Travel

Festival fun for people who want to rock on

If you love music festivals showcasing hits from the 1950s to the 1980s, then make a date in your calendar and get out your map to plot a course to Australia's best east coast gatherings. You’ve earned the right to let loose and have a blast.

Tamworth Country Music Festival

The big golden guitar in Tamworth attracts country music lovers.

Yee-har! A 10-day extravaganza in January that gets bigger every year with 300,000+ visitors from far and wide. This festival in Australia's country music capital has been on the great Aussie Must-Do list for over 50 years. The coveted Golden Guitar Award attracts all the biggest country and rock names, and those hoping to be.

More info: Tamworth Country Music Festival

Destination Tamworth

Juicy Fest

 If you like your festivals the way you like your mangoes, all succulent, moist and pulpy, then this one may be for you. Described as the largest Hip Hop and R&B nostalgia music festival in the Southern Hemisphere, you can secure your January tickets for various locations, firstly in New Zealand, followed by Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Adelaide and Perth. It’s everywhere, man.

More info: Juicy Fest 2024

Parkes Elvis Festival

Jailhouse Rock, anyone? For more than 30 years, this world-recognised tribute to Elvis coincides with the King of Rock’s birthday in the second week of January. The rural town of Parkes in Central West NSW is fully into the vibe, with street parades, a heritage car display, and the rebellious energy of good ol’ rock’n’roll. You’ll see more Elvis look-alikes than there were sequins on his sparkly white jacket.

More info: Parkes Elvis Festival

Party in the Paddock

Founded in 2012 as a 22ndbirthday celebration for a local chap, this one has been a bit on-again,off-again since it first got underway, but when it’s on and good, it’s said to be very very good. Held near Launceston generally during February, but check details before you plan.

More info: Party in the Paddock Music Festival

Blue Mountains Music Festival

A 3-day jam in March, of folk, roots and blues. Held in various intimate and large venues around beautiful Katoomba, one of only 2 cities in the world situated within a UNESCO declared world heritage area. Take summer clothes and your snow jacket, and we recommend you book early to secure accommodation in one of the several beautiful old guesthouses.

More info: Blue Mountains Music Festival

Bluesfest

At Tyagarah near Byron Bay, all the blues, roots, country, pop, reggae, folk, hip-hop and jazz you can poke a stick at. Held over the Easter long weekend, attracting big crowds, big name artists, caravans, hippies, the whole shebang. And if you want to catch some waves, the beach is just a short drive away. PLUR abounds (peace, love, unity, respect). Bring your glowsticks.

More info: Byron Bay Bluesfest

National Folk Festival

Established in 1967, this Canberra 10-day super gig celebrates diverse folk culture in all its forms in lateApril/early May. Attracting top Aussie artists and big names from abroad. Dished up alongside the folk is punk rock and political protest songs, mild weather, and family fun. Bring the grandkids for a camp-out they’ll never forget.

More info: National Folk Festival

Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival

Despite the name, this festival is not entirely folk music, folks, there’s also bush bands, belly dancers, and blues, Deep South slide guitar, harmonica and fiddle. Look out for some Muddy Waters, and we’re not talking about the weather. Usually held in October.

More info: Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival

Wingham Akoostik Music Festival

This October festival in the historic and friendly town of Wingham on the Mid North Coast NSW has it all: acoustic,rock, reggae, country, plus art, food, camping, boating on the Manning River, and Harrington Beach is just over 30 minutes by car. Rock, soul, folk, blues, as well as workshops on gardening, yoga, drumming, painting and dancing … a true boomer-fest.

Tex Perkins and the Fat Rubber Band will headline the Wingham Akoostik Music Festival

More info: WIngham Akoostik Music Festival

The West Australian Guitar Festival

Strings Attached in the Margaret River is the other event name for the West Australian Guitar Festival. If the twang of a guitar string is your thing, and you like to hear it, play it, or masterclass it, then you’ll want to head to beautiful Margaret River in October. Combine with sublime wine from the area, and life don’t get much better than that.

More info: West Australian Guitar Festival

Woodford Folk Festival

After Christmas and into January, this 6-day rural festival inMoreton Bay has the lot: rock, folk, blues, roots, first nations ceremonies, plus buskers, circus, comedy and cabaret. It’s even had The Wiggles and Dr Karl perform. Drag your caravan, erect the annex, pitch a tent, bring the whole family.

More info: Woodford Folk Festival

Don’t stop the music

If you still have soles on your dancing shoes, then check these out:

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