Must-do music festivals in 2017
Couldn’t twist your boss’s arm to approve your end-of-year annual leave?
Never fear, if you live to hear the strum of a guitar from the front of the stage, pack your bags because the music festivals don’t stop in Queensland at summer’s end. In fact, they’re just getting started!
Grab your mates and hit the road to one of these top music events on throughout the year.
Agnes Blues, Roots and Rock Festival: 17-19 February 2017
If you needed an excuse to transport yourself to paradise, this is it. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and a number of picturesque national parks, this Southern Great Barrier Reef festival delivers three days of the best blues, roots and rock music this side of the Tropic of Capricorn.
While you’re there, why not explore the region – the last stop in the stretch of Queensland’s surf beaches – and stay awhile to surf, swim and play.
CMC Rocks Queensland: 24-26 March 2017
Billed as Australia’s biggest international country music festival, CMC Rocks QLD is on track to be bigger and better in 2017, celebrating its 10th anniversary.
In a major coup, global superstars The Dixie Chicks return to Australia for the first time in more than 10 years to headline the March event at Willowbank, alongside Aussie acts Kaylens Rain, Jasmine Rae, Brothers 3 and Lee Kernaghan.
And kicking off this epic weekend of country music in Queensland is the night of all nights – aka the CMC Music Awards – which will take place the day before on the 23 March. Yee-ha!
Bleach*Festival: 31 March -16 April 2017
Celebrating all that glitters about the Gold Coast art and cultural scene, Bleach* takes visitors from the beach to the streets in one, inventive festival.
Plant your feet firmly in the sand and expect the unexpected with everything from eye-popping antics, street parties and picnics in unusual and whimsical settings.
This festival of fun delivers everything from contemporary live music, pop-up art installations and exhibitions to outdoor film programs, theatre, and big ideas.
Surfers Paradise Live: 28-30 April 2017
Come for the surf, stay for the free live tunes that’ll be ringing out across multiple stages throughout Surfers Paradise.
Yep, most people are gob-smacked when they realise this festival extravaganza is costing them zilch, considering there’s going to be a diverse and eclectic mix of musicians playing non-stop for three glorious days and nights.
And this year’s headliner is none other than Australia’s favourite twins, The Veronicas. Keep your eyes peeled for more line-up announcements closer to the date!
Blues on Broadbeach: 18-21 May 2017
Held over four days, Australia’s largest free music festival is jam-packed with a line-up giving music lovers food for the soul, combining the best of blues with the cream of Gold Coast cuisine in a guaranteed recipe for success.
Stay tuned for the 2017 line-up announcement.
Music in the Mulga: 18-21 May 2017
This one-pub-town will turn a working sheep and cattle property 16km south of Eulo’s main street into the perfectly crafted Music in the Mulga festival this May.
With the atmosphere of an old-fashioned family get-together, festival-goers will be treated to performances by leading and up-and-coming country music acts, as well as the annual charity auction, yabby race and celebrity cook off.
Afterwards, recover like a rock star with Eulo’s famous artesian mud baths!
Big Pineapple Music Festival: 27 May 2017
Round up your crew for a mammoth day (and night) of music, amusement rides, and endless good vibes at the Big Pineapple Festival on the Sunshine Coast. And yes, there is in fact a giant pineapple at home on this festival site.
Spread across four stages, you’ll be treated to both home-grown local talent as well as an epic lineup of national and international acts down at the naturally sloping grassed amphitheatre.
Cooly Rocks On: 7-11 June 2017
If you’re a rebel without a cause and with a James Dean demeanour, you’ll want to be front and centre for the 5-day bash, Cooly Rocks On.
More than 50 rock’n’roll and rockabilly bands will perform while more than 1200 cars will line the streets for one of the biggest car displays ever staged in Australia.
Fire up and bring the family and enjoy loads of free entertainment and retro markets.
Big Red Bash: 4-6 July 2017
They say things are bigger and better in the outback, so shelve your stadium and try the acoustics on the edge of a desert.
Four of Australia’s biggest music acts Jessica Mauboy, Lee Kernaghan, James Reyne and Mark Seymour will belt out ballads against the backdrop of Big Red – The Simpson Desert’s largest dune, just a coo-ee from Birdsville.
This is a true blue event, so bring your tent, van or swag for this three-day music festival and get some red dirt on your dancing shoes.
Broadbeach Country Music Festival: 28-30 July 2017
The beach is probably the last place you’d expect to find a country music festival, but alas, Queensland continues to surprise us (and we couldn’t be more thrilled).
Combining ‘Country with the Coast’, this free beachside festival will see some big names in the Australian country music scene – including Kasey Chambers, Troy Cassar-Daley and Travis Collins – perform across a number of outdoor stages and venues throughout Broadbeach.
Australian Festival of Chamber Music: 28 July – 5 August 2017
Outdoor music festivals aren’t just about neon shirts and shoulder rides. Townsville’s set to put orchestra music in the ears of audiences by converting around 25 outdoor music venues into stages.
Stay tuned as internationally-acclaimed orchestras will soon be announced for the 2017 festival.
Gympie Music Muster: 24-27 August 2017
Like clockwork, thousands of revellers make the pilgrimage to pitch their tents, pull on their boots and celebrate the best of blues, roots and country at the Gympie Music Muster.
Why not make 2017 your year to join in the fun? Spilling out over 50 hectares of bushland, you’ll find yourself under the spell of this iconic event that brings music and mateship together under one big open roof.
Maroochy Music and Visual Arts Festival: 26 August 2017
Love music? Love art? Then the Maroochy Music and Visual Arts Festival on the Sunshine Coast sounds like your perfect festy match.
When you’re not listening to the top-tier line-up of Aussie and local artists #killingit in the open-air amphitheatre, you can explore the larger-than-life art installations and live artists at work in the Visual Arts Park, or just kick back on a pink bean bag with a glass of bubbly at the Champagne and Oyster Garden.
Bigsound: 6-8 September 2017
If there was an event to put Brisbane firmly on the music festival map it might just be BIGSOUND – Australia’s premier festival of new music.
This year, a vibrant collection of musicians, music industry professionals and music lovers from across the globe will assemble in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley to discover Australian music over two action-packed nights in September. Earn bragging rights with your mates to say “I heard them first” when you dance the night away with 150 of the best new artists.
Mitchell Creek Rock n Blues Fest: 15-18 September 2017
Three days, late nights, live music and BYO = a recipe for a good time.
Grab a bunch of mates and set off for the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, two hours north of Brisbane. With a free camping ground on site, you’ll get to spend more time at the event than driving to and from this festival set in the heart of the Mary Valley.
Griffith Opera on the Beach – Aida: 21-30 September 2017
Why go inside for a theatre production when it can be re-imagined for the outdoors?
Better still, when it’s on the beach…. at dusk.
A royal love triangle, a fight for freedom, and the famous ‘Triumphal March’ will light up the sky when Aida comes to Coolangatta. But with only six performances in the pipe-line, you’ll want to get in quick so you don’t miss out on the operatic action (we’re talking fireworks of the vocal and exploding kind, colourful costumes and local surf life savers parading past you on the sand).
Caloundra Music Festival: 29 September – 2 October 2017
Beach weather is back and what better way to celebrate the change of season than with a trip up the coast to listen to some tunes?
The Caloundra Music Festival is a not-for-profit celebration that plays host to all ages and music tastes. Set up at one of Queensland’s most popular beaches, they’ve even got a dedicated kids play area making it super family-friendly!
Keep your ears to the ground for the 2017 line-up announcement and book early as tickets fly out.
Opera in the Outback: 5-7 October 2017
The west will take music to a high note this October for Opera in the Outback. Under the spotlight of a million stars, this event draws hundreds of visitors to the tiny town of Undara, about 350-clicks south-west of Cairns.
Undara Experience has your accommodation covered with pioneer huts, railway carriages and a caravan park, so all you need to do is plan your escape to the outback and book in some time at the famous Undara lava tubes.