Summertime in Australia means three things: sun, surf, and music. But with the bigger music festivals gradually disappearing (Big Day Out, anyone?), small music festivals are setting the scene this sweltering summer. Pack up the car and get yourself and your mates on a summer roadtrip to these small shows around Australia.
1. The Hills Are Alive, South Gippsland (VIC)
The ultimate in exclusive boutique festivals, The Hills Are Alive promises three days of good vibes and camping on a picturesque property in regional Victoria. To nab yourself a ticket to this early-Autumn festival is a testament to your cool cred - all ticketholders must have either been to The Hills Are Alive before, or know someone on the list. The lineup for 2016 includes the breathtaking Ngaiire, Triple J’s own KLP, and smooth groovin duo Man Made Mountain, amongst many others.
Go here to: walk away with hundreds of new friends.
2. Party in the Paddock, Burns Creek (TAS)
All-ages festivals are few and far between these days, which is part of what makes Party in the Paddock so unique. Set just outside of Launceston amongst the rolling hills of Burns Creek, PITP is the perfect weekend escape from the city. It’s the kind of festival where one of the rules (and arguably the most important) is “have a sick time and make friends”. Headlined by Aussie grunge rockers Violent Soho, and featuring amongst others dream-pop phenomenon Vallis Alps and the inimitable Tkay Maidza, it’s sure to be a kicker time.
Go here to: follow the rules and “have a sick time”.
3. Festival of the Sun, Port Macquarie (NSW)
This year’s Festival of the Sun offered a lineup heaving with some of the biggest acts in Australian music, including hip-hop artist Illy, 90s rockers Jebediah and the dulcet tones of Alpine. The chilled out vibes of coastal New South Wales town Port Macquarie offer the perfect vibe for boogying along and getting down with buddies. Campers can choose to leave their gear at home and spend more time chilling with mates by getting into Tent City, where you’ll find your tent ready for you to dive into after dancing all day.
Go here to: become a head-bangin’ citizen of Tent City.
4. FOMO, Brisbane (QLD)
This is the freshest festival to be gracing the calendars of all music-lovers across Queensland. Running for the first time in January 2016, FOMO is sure to become the festival that ignites envy in all those who missed out on tickets. With king of trap RL Grime first-billed alongside Jamie XX (one half of The XX) and English rapper Skepta it’s an eclectic mish-mash lineup that offers something for everyone. The event organisers have kept this one-dayer to a single stage so you’re guaranteed not to miss out on any of this stellar lineup.
Go here to: avoid FOMO - what else?
5. Boogie, Tallarook (VIC)
You know a festival is niche when the address is ‘Bruzzy’s farm’. Festival goers have been cheersing Bruzzy for ten years as Boogie 2015 marks a decade of this boutique festival. With acts from Australia, the US and Spain this festival is proof that while the festivals may be small, that doesn’t mean the acts will be. After the musicians pack up for the evening the party kicks on with the late night Hillbilly Clubhouse where you can kick on till 3am.
Go here to: raise a glass to top-bloke Bruzzy at his homestead.
6. Hooch Fest, Mandurah (WA)
This chilled out little town swelled with the arrival of punters this year at Hooch Fest. Created by namesake Hooch, plus his mates Diehigh and Foil to bring great music to the little town of Mandurah, this festival attracted the likes of Golden Features and Basenji, Chiefs and Sable amongst many others. With tickets going for just $70 it makes for a chilled out cheap way to start summer.
Go here to: support the arts in regional Australia.
7. Riverboats, Echuca-Moama (VIC)
Float away on the picturesque Murray with Riverboats festival. Held on the border between NSW and Victoria, Riverboats is all about dulcet tones and relaxing vibes. It’s a storybook scene, where the stage lies under swaying red gum trees and fairy lights lead the way. Riverboats is small and proud of it, letting the picturesque landscape fill in the gaps. In 2016 expect to hear the melodic psych sounds of Jess Ribeiro, alongside legendary rockers You Am I and the Church.
Go here to: relax with cool people and great music amongst the Australian bush.