Summer means peak festival season in Australia, and with so many to choose from it can get a little overwhelming trying to figure out which ones to attend.
Fortunately there are plenty of events to cater to all tastes, from hip hop and electronic music focused festivals like Listen Out, to indie and rock-centric experiences like Yours And Owls. Or if you like a mixture of all the above, the likes of Lost Paradise and Laneway Festival is sure to please.
Below we’ve put together the 12 essential Australian summer music festivals for 2023 and what to expect.
When and where? Sep 23, 2023 in Brisbane; then Sep 24 in Perth, Sep 29 in Melbourne, and Sep 30 in Sydney.
Who? Lil Uzi Vert, Ice Spice, Skrillex, Four Tet, JPEGMAFIA
Vibe? An absolute bumper lineup for rap and electronic music fans. Listen Out is a typically smaller, “boutique” festival than many of its peers, with much of the action taking place over two stages – making sure you’re spending more time at the party than wandering around.
Yours And Owls
When and where? Oct 14 and 15, 2023 in Wollongong
Who? Earl Sweatshirt, Descendents, Chet Faker, Meg Mac, Ocean Alley
Vibe? Close enough to be a day trip from Sydney but far enough to be out of the big smoke, Yours And Owls is a slightly mellower, friendly festival experience.
When and where? Oct 28 and 29, 2023 in Adelaide
Who? Jamiroquai, Beck, Nile Rodgers and Chic, Flight Facilities
Vibe? Harvest Rock’s second year features a slew of 00s indie rock favourites, if Jamiroquai and Beck’s only Australian show wasn’t enough of an allure.
When and where? Nov 10, 2023 in Melbourne; Nov 11 in Perth; Nov 12 in Adelaide; Nov 16 in Auckland; Nov 17 in Brisbane; Nov 18 in Sydney
Who? Jason Derulo, Boyz II Men, Flo Rida, Kelly Rowland
Vibe? For lovers of throwback R&B, Fridayz brings together some of the biggest names from the ‘90s and ‘00s for suckers of nostalgia.
When and where? Nov 17 to 19, 2023 in Tocumwal, New South Wales.
Who? DJ Seinfeld, Moktar, Todd Terje, Moodymann
Vibe? A seriously impressive line-up of techno, house and disco icons in the bush – but also plenty of local artists to discover and get lost in. If you’re looking for a doof, this is it.
When and where? Nov 25, 2023 in Canberra; then Nov 26 on the Gold Coast; Dec 2 in Ballarat and Dec 3 in Perth.
Who? Post Malone, Dom Dolla, Tkay Maidza, Cub Sport
Vibe? Spilt Milk is already sold out in Ballarat, and it’s no surprise why – the festival brings together a bunch of massive acts to places that are often overlooked on the touring circuit.
When and where? Dec 1, 2023 in Melbourne; December 2 in Sydney; and December 3 in Brisbane.
Who? Fall Out Boy, Limp Bizkit, Devo, Bullet For My Valentine
Vibe? Open up the pit! Good Things is all things rock, metal, punk, and emo, and there isn’t a large festival quite like it in Australia.
When and where? Dec 28, 2023 to Jan 1, 2024 in Glenworth Valley, New South Wales. Who? Flume, Foals, Kelis, Lime Cordiale, Bicep, Dom Dolla
Vibe? The mammoth new years festival is sure to please even the pickiest of your friends – but it’s not all party! There’s a whole revive and rejuvenate program, featuring yoga, talks, workshops, healing arts and indigenous experiences.
Beyond The Valley
When and where? Dec 28, 2023 to Jan 1, 2024 in Barunah Plains, Victoria.
Who? Peggy Gou, DMA’s, Channel Tres, King Stingray
Vibe? A four-day festival taking place over New Year’s, the lineup is geared towards indie favourites and electronic music heavyweights. There are also spots to chill out and rejuvenate – oh and a wedding chapel, if you’re so inclined?
When and where? Jan 1, 2023 in Sydney
Who? Rufus Du Sol, Central Cee, G Flip, Mall Grab
Vibe? If you don't want the party to stop, Sydney's long-running Field Day is arguably the biggest festival in the city on New Year’s Day.
When and where? Feb 3, 2024 in Brisbane; then Feb 4 in Sydney; Feb 9 in Adelaide; Feb 10 in Melbourne and Feb 11 in Perth.
Who? Stormzy, Steve Lacy, AJ Tracey, Raye, Confidence Man
Vibe? The sprawling Laneway Festival covers all sorts of genres and is one of the biggest festivals on the calendar, with 2024’s edition featuring UK grime luminary Stormzy to much-adored electro pop outfit Confidence Man