Sure, Splendour’s great, and Falls Festival always has a killer line-up, but nowadays, they’re so popular and crowded that if you’re lucky enough to get a ticket, whatever ripper tunes are blasting are usually overshadowed by the mass of sweaty, smelly, drunk 20-somethings blocking your view and recording the whole fezzy on their Instagram story.
So, if you’re aching for a smaller, more enjoyable festival, look no further than these stellar events.
1. Strawberry Fields (Tocumwal, NSW)
For the past 10 years, three-dayer Strawberry Fields has been delighting the hippie in all of us with its eclectic lineup and activities – think yoga, swimming, hidden bush tea houses, and more. Past lineups have included Oscar Key Sung, Willow Beats, Hiatus Kaiyote and plenty of other great homegrown and international acts. They’ve also got the coolest festival policy we’ve ever heard – if your birthday falls during the festival dates, you enter free. Win!
2. Let Go Fest (Mornington, VIC)
One of the youngest festivals on our list, the one-day extravaganza Let Go Fest debuted in 2017 with a bang. Held at Mornington Racecourse, artists such as Gang of Youths, SAFIA, Set Mo, and Middle Kids have graced the main stage. In between sets, you can dance your butt off at the Silent Disco, fill your tum with burgers and other foodie delights, take a spin on the giant Ferris wheel, or check out some local market stalls and art.
3. The Big Pineapple Music Festival (Woombye, QLD)
Since launching in 2013, Big Pineapple has become one of the most beloved festivals in Queensland. Based in Woombye, right near the gargantuan tropical monument itself, you can expect to see some of Australia’s best homegrown acts (Violent Soho, RÜFÜS, Hayden James and DMA’s, to name a few), enjoy a ride on the Ferris wheel, sip on some bevvies, and take in the gorgeous countryside in one action-packed day. Total bliss!
4. Wide Open Space (Alice Springs, NT)
This three-day red-centre festival recently celebrated its 10th year of “music, art, and desert culture”. Under the impossibly starry skies of Alice Springs, 2018’s event boasted the likes of Regurgitator, Remi, and Alice Ivy, and previous lineups have included Saskwatch, L-FRESH the Lion, and more. But as good as the music offerings are, it’s worth hitting up Wide Open Space for the atmosphere and experience alone.
5. MONA FOMA (Hobart, TAS)
If you like your live music with a healthy dose of art and culture, MONA FOMA (a.k.a. MOFO) is calling your name. Curated by the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and Violent Femmes member Brian Ritchie since 2009, it’s Tassie’s biggest contemporary music festival. In addition to performances from the likes of Gotye, PJ Harvey, and The Flaming Lips, there’s an explosion of art – think interactive installations, visual art, sound, dance, theatre and tons more. Dark MOFO (the festival’s winter session) is equally incredible.
6. Spilt Milk (Canberra, ACT)
It’s only been running since 2016, but this one-day festival has already drawn impressive acts not only from around the country (think Flume, Peking Duk, Tash Sultana), but also huge names from around the world, like Lorde, The Wombats, and Childish Gambino. While you’re rocking out to some legendary performances, you can munch on a range of culinary delights – previous years have boasted cult favourites Mary’s, Gelato Messina and Bao Stop.
7. The Grass is Greener (Cairns, QLD)
The grass truly is greener at this tropical far-north festival held at the Cairns Showground. This single-dayer debuted in 2016 and draws massive crowds each year with its impressive lineups (artists include local faves The Jungle Giants, Hermitude, Ocean Alley, and more), food trucks, and bars. And, for all the uber cool parents out there, TGIG is a family-friendly festival, meaning your music-loving kiddies can come along, too!
All that dancing and partying is sure to make you peckish. Why not satisfy those tummy rumbles with a discounted feed? Click here to see all our dining deals around the country.