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Here’s How To Pick The Ultimate NYE Music Festival For You

By Jasmine Riley - 20 Sep 2018


Ah, it’s about that time again. Our newsfeeds are inundated with new year’s festival line-ups, and so begins the angst and agony over which one to choose. The one with the artist I’ve been dying to see, or the one all my friends are going to? Decisions, decisions...

Look, let’s face it. It doesn’t matter how hard you plot and plan your New Year’s; some things always go awry. To take the angst out of making the right decision, we’ve put together this little guide. Consider this your NYE Festival Bible.  

Beyond The Valley (BTV)

BTV started in 2014 as a boutique music festival, but it’s approaching its fifth anniversary as a heavyweight in the NYE camping festival scene. Having previously hosted the likes of The Presets, Pnau, Jamie XX, Chance the Rapper, Rufus and Schoolboy Q, this year’s line-up is a cracker. We’re talking headliners like The Kooks, Joey Badass, Bonobo, Tash Sultana and Duke Dumont.

The festival has three performance bases: the Main Stage, Dance Tent and Central Park Stage. Usually, artists are separated by popularity (or music genre). If you come to a festival less for the music and more for the whole experience, there’s wicked art and light installations, random assorted sculptures, bars and of course, food trucks (yippee). There’s even morning yoga classes, so you can contemplate all the questionable decisions you made in 2018.

BTV is held in the Lardner Parklands in South-East Victoria, roughly 90 mins from Melbourne CBD. There’s buses running direct from Fed Square, otherwise, hop on a train to Drouin Station and there’ll be shuttle buses there to escort you beyond the valley.

Tickets will set you back anywhere from $180 – $430 plus booking fees from a NYE Pass to a 4-Day Ticket and can be accessed here.

Falls Festival

The Lorne edition may be sold out, but really that just gives you the excuse to run off to Byron or Marion Bay for the week (we’re not complaining). Falls Festival is in its 26th year, so they really have the whole camping/glamping festival thing down pat.

It’s also arguably the biggest Australian NYE festival, so they usually get some of the biggest acts. This year’s headliners include Anderson Paak, Vance Joy, Flight Facilities, Interpol, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Hockey Day, Tkay Maidza...and did we see Toto on there? (TBH just holding out for Africa).

If you don’t mind wearing everybody else’s sweat and making the trek up that darn hill of death to the Amphitheatre at the Byron edition, this one’s for you. Just like BTV, there’s multiple stages housing large and smaller acts and added fun-tivities like an on-site water park, workshops, Gozlemes, and an entire kids’ playground (if you’ve got little ones).

No matter how you tackle it, Falls will change you. It might be through infectious comradery between campers looking to borrow a lighter or tent pegs, or an infectious disease you picked up in the pot-a-loos. There’s no doubt you’ll also come down with the Falls Flu and swear off camping festivals forever, or at least until next year.

Tickets range from $159 to $309 for a single- or three-day pass, and camping is an additional $129–149. View the full line-up and festival info here. Commence glitter preparation.

NYE On The Hill

If there’s one thing we love more than music festivals, it’s music festivals that have unrestricted BYO alcohol. Forget stashing vodka in old shampoo containers, NYE on the Hill promotes having a fun (and safe) experience.

In its sixth year now, this boutique festival is a more homely alternative to BTV and Falls, with only 2,700 tickets sold. Set amongst the hills of South Gippsland, the festival comes complete with neighbouring cows and freshwater dams (just don’t go swimming in them).

This year’s line-up includes The Smith Street Band, The Kite String Tangle, Sampa The Great, Last Dinosaurs, Art VS Science, Stella Donnelly, Slowly Slowly and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets (great name), amongst others.

There’s plenty of punny fun to be had in the PerFARMance THAAtre, The HMAS HILLS Container Bar, the Tiny Dancer stage, Edge of the World bar and the Mr. Mooyagi tent.

Tickets are $269 plus booking fees and $10 for a car pass. More info and tickets can be found here.

For those of you who work in the retail or hospo sectors, don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you. These festivals are all taking place on NYD, so you can rest easy knowing even if your NYE sucks, at least your NYD won’t.

Let Them Eat Cake

What better way to ring in the new year than at a boujee mansion on 10-hectares of greenery and chirpy natives. It’s hard to not feel like royalty when you go to Let Them Eat Cake at Werribee Mansion.

Celebrating its seventh birthday in style, Cake has teamed up with Treecreds to make the event as sustainable and earth-friendly as possible (hint: that’s why the gardens look so pretty). If you’re a fan of light floaty disco house tunes and trance-y techno beats, consider this your jam.

The line-up this year includes Australian artists CC Disco, DJ Boring and Opiuo as well as international artists Ama Lou, Bicep, Chaos In The CBD, DJ Tennis, Esther Silex, Flava D amongst others. There’s a handful of stages include The Bastille, Palace of Versailles and The Guillotine to keep you pre-occupied, as well as food stalls and art and light installations.

Tickets to the festival are $160 plus booking fees. Full line-up and ticket info can be found here.

The First NYD

The First NYD is brand spanking new to the festival scene, brought to you by Hardware, the guys also behind Piknic Electronik and Babylon Festival.

This festival made waves earlier this month when they released their epic line-up, which includes New York rapper Action Bronson, made famous for popular tracks “Baby Blue” and “Standing In The Rain” which features Mark Ronson and Dan Auerbach. Bronson also has his own series titled Fuck, That’s Delicious, where he literally just travels the world eating (goals).

Since then, they’ve announced their full line-up which includes The Presets, MIA, Banoffee, Bloody Mary, Bob Moses, KiNK, Krystal Klear, Max Cooper, Nastia and SG Lewis.

The First NYD will be held at Sidney Myer Music Bowl, so it’s super easy to get to and from. Tickets start at $99 for first release and go up to $150 for a VIP pass which includes a priority entrance, access to private bathroom facilities and a balcony VIP area access. Plus, then you get to walk around with a lanyard and say, “Excuse me but I’m a VIP.”

More info and tickets here.

If you missed the news, Laneway Fest just dropped the 2019 line-up, and it's a doozy. 

Image credit: Music Feeds

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