From Rio to Mexico, mysterious forests and beyond, the name of the game is adventure and slick tunes. So pull your gumboots out of retirement and prepare your most festival appropriate outfit 'cause we’re heading into festival season. Here are our picks of the best spring and summer festivals in 2015.
Return to Rio
Finally, a festival most Sydneysiders can rock up to using just the one tank of petrol (prepare to hear many a Hills District kid singing the praises of ol’ Wisemans Ferry). Boston DJ duo Soul Clap as well as German-based Matthias Meyer and US legends Atish and Hoj, Phat Phil Cooper, Nicky Night Time (and oh lordy, many more) will be entertaining over November 13-15 so come on down, friend. If you’re not keen for a dance, organisers have pulled out the big guns with water aerobics, yoga, meditation, volleyball and more. Yes, we will be returning.
Lorne, Marion Bay and Byron Bay
Falls Festival is officially a summer institution. We don’t even say its full name, most of the time a simple “You goin’ to Falls bro?” will suffice. Don’t go thinking this shindig has lost its glory though. Oh no, if anything this festival just keeps bringing the goods. Those flocking to Byron can expect to see Mac DeMarco, Seth Sentry, Disclosure, Foals, Alpine, Hilltop Hoods and mother-effin’ WEIRD AL YANKOVIC among so many more—seriously, so many. There’ll also be an Art Camp and Village (a festival within a festival, if you will) at this New Year’s bash, so make sure to enter the ticket ballot tout de suite.
Strawberry Fields is the festival with heart. Not only is it a platform for young and upcoming local talent, but these guys are all about the environment and singing its uniquely Aussie praises. Many a punter knows just how untidy (see: war zone) a campground can be post-festival. Strawberry Fields are the exception, aiming to improve waste management year on year and develop and maintain an environmental track record that would make Al Gore himself prouder than ethically-sourced punch. As for the line up? Just as groovy, with Human Movement, KLO, Lord Echo, Willow Beats and more gracing us with their presence. Workshops will be up and running during the festivities (20 – 22 of November) including sunrise and sunset yoga, African drumming, fire twirling and shiatsu massage workshops (plus more).
Like a Friday night in with pants off and hair up, we’ve found paradise. You may need to attempt a ‘do for this one, but boy is it worth it. Lost Paradise is a music festival and then some. Aside from the three days (29 to 31 December) of live music from the likes Angus and Julie Stone, The Jungle Giants, Tkay Maidza, George Maple, Touch Sensitive (and more), punters can also chill out with yoga, spa luxuries and workshops among some sweet art installations. Those hitting the high-class hipster vibes can book a glam teepee to be set up at the site in Glenworth Valley. More details coming soon so head to www.lostparadise.com.au and subscribe for details as they’re leaked.
Have You Heard Presents… Afterlife
Well, have you? Afterlife is for the guys ‘n gals with a bit of a horror-nudge (i.e. not for those of us still a teeny bit scared of Beauty and the Beast). Bondi House DJs and Start Cue will blast the musical entertainment for the Halloween blowout and make you wish All Hallows Eve were so much more of a thing in Oz. Have You Heard events are becoming popular AF and for good reason (secret locations, fun crowd and “so much room for activities”). Organisers are keen for a bit of a spooky one, so prepare yourself. Yikes.
Day of the Dead Warehouse Project
If you’re a whiz at rolling your ‘r’s and think costume makeup is a cinch, you need to be at the Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos Warehouse Project. According to organisers, there will be loud art, ancient traditions, contagious music, street food and sexy tequila to help you honour the dead and celebrate the living. Stoked? Breaking out your white face paint? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The line up of local and international DJs and musicians will be announced shortly, so have one hand on refresh at all times. Tickets are sold out for this in Sydney, but keep an eye out in case more are released… Or just head to the Brisbane or Melbourne parties instead.
Small World Festival
Sydney Park, St Peters
Small World* is going down Saturday 19 September with The Church, DZ Deathrays, PVT, PALMS, Jack Ladder & The Dreamers and more chill sessions than you’ll know what to do with. Setting up in St Peters, this once mini festival (hosted by Young Henrys) is back for round two, upgrading from itty bitty laneway to actual parklands (Sydney Park to be precise). If the attractive price tag weren’t enough, the prospect of a day of bands, food and brews (Young Henrys beer, cider and Noble Cut gin) has us practically giddy.
*Small World Festival is in no way responsible for ‘It’s a Small World’ getting stuck in your head. You have been warned.
Ah Bondi, if we weren’t already enamoured by your fruit-juices and bearded, hipster hotties we’d be lining up at your door, roses in hand after this year’s offering. You treat us right, you know? This year, on Saturday 14th November, Bondi Beachfest are bringing out the big guns i.e. The Beach Boys. Famous beach + favourite beach band? So much #win we can’t take it. Other crooners include The Whitlams, Busby Marou (Rockhampton represent!) Kim Churchill and Sahara Beck. Did we mention $1 from every ticket sold will go to Surf Life Saving NSW? Stop Bondi, we’ll get spoiled.
Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley Resort
Those keen on a bit of doof doof so ill it could vibrate your head clean off your shoulders, should slide on down to the Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley Resort from December 4 to 6 for Subsonic. Prepare to dance away to DOP, RichNxT, Roman Flugel and US-based Rick Wade. A workshop and performance schedule will be up soon so keep two eyes on their Facebook for more. You guys, Rick Wade is going to be there. Rick. Freakin’. Wade.
Image credit: Falls Festival