18 must-do music festivals in 2019
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 throughout the year.
CMC Rocks QLD | Brisbane
WHEN: 14-17 March 2019
Billed as Australia’s biggest international country music festival, CMC Rocks QLD is on track to be bigger and better in 2019.
If you snooze, you lose, with the 21,000 tickets for this festival selling out within hours of their release. Who could blame loyal CMC Rocks fans when Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett are headlining in 2019. You can still join the waitlist if more tickets are released for the four-day festival held just west of Brisbane.
Winton’s Way Out West Fest | Outback
When: 25-28 April 2019
Winton’s Way Out West Fest was first held in 2018 to mark the reopening of the iconic Waltzing Matilda Centre. The event proved to be so successful they have decided to do it all again. You do not want to miss this four-day camping music festival being held across eight stages with 170 hours of music.
Bringing together artists from country, pop, rock and blues, the second Winton’s Way Out West Fest presents Amy Shark, John Williamson, Missy Higgins, Brett Eldredge (USA), Jon Pardi (USA), The Road Hammers, San Cisco, Lime Cordiale, Chad Morgan, Murphy’s Pigs and more to be announced playing across the four-day festival.
Surfers Paradise Live | Gold Coast
WHEN: 2-5 May 2019
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.
The event kicks off with the Gold Coast Music Awards which recognises local talent and while you’re in town, take a wander through the Surfers Paradise Markets where other talented creatives display their fashion, jewellery and photography.
Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival | Gold Coast
WHEN: 16-19 May 2019
In 2018, over 60 artists took to the stage over the Blues on Broadbeach festival and 2019 promises to be even bigger.
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 but in the meantime download the Blues on Broadbeach app to stay connected to festival news.
Cooly Rocks On | Gold Coast
WHEN: 5-9 June 2019
If you’re a rebel without a cause with a James Dean demeanour, you’ll want to be front and centre for the five-day bash, Cooly Rocks On.
More than 50 rock’n’roll and rockabilly bands will perform while more than 1200 vintage cars will line the streets for one of the brightest chrome displays staged in Australia. Chance your hips and join the swing dancers who will burn up the dance floor.
Stop spinning your wheels and bring the family to enjoy loads of free entertainment and retro markets.
Yarrabah Band Festival | Tropical North Queensland
WHEN: 15 June 2019
Yarrabah Band Festival is a great community event encouraging local Indigenous artists to take to the stage.
Now in its seventh year, the Yarrabah Band Festival draws crowds upwards of 4000 to the beachside town of Yarrabah in Tropical North Queensland.
From live music to food stalls and local art, festival-goers are invited to immerse themselves in a one-day celebration of the arts. For more must-see Indigenous events head here.
River Sessions | Mackay
WHEN: 29 June 2019
River Sessions is Queensland’s largest non-touring single day music festival that will aim to claim that statues again showcasing a multitude of Australia’s leading live dance, hip hop and rock/indie acts taking the stage with an abundance of 15 food and arts vendors in a boutique setting at one of Mackay’s beautiful venues, Queens Park.
Birdsville Big Red Bash | Outback Queensland
WHEN: 16-18 July 2019
They say things are bigger and better in the outback, so shelve your stadium and try the acoustics on the edge of a desert at the Big Red Bash.
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.
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.
Opera at Jimbour | Southern Queensland Country
WHEN: 27 July 2019
Opera at Jimbour is an iconic music event held every second year at the majestic Jimbour Station, featuring the best of music, wine, and food in a spectacular outdoor setting.
An amphitheatre is set amidst the rolling hills of a working cattle station, against the backdrop of Jimbour House. Hundreds of stalls feature local produce, including wine and gourmet picnic baskets to complete the experience. Over several years, Queensland Music Festival has been partnering with Opera Queensland to deliver operatic programs that are specially adapted to the outdoor setting, featuring leading talent and rising stars from across Australia.
Groundwater Country Music Festival | Gold Coast
WHEN: 26-28 July 2019
Down because Blues on Broadbeach is done for another year? Never fear, another festival is here.
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 | Townsville North Queensland
WHEN: 26 July – 4 August 2019
It’s about sublime music performed by some of the best musicians in the world, staged in a tropical destination in the middle of winter.
Townsville’s set to present classical music to locals and visitors alike with an incredibly diverse and entertaining 10-day program of 30 concerts in various venues including one on the beach at Orpheus Island.
Jumpers & Jazz Festival | Southern Queensland Country
WHEN: 18-28 July 2019
This quirky festival brings a splash of colour to the cool months as the community comes together to change their streetscape by jumpering trees in textiles. The uptempo vibes continue with over 30 jazz performances over the 10 days as locals and tourists alike wake from the winter.
Gympie Music Muster | Sunshine Coast
WHEN: 22-25 August 2019
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 2019 your year to join in the fun? Spilling out over 50 hectares of bushland near Gympie, you’ll find yourself under the spell of this iconic event that brings music and mateship together under one big open roof.
BIGSOUND Festival | Brisbane
WHEN: 3-6 September 2019
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 Festival | Sunshine Coast
WHEN: 21-22 September 2019
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. There are alternating stages erected throughout the bushland, so you never have to miss a band.
Caloundra Music Festival | Sunshine Coast
WHEN: 4 – 7 October 2019
Beach weather is back and what better way to celebrate the change of season than with a trip to the Sunshine Coast to listen to some tunes?
The Caloundra Music Festival is a not-for-profit celebration that plays host to all ages and musical 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 2019 line-up announcement and book early as tickets fly out the door.
Island Vibe Festival | Brisbane
WHEN: 24-27 October 2019
Head to Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) to experience an electric festival showcasing the world’s best reggae and roots musicians.
Getting to “Straddie” is simple and if you’re looking for a helpful guide, check this out.
Airlie Beach Festival of Music | The Whitsundays
WHEN: 8-10 November 2019
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 where over 200 musicians play over 17 stages.
Your band can even get in on the action at the Battle of the Bands where the winners are treated to four nights free accommodation, VIP main tent passes and your chance to play live at the festival.