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Victoria in summer is all about outdoor music. The fine, hot days and late sun-sets make the perfect mix to throw an outdoor music event. There's a huge variety of music available, but if you're keen to attend one of these events keep in mind that tickets usually sell out fast! Most event tickets go on sale on-line from mid September, so ensure you check in regularly with the festival site so you don't miss out.
Some of the most popular Music Festivals in and around Melbourne, Victoria include (in alphabetic order):
The Apollo Bay Music Festival features an eclectic range of performers from Australia and overseas. It is held in April.
The Big Day Out music festival tours throughout Australia during January, but is always held in Melbourne on the Australia Day Weekend (last weekend in January). Starting in Sydney in 1992, the 1 day festival now attracts around 300,000 people and offers a wide variety of local and international acts across 7 stages. Tickets usually go on sale in November and are often sold out within a week.
Earthcore is best known as one of Australia's biggest outdoor raves. Outdoor events run several times throughout the year, can be between 1 and 7 days and are usually held in forest environments around Victoria. Music centers around all genres of dance music, but with offshoots into many areas that encompass the ever growing street culture. Each earthcore event is dedicated to all aspects of electronic music and features a large range of local, interstate and international artists, musicians and associated hangers-on. Earthcore endeavours to create amazing events that incorporate performance, installation art, dance culture and alternative lifestyle opportunities within a 'festival' and party atmosphere.
Held in Lorne over the New Years Eve period, the Falls Festival has been running since 1993. From its humble beginnings when a young surfer and his mates decided to put a shout-out to their favourite bands to play at the farm on new year's eve, the festival has grown to now attract big-name international bands and more than 10,000 music lovers each year. Camping onsite at the festival is a tradition, with passouts allowing access to the beach and town centre of Lorne. Tickets generally go on sale in late October / early November and sell out within a few days.
The Grasshopper Festival is held in Geelong on the first weekend in October each year. A one-day festival, Grasshopper features rock/indie/hip-hop/electro music across three stages. Tickets are generally released in stages and gradually increase in price the closer it is to the event. For those travelling to Grasshopper from Melbourne, a free shuttle bus is usually run from the main Geelong Train Station.
Held in early December, Meredith Music Festival is held at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre over 3 days. Meredith is halfway between Geelong and Ballarat on the Midland Highway (A300), about 90kms due West of Melbourne. From Melbourne CBD it'll take you about 2 hours to drive there by car. The first festival was in 1991 and attracted only 250 punters; but by 2007, more than 10,000 people were heading to Meredith.
Meredith has been hailed as Australia's answer to Woodstock, but is best summed up by the Festival Organisers
A Full Weekend of Fluctuating, Hi-Fidelity Freedom in the Supernatural Amphitheatre. The Number One aim is to provide ultimate doses of Every Shade Of Fun.
Parklife is held each year in Melbourne on the banks of the Yarra River overlooking Melbourne's skyline. A single day event held in late September, Parklife offers a variety of electro, hip hop, house, breaks, beats and more.
Port Fairy Spring Music Festival is held in October each year in the town of Port Fairy, which lies just past Warrnambool. The festival is a unique classical music weekend, presenting music of the great European composers, plus new works by Australian contemporary composers in historical buildings along the ocean. Music theatre, jazz and dance are included in the broad program.
Over Labour Day Weekend each March, Port Fairy is home to the world-famous Port Fairy Folk Festival. Drawing thousands of people from all parts of the world, this Folk Festival presents over 130 international and national artists across more than 20 venues. This four days festival features roots, celtic, folk, country, bluegrass, blues, jazz, rock, crossover and world music.
Another New Years Eve festival, the Pyramid Rock Festival is held on a farm on the south coast of Phillip Island. Festival goers generally camp onsite arriving on either the 29th or 30th December. Tickets go on sale in September and despite setting you back about AUD$200, often sell out within a few weeks.
Queenscliff is a beachside town on the Bellarine Peninsula, about 1 1/2 hours drive from Melbourne. Held in November, the Queenscliff Music Festival boasts more than 100 artists on 10 stages across 3 days. Ticket usually go on sale in late August/early September.
A relative new comer on the Australian festival circuit, Shine On has already gained a strong following. Providing something a little different in an already busy season, Shine On showcases a diverse range of alternative music - roots, reggae, funk, soul, folk, glitch, dubstep, house, techno, trance and everything in between. It was conceived of by some of the core crew behind one of Australia's most loved electronic music festivals, Rainbow Serpent. It is held over three days in late November in western Victoria and has three stages of music, roving performance, fire shows, a cinema and a huge market place providing a great range of food and crafts.
St Jerome's Laneway Festival is named after its origins in St Jerome's bar in one of Melbourne's laneways, where it held its first festival. After several years of operating in Caledonian Lane in the CBD, this indie music festival has become so popular it has had to move to larger surrounds in the inner city suburb of Footscray. In 2010 it will be on the 30th of January, 2010.
Held on the St Kilda beach foreshore in early February, St Kilda Festival is well known for large crowds, loud rock bands, fringe art, extreme sports, dance, and funky entertainment. Attracting more than 350,000 people each year, this FREE festival should be on every traveller's to-do list in Melbourne.
Stereosonic is usually held on the first weekend in December at the Melbourne Showgrounds and showcases the latest and greatest in electro, house, indie dance, electronica, detroit funk, broken tech phunk and uber dance-pop.
Held on the 1st of January each year, the Summa Dayze festival is a dance music extravaganza for those who love to keep right on partying after New Year's Eve. Located each year at the Melbourne Music Bowl in the heart of Melbourne's botanical gardens, Summa Dayze attracts a huge rave crowd to hear international artists. Tickets go on sale in November/December and usually sell out just before Christmas.
The biggest outdoor music festivals in Australia over summer tend to travel throughout Australia visiting all, or most, of the large cities.
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