A guide to Australian Festivals – Summer and Autumn edition
It could be argued Australia has some of the best festivals anywhere in the world. Around the country, there are festivals almost all-year around, and the best part is, there are festivals that cater to most music tastes, food festivals that showcase culinary delights from across the globe and others which combine both. In this blog, we wanted to draw your attention to some of them, because let’s face it, when you’re campervanning, anywhere can be home long enough to attend the festival of your choice.
We’ve taken a snapshot view for the next 6 months, but best news is, many of these events run year after year, so if you are interested, check local guides for the exact dates.
Summer 2019 / 2020
Summer starts to heat up in December, and so too does the music scene. In a month known for general festivity, here are a few standouts you may want to consider.
Let’s kick things off in Western Australia with a look at the different events happening in Australia’s largest state.
- Origin Fields – Wellington Square Perth – December 31 and January 1. A line-up of international and Australian electronic, Dub and House acts.
- The Roots Music festival – Surfer’s Paradise – December 1. A celebration of blues, soul, reggae and folk music.
- FOMO – Bowen Hills – January 4 2020. Needing little introduction FOMO is a must for those who love music. From Rap to RnB you will definitely have a good time.
- Cygnet Folk Festival – Cygnet – January 10 – 12. In 202 this will be the 38th instalment of an iconic Australian folk music event and will showcase eclectic music, poetry, circus acts, wine, art and handicrafts.
- Red Hot Summer tour – Mornington – January 5. Showcasing the best of Australian Rock the stage will be host to names such as James Reyne, Hunters & Collectors, Killing Heidi and Boom Crash Opera.
- Great Australian Beer Festival – Geelong – January 18 2020. The event name says it all really and getting there is easy given its location right next to the train station. Get along to the festival to sample amazing beers and ciders, though if you’re looking for more than an ale, try the smoked meats, a gin bar, wines, slushies and even burgers.
New South Wales
- The Falls Music and Arts Festival – Lorne – December 28 – 31. Known around the world as a destination event, the Falls Festival will tour 4 locations this year. One of them is in Lorne and is well worth a diary entry given the huge line-up this year (Wolf Mother, Matt Corby, Peking Duck, John Farnham, Milky Chance and Pnau to name a few).
- Lost Paradise – Glenworth Valley – December 28 – 31. Set in a picturesque valley just north of Sydney, this festival will host an international line-up of electronic, dub and House acts. This year it will host The Veronicas and RÜFÜS DU SOL.
- So Frenchy, so Chic – January 18 2020. Be transported through wine, food and music – all the best of France.
- Tamworth Country Music Festival – January 17 – 26. The largest music festival in the southern hemisphere attracts over 50,000 people per day, 700 artists and involves 80 venues. If you have not experienced something of this scale, this is a must.
The heat may start to lessen from March onwards, but the festival scene is not slowing down at all. Check out a few of the offerings around the country in Autumn.
- Jungle Love Festival – Mary Valley Region. May 1 – 3. Jungle Love is an intimate and boutique Australian music and arts festival held in a secluded woodland in Mary Valley. Unlike other festivals, you can mix the wilderness, adventure and music as you do yoga in the morning, enjoy midday beers by the creek, an afternoon workshop by the river, and finally dance the night away to a line-up of indie, soul, funk and hip-hop.
- South Australian Autumn Garden Festival – Clare Valley – April 19. With just $10 cover charge to get in, the Premier and largest Garden Festival in South Australia is amazing for the beauty is offers up.
- Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend – Clare Valley – May 15. The Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend will celebrate 36 consecutive years in 2020, making it the oldest food and wine event in Australia! If that’s not enough of an introduction, then get set for a culinary overload : gourmet markets, a gourmet hub and an art exhibition all set to a backdrop of great music!
- 2020 Canberra Walking Festival – Canberra – April 3 – 5. Designed for all ages this non-competitive event allows you to see the surrounds of Canberra with other like-minded individuals. It is a truly great way for visitors to see a lot of the Australian Capital.
- The Jane Austen Festival – Canberra – April 17. Join the organisers for and Australian Ball Weekend at the historic Yarralumla Woolshed and don your favourite Georgian, Regency, or Victorian outfit.
- Brunswick Music Festival – Brunswick – March 11 – 12. One of the city’s longest running festivals, this event is a must. With over 150 exhibitors and events over 2 days, this has something for everyone.
- ChillOut Festival – Dayelsford – March 5 – 9. ChillOut is Australia’s longest-running and biggest rural LGBT pride festival, and is held every March in beautiful Daylesford. In 2020, the event will transform the are into the largest LGBTI community in the country.
- Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – Melbourne – March 19 – 29. Too much to write, too much to do! Come along and enjoy great food, amazing wines, sparkling ales and festive music in one of the greatest Australian cities!
New South Wales
- Sydney Mardi Gras – Sydney – February 29. OK, sure, you got us. This is officially a summer date, but given it is on a leap year, we thought we would include it in Autumn. The event needs no introduction, and whether you are part of the LGBTI community, or you want to see one of the largest festivals in the world, then get along to Oxford street and have a party. In 2020, Dua Lipa will be the headline event.
- Days like This Festival – Broadway – March 7. The fourth anniversary of this event will feature some of the globe’s most sought-after electronic dance music acts including Nina Kraviz, Richie Hawtin and Black Madonna.
- Red Hot Summer Tour – Darwin – April 11. It may have toured most of Australia and it may not be Summer by the time it gets to Darwin, but given the heat all year around up there in the Norther Territory, it makes sense this is in April. All the great names will of Australian Rock will be on stage including, The Living End, Baby Animals, Hunters & Collectors, Killing Heidi and Boom Crash Opera.
- NT Writers Festival – Darwin – May 1. The name says it all really. The biennial NT Writers Festival (even-numbered years) includes song, storytelling, theatre, performance poetry, visual-art collaboration, history, biography, poetry and fiction.
- Banff Mountain Film Festival – Darwin – May 15. This year, the Australian line up showcases two and a half hours of short adventure films packed full of action and hair-raising mountain rides!
You’d be surprised if these were the only events in Australia and so would we. We know there are hundreds of Australian Festivals, and encourage you to do some research ahead of planning your trips. We will bring you another instalment of festivals focussing on Winter and Spring in a subsequent blog. Check back to find it. Alternatively, if you want to hire a campervan so you can attend any of these events and not have to worry about accommodation, or drinking and getting back to your bed, then get in touch with us.
Till then, happy travels.