Seven Great Music Festivals to Enjoy in Australia

St Jerome's Laneway Festival - Sydney
Zak Kaczmarek / Contributor/Getty Images

One of the great things about Australia is that the temperate climate that is seen throughout the country for much of the year means that it is a great place to enjoy outdoor activities. Music festivals are particularly popular, as they combine social elements with being able to enjoy different types of music, food, and art in many areas. The right festival for you will often depend on the location, but there are also plenty of differences in terms of the kind of music that you can see, and the atmosphere in these different festivals too, so hopefully these descriptions should help you to pick out the festival that will give you an awesome experience.

Splendour in the Grass

This is one of several great music festivals that is held in Byron Bay every year, and although it is held in the winter in July, the weather in the area is still good enough to make for an enjoyable three-day event. The music tends to be big rock names and indie bands, while the relaxed surroundings mean that you can chill out and enjoy the atmosphere as well as taking in the great music. Within easy reach of the town of Byron Bay, you can also stay in local hostels or hotels if you fancy avoiding the winter camping scene.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Held in June every year, this winter festival brings together some big international names along with local acts to provide a varied and interesting line up of musicians. Unlike outdoor festivals which put everyone on one stage, this festival sees artists playing in one of five or six venues that are included in the festival every year, with ten days of live music acts that draw in a lot of local people, along with plenty of international visitors too.

Falls Festival

This is the biggest of several festivals that are held over the New Year period in Australia, with three locations in Lorne, Tasmania and Byron Bay. The line up is usually split up into three, with each act playing a different location each night. A varied line up of modern acts usually draws a fairly young crowd, with rock, hip-hop, and electronic music all represented on the bill of this festival.


This festival offers a very different atmosphere to many others, firstly because it is located in a beautiful location between the Adelaide Zoo and the Botanical Gardens, and secondly because it is a world music festival drawing a huge variety of acts from across the world. There is the occasional big name, but the real attraction is the range of different international music styles being performed, while there are also a range of art exhibitions and installations to be seen around the grounds.

Byron Bay Bluesfest

A festival that draws a good range of blues bands, and a few big bands that roughly fit into the category, this interesting festival is a great place to immerse yourself in good music, with many of the bands on show being local artists. The festival is held over five days and brings in thousands of visitors, with the fact that it is held over the long Easter weekend being an important selling point.

A Day on the Green

Less a festival and rather a celebration of wine and music, A Day On The Green is actually a series of one-day festivals held at wineries across the wine growing regions of Australia, and this is often known as the 'Big Day Out for grown-ups'. A civilized atmosphere and an enthusiasm for a good time make it worth checking out one of these events.

St Jerome's Laneway Festival

This fascinating festival is one that has a very different atmosphere to many others, as it is held in the alleys and narrow streets of several cities in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, having started out as a one-off in 2004 in Melbourne. The list of artists is very contemporary and has some of the coolest indie bands playing in the quirky street venues.​​