Spring has sprung, summer is just around the corner and the warmer weather means music festivals aplenty. We've found a solid line-up of summer music festivals right across Victoria to suit any musical taste, ranging from smaller boutique festivals, to new kids on the block and others to ring in the new year. So call your friends, get onto those tickets, dig out your camping gear, get out and enjoy your spring and start planning for some of these cracking festivals. Any excuse for a road trip, we say! Here are Victoria's best music festivals, rocking out over spring and summer.
Blurst of Times Festival
It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times, and it was the line-up that dropped this week for Melbourne's newest music festival. Hosted last year in Brisbane for the first time, Blurst of Times heads south to Sydney and Melbourne, being held at Melbourne's Seaworks in Williamstown with headliners including DZ Deathrays and the Hard-Ons. We don't know too much about it this newby, but if you're a city-sider, you don't have to venture too far from home for this festival and there's no need for your tent.
Queenscliff Music Festival
Now in its 18th year, this little music festival on the Bellarine Peninsula keeps getting bigger and bigger, with a string of extra Aussie performers listed on the bill, adding to the list of national and international acts. Set across multiple stages near the seaside, the line-up includes The Jezabels, Xavier Rudd, Kasey Chambers, Dan Sultan, Hiatus Kaiyote and more. Queenscliff has a reputation for providing an intimate festival experience and not 'a weekend of being cattle prodded around cramped stages'. We like the sound of that. A variety of single-day and multi-day passes are still available, but hop to it. The folk at Queenscliff are offering a new Sunday ferry and ticket package, too, which gets you a return foot-passenger ticket between the Mornington Peninsula and Queenscliff.
Melbourne Music Week
You don't even have to leave town for this one. Although not technically a festival we know, it runs for a week at a host of venues across the city, meaning no portable loos and you get to shower at your own house. Win! Melbourne Music Week is a nine–day–long program of events dedicated to celebrating and supporting our city's famous music scene.
Rainbow Serpent Festival
What started out as a small trance-focused gathering in Western Victorian bushland over a decade ago has evolved into an internationally recognised weekend of dance, colour and celebration. Rainbow has become a bit of an institution and its devoted attendees come together each year over the Australia Day weekend for a sensory overload. Rainbow is not just an electronic festival these days, it also features art, performance, spiritual education, relaxation and healing. The four-day summer music festival brings you a diverse mix of international and Australian talent showcasing a mix of genres, grooves, atmospheres and rhythms. The festival is a playground for colourful costumes and self-expression and, by all accounts, it's one worth experiencing.
Meredith Music Festival
Aunty Meredith, what a gem she is, unveiling a stellar line-up year on year to grace the magical Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre. Set amongst rolling hills and bushy corners, there's a reason she's regarded as one of Victoria's best summer music festivals. One stage means no timetable clashes and it's easier to find your mates. Wheel in your own esky and BYO couch so you can make yourself right at home for the weekend. Meredith is a 'celebration of music, nature, friendship and humanity'. And there's a no dickhead policy too, thanks Aunty M. The traditional Meredith Gift is not to be missed if you fancy racing a heap of Meredith goers around the festival site in your birthday suit. If you missed out on the ticket ballot, look out for online sales this week (the final allocation) or register now for Golden Plains, Meredith's festival sister which is held in March 2015.
So Frenchy So Chic
This family-friendly summer music festival is held in the Werribee Park Mansion grounds, cleverly masked as the French countryside. Bask in the summer sun and laid-back vibe of So Frenchy So Chic with a day full of independent French pop music, food and wine. Bring along your picnic rug, purchase a gourmet hamper with all sorts of Parisian fare and dance away until sunset in your barefeet. Children and big kids at heart can enjoy face painting, pétanque, croquet and more. Plus children under 12 get in free!
Beyond the Valley
If you don't like roughing it, this two-day NYE festival on the Phillip Island Circuit might be your scene. Erring on the more luxurious side, the inaugural festival promotes a glamping-type arrangement with first class amenities and even a hangover spa. They have an electric village for those who need to stay connected and offer a general camping option as well. Spread across two stages over two days, and taking over the former Pyramid Rock site, Beyond the Valley offers a summer seaside location with ocean views, and the festival bill includes Action Bronson, The Preatures, Peking Duck, Ball Park Music, Pond, Midnight Juggernauts and more across a wide range of genres – something for everyone with all the mod cons, if that's what you're after.
Falls Music and Arts Festival
No list the best summer music festivals would be complete without our beloved Falls. Spreading down the east coast and held in stunning locations in Byron, Lorne, and across the Tasman in picturesque Marion Bay, Falls Festival would have to be one of the much-loved on the festival circuit, and a popular ways to see in the new year. Ring in your NYE with international acts including Salt N Pepa, Alt-J, Royksopp & Robyn, Cold War Kids, Jamie xx and SBTRK, plus Aussie acts The Temper Trap, Jagwar Ma, The Presets, Vance Joy, John Butler Trio, Spiderbait and Sticky Fingers. Falls is another one of those festivals with a ballot to keep the scalpers at bay. Tickets to the Marion Bay festival are often available closer to the date if you fancy a trip to Tassie, but Falls only grows with popularity each year so we wouldn't count on holding out to secure them.
St Jerome's Laneway Festival
The festival that was originally hosted in a blocked off Melbourne laneway back in 2004, featuring local bands, has quickly developed into an international touring event and a favourite summer festival for music-lovers. Each year it brings bigger names to the bill in unique urban settings in trying to keep with that laneway vibe and city feel. The Melbourne festival is now held on the Marybyrnong River at the Footscray Community Arts Centre, with a host of quality food vendors, vintage clothes stalls and a well-researched line-up that captures what's new in the alternative music scene. We have no doubt festival promoters are busy working on a bangin' line-up to announce soon for Laneway Festival 2015.
Soundwave Music Festival
Australia's premier rock, punk and metal festival recently announced its huge line-up for 2015, which for the first time will be held over two massive days in each city (Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne), to allow for fewer clashes and longer sets. It's set to be another huge year for hard and heavy music fans with big headliners include Faith No More, Soundgarden, Slipknot, Slash, Marilyn Manson, Incubus, Papa Roach and more.
Ladies, check out our guide on not only surviving a music festival, but how to look good doing it with our Music Festival Beauty Survival Kit.
Main image credit: Noonafter.