War Kids, The Black Lips, Todd Terje, and more

This three-city touring festival managed to put together a lineup of established indie acts and some of the most buzzed-about newcomers of 2014. The Falls is dedicated to both music and arts featuring various installations and performance pieces, so expect a great overall experience at this festival.


Lost Paradise




Where: Peats Ridge (NSW)
When: December 30-January 1
Who: Carl Craig, Sylvan Esso, Alunageorge, Badbadnotgood, The Preatures, Bob Moses, Boy & Bear, Maxxi Soundsystem, Futureboogie, and more

The folks over at Lost Paradise suggest you get out of Sydney for New Year's Eve and spend three days camping under the stars. Its lineup skews mainly towards electronic acts, although the bill is diverse enough to satisfy most tastes. The scenic locale of Glenworth Valley is almost enough in itself to warrant heading to Lost Paradise. 


Beyond the Valley




Where: Philip Island (VIC)
When: December 30-January 1
Who: Dillon Francis, Danny Brown, Mø, Sylvan Esso, AlunaGeorge, Kaytranada, The Preatures, Mansionair, Rüfüs, and more

New Year's Eve 2014 marks the inaugural Beyond the Valley Festival, a camping event filled with three days of solid tunes from the best names in electronica, hip-hop, and indie rock. The festival's location of Philip Island also provides opportunities for swimming and surfing, if you're so inclined. 


Field Day



Field Day 2013 via the festival

Where: Sydney (NSW)
When: January 1
Who: SBTRKT, Alt-J, Dillon Francis, Rüfüs, Bastille, Jamie xx, Danny Brown, Joey Bada$$, Salt-n-Pepa, Todd Terje, and more

Field Day's goal is simple: to bring a hell of a party to Sydney on New Year's Day. For the last few years, they've curated awesome genre-spanning lineups with the best acts from the indie rock, hip-hop, and electronic scenes.


Southbound



Southbound 2014 via the festival

Where: Busselton (WA)
When: January 3-4
Who: Alt-J, Jamie xx, Cold War Kids, Salt n Pepa, Röyksopp & Robyn, Run the Jewels, Todd Terje, SBTRKT, Jagwar Ma, The Black Lips, and more

Southbound is really covering all of its bases this year by booking a hell of a lineup that rivals many found in the states and abroad. Keep in mind, this is just the first round lineup, so there are likely more huge names to be released in the coming weeks. 


St. Jerome's Laneway



Laneway Brisbane 2014 via the festival

Where: Singapore, Auckland, Brisbane (QLD), Sydney (VIC), Adelaide (SA), Melbourne (VIC), and Fremantle (WA)
When: January 24-February 8
Who: St. Vincent, Flying Lotus, Lykke Li, FKA Twigs, Little Dragon, Future Islands, Mac Demarco, Banks, and more

Now here's a lineup we're really excited for. St. Jerome's Laneway Festival travels clear across Australia every year with a few big acts headlining while the most exciting, about-to-break artists support them. The female-dominated 2015 roster is one of the coolest bills we've seen all year.


Soundwave



Soundwave Sydney 2014 via the festival

Where: Melbourne (VIC), Brisbane (QLD), Adelaide (SA), Sydney (NSW)
When: February 21-22, February 28, March 1
Who: Slipknot, Faith No More, Soundgarden, Slash, Marylin Manson, Judas Priest, Incubus, Lamb of God, Ministry, Antemasque, Fall Out Boy, and more

This year's Soundwave seems almost intended to inspire nostalgia in its festivalgoers, calling mainly upon the radio rock of the late '90s and early 2000s with a few older exceptions like Judas Priest and Soundgarden. Either way, expect this year's Soundwave festival to be heavy


Byron Bay Bluesfest



Byron Bay Bluesfest 2014 via the festival

Where: Byron Bay (NSW)
When: April 2-6
Who: The Black Keys, Zac Brown Band, Alabama Shakes, Train, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and more

Byron Bay Bluesfest's badass, rock-based lineup is paralleled only by the festival's incredible venue, taking over the beautiful beach locale of Byron Bay. Expect a laid-back atmosphere at this Australian chillfest. 


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See Also:

Best Winter Festivals for the 2014-2015 Season
Laneway Festival Announces Sideshows for 2015
2015 Lineup Announced for St. Jerome's Laneway Festival