Extroverts had it pretty hard in 2020. If you’re the sort of person who spends six months researching and designing their group’s festival wear, someone who only feels right after a week without showering at a bush doof, then this list is for you. We’re running through some of our picks for festivals in 2021 (and fingers crossed they aren’t cancelled!) One word of warning: the information we’re getting is changing quite quickly, so make sure you keep up to date on each of these festivals’ Facebook and Twitter pages to avoid missing out.
(Just promise us you’ll wear earplugs when you’re out there having a boogie.)
MONA FOMA - January, Launceston/Hobart
Two sets of dates and two cities in January, MONA FOMA is one of the first major arts events to commit to 2021, appearing in Launceston (15-17 Jan) and Hobart (20-24 Jan). Like all of David Walsh’s depraved brain children, MONA FOMA promises a combination of music, art, dance, with the same cheeky irreverence and mish-mash of mediums that MONA has become famous for. Unique for the festivals listed, MONA FOMA has a huge number of unticketed events (free with registration), giving you a chance to participate in the festival without feeling like you have to pay peak prices. Let your Aussie tourism voyage begin in style with a trip to Tassie (and make time for the Bruny Island Cheese Factory before you leave!).
More information: https://mofo.net.au
SummerSalt - Various Locations - February to April
A touring festival in 2021? Yes please! Unique among Aussie festivals, SummerSalt have got complete line-ups available and are even selling out dates (get in quick!). The festival is covering almost the entire country, including stops in Adelaide, Geraldton, the Mornington Peninsula, Perth, Wollongong, Hobart, Sydney, Canberra, Darwin, and Ballarat (Phew what a mouthful!) Headliners vary slightly between stops but include Missy Higgins, Boy & Bear, The Teskey Brothers, The Cat Empire, and Montaigne. Somewhat unusually for a festival of this scale, SummerSalt also has a sustainability bent: they’ve eliminated single use plastics (bring a water bottle) and have a strong recycling program at the festival. A great opportunity to do some good while also celebrating the fine Australian Summer.
For more information: https://summersaltmusic.com.au/
Groovin’ The Moo - Various Locations - April/May
Headlined by Gang of Youths and The Veronicas, Groovin’ The Moo is planning a resplendent return in 2021 to make up for their first ever cancellation in 2020. The organisers are keeping their lips tight about the rest of their line-up thus far, the website’s a swish landing page with little more to tell you, but we would expect the same density of young up and coming acts courtesy of event co-sponsor Triple J. All tickets from the 2020 event are automatically registered for the 2021 showing, but there’s still a few tickets left for the event, which will hit Wayville, Maitland, Canbera, Bendigo, Townsville and Bunbury.
For more information: https://gtm.net.au/#
Factory Summer Festival - Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne - December/March/April
Unlike the others we’ve listed, this festival is actually on as we speak in Brisbane, before packing up kit and moving to Melbourne and Perth in early 2021. It’s a strong collection of electronic and hip hop acts, including What So Not, Illy, Cosmo’s Midnight, Hermitude, and The Presets (Perth/Brisbane only). Both Perth and Melbourne are also hosting Discovery: A Daft Punk Tribute, promising a nostalgic trip back through the archives of the robot-headed So Fresh stalwarts. Factory Summer tickets are on sale now and still available, the Federation Square dates still have a variety of acts to be confirmed too so keep an eye out.
For more information: http://www.factoryfestival.com.au/
Splendour in the Grass - Byron Bay - July
When people say ‘music festival’ in Australia, what they mean is Splendour. Undoubtedly Australia’s biggest international draw, Splendour has bounced back for 2021 with some incredible international headliners locked in and ready to perform in Byron Bay. (And let’s face it, it seems like half of Hollywood is there already). This year, The Strokes, Gorillaz, and Tyler, The Creator will be the faces of the festival, an eclectic mix that demonstrates Splendour’s commitment to feeding all tastes after such a long festival drought. Okay here’s the bad news: the festival is currently sold out, but there is a waitlist and of course a number of legitimate ways to exchange or purchase tickets on the authentic secondary market. Just don’t let yourself be scammed!
For more information: https://splendourinthegrass.com/tickets/
Adelaide Fringe - February/March, Adelaide
So maybe you’re thinking look, I have fond memories of my festival days but, to be honest, the legs are getting a bit creaky, Mum complains I don’t take her anywhere, and I’ve got some bratty teens who think I’m the Devil. There are still festivals for you: fringe Festivals. The Adelaide Fringe, back for 2021, is a month-long celebration of comedy, dance, music, and street art, offering an eclectic range of events without any of the muddy outdoor camping. Event registration is under way, but in previous years the Adelaide Fringe has played host to such acts as Hannah Gadsby, Amanda Palmer, Marcia Hines, Judith Lucy and more. It runs for four weeks, so can fit nicely with an Adelaide wine tour or trip to South Australia.
For more information: https://adelaidefringe.com.au