12 must-do music festivals in 2018
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.
Cooly Rocks On: 6-10 June 2018
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.
Birdsville Big Red Bash: 10-12 July 2018
They say things are bigger and better in the outback, so shelve your stadium and try the acoustics on the edge of a desert.
Australia’s biggest music acts will belt out ballads against the backdrop of Big Red – The Simpson Desert’s largest dune, just a coo-ee from Birdsville. We’re talking legends like John Farnham, Kate Ceberano and up and coming trailblazers Busby Marou.
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.
Groundwater Country Music Festival: 27-29 July 2018
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 perform across a number of outdoor stages and venues throughout Broadbeach.
Australian Festival of Chamber Music: 27 July – 4 August 2018
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 2018 festival.
Gympie Music Muster: 23-26 August 2018
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 2018 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.
BIGSOUND: 4-7 September 2018
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.
Caloundra Music Festival: 28 September – 1 October 2018
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 2018 line-up announcement and book early as tickets fly out.
Opera in the Outback: 19-21 September 2018
The west will take music to a high note this September 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.
Mitchell Creek Rock N Blues Festival: 21-24 September 2018
See 150 artists bring the Mitchell Creek Rock N Blues Festival to life across a hundred acre property nestled in Noosa Hinterland’s Mary Valley.
Free camp for three days and nights and you’ll be surrounded by non-stop music, friendly vibes and family-friendly fun.
This year’s line up includes the iconic Renee Geyer, Ross Wilson, Gerry Joe Weise and The Fumes. There are alternating stages erected throughout the bushland, so you never have to miss a band.
Island Vibe Festival: 25-28 October 2018
Head to Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) to experience an electric festival showcasing the world’s best reggae and roots musicians like Torres Strait guitar virtuoso Chris Tamwory, and reggae superstar Naaman and his band.
Camp or glamp under the stars or opt for a luxurious hotel. Either way, you’re bound to get your music fix at the festival main site; Point Look out.
Getting to “Straddie” is quite simple and if you’re looking for a helpful guide, check this out.
Yarrabah Band Festival: 3 November 2018
From live music to food stalls and local art, festival-goers are invited to immerse themselves in a one-day celebration of the arts.
Airlie Beach Festival of Music: 9-11 November 2018
No need to choose between a tropical getaway or seeing your fave band live. You can do both at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music.
This year’s line-up includes Smash Mouth, Killing Heidi and The Church!
Your band can even get in on the action at the Battle of the Bands where the winners are treated to 4 nights free accommodation, VIP main tent passes and your chance to play live at the festival.
Psst! Here’s a sneak-peak at what you can expect in 2019:
Agnes Blues, Roots and Rock Festival
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 QLD
Billed as Australia’s biggest international country music festival, CMC Rocks QLD is on track to be bigger and better in 2019.
In 2018, global superstars Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker and Kelsea Ballerini headlined the festival at Willowbank, and with a record-breaking 18,000 tickets sold in an hour, it is no doubt a must-see event.
And kicking off this epic weekend of country music in Queensland is the night of all nights – aka the CMC Music Awards. Yee-ha!
Surfers Paradise Live
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.
Keep your eyes peeled for more line-up announcements closer to the date!
Blues on Broadbeach
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 2019 line-up announcement.