Australia is well-regarded on the international stage for its lively and impressive live music scene. Multiple locations around the country play host to some of the country’s best music festivals which include:
The Adelaide Fringe Festival
This is one of the biggest arts festivals in the world, second only to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. It goes for four weeks during February and March and has a wide variety of music and art performances including cabaret, theatre and circus. It is known by the locals as “Mad March” due to the sheer amount of festivities happening during this time. It all started in 1960 when some musicians, comedians and other artists decided to perform their own event and work together.
Tamworth Country Music Festival, New South Wales
The Tamworth Country Music Festival is listed as one of the “World’s Coolest Music Festivals” and rightly so. It is held every January and goes for 10 days and is noted as one of the biggest music festivals in the southern hemisphere. Each year more than 300,000 people attend the event with many famous country artists performing and attempting to earn the Golden Guitar Statue. Well-known Australian country singers that have performed there over the years include Tommy Emmanuel, Lee Kernaghan, Casey Chambers, Troy Cassar-Daly, Beccy Cole, and Gina Jeffreys. The Festival is held in the small town of Tamworth which is north of Sydney.
Birdsville Big Red Bash, Queensland
This outback music festival is held in the remote town of Birdsville every July. There have been many famous and popular Australian musicians that have played there including Jimmy Barnes, Dragon, Jon Stevens, Kate Ceberano, Ash Grunwald, and Kasey Chambers. Aside from its musical features, another great reason to visit this outback town is the Birdsville horse races which are held in September. Get into the spirit with some Birdsville race tips if you fancy having a punt. The town is quite a way away from any major city and most people fly into the town to go to the Festival, which now has thousands of people attending the event every year. It is one of the most remote festivals in the world, but that doesn’t stop people from getting in on the fun.
The Byron Bay Bluesfest, New South Wales
This event was established in 1990 and is held annually over the Easter long weekend. Many musicians from Australia and around the world turn up to perform, with a great lineup of blues and roots performers playing. It is widely known as one of the world’s leading contemporary music festivals. It was originally a 4-day event but was changed to 5 days. There have been massive Australian and international bands playing at the event including ZZ Top, Wolfmother, Midnight Oil, Bob Dylan, Cold Chisel, and Donovan, to name but a few.
Mona Foma (Museum of Old and New Art: Festival Of Music and Art), Tasmania
Mona Foma is a week-long festival that is held in Launceston, Tasmania and showcases all different types of visual and sound arts. There is a wide range of art forms that include music, theatre, dance, and new media. Brian Richie from the US band Violent Femmes curates the event and it is considered one of the biggest contemporary music festivals in Australia. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were first to headline the event in 2008 to much critical acclaim. The festival is held every January and attracts up to 35,000 people.