Best Music Festivals For Backpackers In Australia

Best Music Festivals For Backpackers In Australia Image | East Coast Tours Australia

Australia’s awesome music scene blesses backpackers and locals alike with an epic, year-round lineup of festivals dotted all along the East Coast! From bush doofs to huge pop festivals and cosey folk shindigs to weekend-long local music events in the city, there is a flavour for everybody. So, grab your earplugs, a pot of eco-body glitter and a pair of gumboots and let the festival planning commence! 

Summer Music Festivals - from November to January 

  • Woodford Folk Festival

Where - Woodford, QLD (about an hour north of Brisbane)

When - December 27th - 1st Jan 

Stay - camping, glamping and day tickets available

Headline acts - wholesome - bohemian - swimming - yoga - cabaret 

If you’re keen for a killer lineup, with some wholesome Irish folk and nature talks to nurture your hangovers, then Woodford Folk Festival is for you! One of the biggest meetings of alternative artists and culture on the East Coast, bring in the New Year with incredible talent, mindfulness and afro beats at Woodford. Cool down in Lake Gkula and eat some delicious vegan food at this mini-village over five days, for a summertime you won’t forget!

A lake landscape with trees and a bar in the background 

  • Lost Paradise Festival 

Where - Glenworth Valley, NSW (about an hour out of Sydney)

When - 28th December - 1st January

Stay - camping and day tickets available

New years - DJs - tent stages - mountains 

Brought to you by Australia’s favourite radio station, Triple J, Lost Paradise Festival undeniably puts on a show. With a great combination of headlining and smaller artists, dance your nights away under the glow of neon stars and good vibes! Cool it down with yoga, art and culture at this three-day camping festival to go down in the books.

  • St Jerome’s Laneway Festival

Where - Adelaide, Brisbane, Fremantle, Melbourne, Sydney 

When - January & February

Stay - day festival only, no camping or overnight stays

Day festival - headliners - good beer - huge tents

Laneway Festival is an Aussie time-of-passage, with exceptional larger and local artists creating a celebration of music that leaves you excited for next year. Rock up in the afternoon for some local music and craft beer, and then get ready for a night of debauchery and dancing! With funky little activities like table tennis tournaments, it’s like an Aussie Sunday session x10!

Laneway Festival stage with purple lighting and a disco ball

Autumn Music Festivals - from February to April

  • Byron Bay Bluesfest

Where - Byron Bay Parklands, NSW

When - Easter Weekend 

Stay - camping, glamping and day tickets available

Rock - soul - blues - headliners - great food & beer

Boasting some of the greatest headline acts coming from all over the world, grab your hat and a cold one to get down to some of the most excellent blues in the world! A super fun weekend full of local artists, oldies-but-goodies, international acts and supreme food and drink, chill out, sing along and get amongst the vibes of Byron's Bluesfest!

  • Groovin The Moo Festival

Where - Bendigo, Maitland, Sunshine Coast, Canberra and Wayville (also WA shows)

When - late April until May

Stay - day festival

Aussie artists - regional - food - drink - tents

Groovin the moo is renowned for hosting some of Australia's best rock, indie-rock, rap, pop and alternative artists over a jam-packed day in various regional locations. With huge stages, awesome sound set ups, splendid food and of course, drinks, party the day away under the sun and have a wild night under the stars at the quintessential Aussie party!

Winter Music Festivals - from May to July

  • Splendour in the Grass 

Where - Byron Bay Parklands, NSW

When - July 2023 

Stay - camping, glamping and day tickets available

Headlining acts - young & fun - festival fashion - funky day activities - chill teepees

Probably the closest thing that Australia has to Coachella, Splendour in the Grass is a whirlwind of colours, huge headliners and jaw-dropping outfits! See some of your favourite pop, indie, rock and rap artists at this mega-festival. Just don’t forget your wellies… it always rains at Splendour!

The Lumineers onstage at Splendour in the Grass

Spring Music Festivals - from August to October

  • Mushroom Valley 

Where - Cathu State Forest, QLD (about 40 minutes south of Airlie Beach)

When - 15th - 17th September

Stay - camping and glamping

Psytrance - techno - bush doof - chai - river swims 

Where psytrance and nature meet, this festival is the epitome of an Aussie bush doof. With techno beats taking you into the wee hours, a stunning river to cool off in during the day and friendly bohemian vibes carrying you through the weekend, get back to your roots at Mushroom Valley!

  • Caloundra Music Festival

Where - Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, QLD (about an hour from Noosa)

When - 30th September - 2nd August

Stay - camping, glamping and day tickets available

Beachside - family-friendly - relaxed - great music

Sun, surf, sand and great music are abound at Caloundra Music Festival. One of the Sunshine Coast’s events of the year, with some classic Aussie acts, younger local bands and fun reggae arvo sessions! While I wouldn’t say that Caloundra is where you would party until 4 am every night, it’s a banging festival if you’re wanting to spend heaps of time at the beach, enjoy a couple of beers and sing along to the headliners! 

Should I volunteer at a music festival?

Is going to festivals expensive? Yes... it can be. But, if you're trying to save money and go to festivals, volunteering is an awesome way to do just that!

If you’re a backpacker on a budget, it’s a brilliant way to attend a festival without breaking the bank. Especially when some of the longer festivals can easily set you back $600. Whether you’re putting wristbands on patrons, serving up coffees, picking up rubbish or working in the office, the jobs are usually really straightforward!

Make new friends and get a whole season ticket when you work for about four or five hours a day as a volunteer. However, if you’re looking to schedule your favourite acts and really relax, think twice about volunteering, as you are occupied for half of the day.

Ball Park Music lead singer at a performance

Want to live that chic life while camping? Check out our ultimate guide to glamping across the East Coast of Australia! 

Or keen to incorporate your next music festival into your East Coast itinerary? Build your dream Australian road trip to explore the music, sun and surf that awaits you in our chilled-out coastal towns!

East Coast Tours acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples.

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