What's On

The Ultimate Summer Festival Guide

By Emma McNamara
28th Nov 2014

The summer festival season is fast approaching and we’re giddy with excitement for what’s on offer. Envision this – sun shining down, chilling out on a grassy knoll, having a couple of drinks, listening to some tunes with the potential of getting your glamp (glamorous camping) on… Pretty sweet, huh? Or maybe, jumping up and down, grooving with a bunch of other like-minded souls floats your boat? Whatever your taste in music, with NSW’s ever growing array of incredible, boutique festivals popping up left, right and center, there will be plenty of things to do in Sydney (and out of Sydney) to do this summer!

Keep on scrollin’ to find out who’s playing where and when. Let’s make a summer of it, people!

Lost Paradise | Glenworth Valley

Swap the generally rowdy, been there done that, Sydney New Year’s Eve crowds for a New Years Eve spent in Paradise. 2014 sees the inaugural year of the three-day boutique festival, Lost Paradise, which is so much more than JUST a music festival. Step right up and enter this hidden paradise, nestled into the cool shade of the green Glenworth Valley where you’ll be greeted with a carefully curated selection of pop-up restaurants and food trucks, bars and smoke ceremonies. Relax, shake off 2014 and welcome in the new with Shambhala spa treatments, massages and yoga sessions. Sit back and catch a film at the open air cinema or get cultured with art and design installations. Line-up wise, the festival has Sydney’s iconic, indie 5-piece Boy and Bear, London’s electro-pop duo AlunaGeorge, Ball Park Music, The Preatures, Hiatus Kaiyote, Touch Sensitive, Pond and a whole bunch more. Cos this beaut of a festival is located about an hour from Sydney, we’re opting in for the luxury glamping option, and cos we’ve all worked so hard this year we might even splurge on the optional chopper ride to get there!

When: 30 December 2014 – 1 January 2015
For more info head here.

Sydney Festival 2015

By January we’ve probably all had just about enough of anything to do with food and eating leftovers (not another slice of fruit cake, please), which is why the Sydney Festival is perfectly timed to while away the long, balmy, summer days with a bit of entertainment, music, theatre, circus and even a touch of cabaret. Check out all of the exciting offerings occurring across Sydney such as, A Simple Space, where seven acrobats defy gravity or Kiss & Cry, where two hands dance their way through a cinematic romance. Hear music performances by William Oneyeabor, feel the heat and rhythm of Brazil with Seu Jorge or be captivated by the majestic pipe organ avant-pop sounds of Anna Von Hausswolff. With over 100 different performances happening all across Sydney, including family friendly and some free events, you’re bound to have an awesome January, no matter the size of your post-Christmas/NYE wallet. With so much to see and do we’ll be running from show to show - hopefully burning off that extra Christmas pud too!

When: 8 January 2015 – 26 January 2015
For more info head here.

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival | Rozelle

What originally started a decade ago as a super cool block party in Melbourne’s Caledonian Lane has grown into Laneway Festival; a festival celebrated across Australia’s major cities, Auckland and Asia! These guys sure know how to put on a good party with curated acts chosen from around the globe brought together to play on one awesome day at the Sydney College of the Arts in Rozelle. With the site decorated with SCA students’ works, the city’s best food vendors churning out some seriously good tucker and this year’s line-up, Laneway is set to be bigger and better than ever before. We can’t wait to hear Andy Bull, Angel Olsen, Banks, Caribou, Lykke Li, Benjamin Booker, Dune Rats and Flight Facilities just to name a few.

When: 1 February 2015
For more info head here.

So Frenchy So Chic | Camperdown

Ooh la la, So Frenchy So Chic is hitting Sydney’s shores on the 17th of January in association with Sydney Festival 2015. Hosted on the gorgeous castle-like grounds of St John’s College and employing the French joie de vivre, we’re so excited to dance barefoot on the grass, wear flower garlands, groove to French sounds, sip champagne and nibble on picnic delicacies. When we say picnic we mean piquenique - French for charcuterie, cheese, baguette, macarons, éclairs, and crêpes washed down with a glass of champagne or rosé. With French provincial emphasis on lifestyle combined with Parisian chic, So Frenchy So Chic will also be a family friendly affair with lots of activities lined up for the littlies. We’re looking forward to bopping along to La Femme, Francois and the Atlas Mountains, Emilie Simon and The Dø. This is going to be one seriously chic, cool way to spend your Saturday this summer.

When: 17 January 2015
For more info head here.

Field Day | The Domain

Give the New Year a good and proper welcoming at Field Day festival, set in Sydney’s lush green Domain. This seriously popular festival is known for its quality list of line-ups mixing house, indie, electro and hip-hop artists from across the globe. With its music, feel good atmosphere, serene setting and cool crowds there is no wonder Field Day is on top of our to-do list for 2015. There’s a bunch of stages and plenty of space to sprawl, sip and chill. Sounds a pretty perfect day to us spent listening to Alt-J, SBTRKT, Dillon Francis, Rüfüs, Bastille, Jamie XX and Danny Brown. Get out your hip festival gear and get ready for New Years Day; this is where the party’s at, Listers!

When: 1 January 2015
For more info head here.

Beat The Drum | The Domain

Help celebrate Triple J turning 40 years young and join in their once in a lifetime gigantic party featuring a completely Australian line-up in Sydney’s iconic Domain. 40 years ago, Double Jay was launched which has now been transformed into Triple J – one of Australia’s largest national radio networks with a major impact on Australian music and culture. Featuring top artists, surprise special guests and a couple of on-stage collaborations we’re excited to hear sounds from the likes of Hilltop Hoods, The Presets, The Cat Empire, You Am I, Ball Park Music, The Preatures, Owl Eyes and Vance Joy. It’s set to be an awesome day and this festival is just one of many events to be held throughout 2015 in honour of this iconic network’s 40th birthday. Bring on 2015!

When: 16 January 2015
For more info head here.

Festival Of The Sun 2014 | Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie’s boutique, weekend-long camping and BYO Festival of the Sun is celebrating its 10th birthday with an off-the-charts superhero themed 2-day line-up featuring The Jezebels, Dune Rats, Jackie Onassis, Violent Soho and Shihad with a tonne more on offer. Be sure to dress up in your best superhero costume to be in with a chance to win this year’s best-dressed prize. Make the most of the laid back, waterfront location and after a long day of music and moving, continue the party back at the campsite and into the night or alternatively wake up early to go catch a wave or two before it all starts back up again!

When: 12-13 December 2014
For more info head here.

Marmalade Skies | Goulburn

Escape the cyclical repetition of city life and head on into the countryside for a weekend promised to be packed full of great music and good times. It’s not only the music that has got us jumping up and down in anticipation, it’s all the extras that have been thought of by the three young organisers to ensure that this will be the best weekend of the year. Australia’s newest boutique festival, Marmalade Skies, has got some amazing things in store for us, like an inland beach party (awesome), art installations, shearing shed dance parties (love it), craft beer and cider stalls, not to mention the stage and all of the great acts set to grace us with their presence. We cannot wait to spend two nights camping and dancing by a gorgeous river, tangerine trees and flowers swaying around us, waltzing around fresh produce, basically finding our inner hippie child listening to some of today’s awesome artists like Acaddamy, Brave, Olympic Ayres, and Castlecomer just to name a very select few. This is the life.  

When: 12-14 December 2014
For more info head here.

Mountain Sounds | Kariong, Central Coast

Mountain Sounds is a boutique and sustainable festival located on the Central Coast of NSW and aims to not only put on an awesome festival but to also promote the Central Coast as a tourist destination by showing off the local community and businesses. Head to the Coast for this weekend long event, which is promising to be the perfect way to end the summer months. Groove along to good tunes by Carmada, Daniel Lee Kendall and the Griswolds, check out the live art space and just have a generally tremendous time. We’re making the most of the festivities on offer by camping out under the stars with the rest of the teepee community and joining in on the silent disco (great way to curb the sound curfews!). Overall, we love this festival as it is driven to implement sustainable practices to prevent any negative environmental impacts as well as providing a platform for local artists and businesses to showcase their talents. So really, you’re doin’ something good for this little corner of the world whilst having an awesome time – it’s a win-win situation!

When: 21-23 February 2015
For more info head here

Image credit: Mountain Sounds Festival

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