Must do Queensland music festivals to keep you dancing in 2020
Do you live to hear the strum of a guitar from front row?
Here in Queensland, local and international talent is on show year-round at our music festivals.
There’s a little something to suit every taste, no matter who is your most-played on Spotify. And from the outback to the beach, they’re in destinations you’ll never want to leave.
Road trip to Australia’s most remote desert music festival, or settle into a hammock at a forest folk jam. Maybe you’re more into country music campouts, or blues by the beach.
Our long, warm nights and shoes-optional attitude make music festivals feel more like a laid-back gathering of friends. All of the good times, none of the stress.
So grab your mates and hit the road for these Queensland music festivals in 2020.
CMC Rocks QLD | Brisbane
WHEN: 20-22 March 2020
If there’s only two types of music on your playlist (country AND western) then scoot to CMC Rocks QLD. It’s gonna be bigger than Texas in 2020.
Billed as Australia’s biggest international country music festival, headliners this year include Miranda Lambert, Kip Moore and Morgan Evans.
CMC Rocks will offer more than ever in its 13th year, returning with an extended festival program, a slew of market stalls, food and drink outlets plus even more camping space so you can get the full festival experience.
Birdsville Big Red Bash | Outback Queensland
WHEN: 7-9 JULY 2020
They say things are bigger and better in the outback, so shelve your stadium and try the acoustics on the edge of the 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. And this year you’ll get to hear legends like Paul Kelly, Ian Moss, Tim Finn and Kate Cebrano.
Bring your tent, van or swag for this three-day music festival and get some red dirt on your dancing shoes.
BIGSOUND | Brisbane
WHEN: September 2020
It’s the festival that helped uncover the likes of Gang of Youths, Flume and Courtney Barnett. Yep – 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.
Part music festival, part conference; musicians and industry professionals from around the globe will descend on Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley to showcase and witness the best new Aussie music. Promoting togetherness, music innovation and new sounds, the festival is defining and owning its place in the international music industry calendar.
It’s also your chance to 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.
Jungle Love Music & Arts Festival | Sunshine Coast
WHEN: May 2020
Welcome to the Jungle.
For a festival that’s a little different, venture deep into the Sunshine Coast Hinterland for Jungle Love.
Up and coming local musos and artists collide at this three day, BYO festival.
It’s an ode to new discoveries and experiences. Performance art, tie die and yoga, live art activations and unique touches like communal bikes to zip around the campsite.
Wake up to sunrise yoga. Float down the Yabba Creek while sipping that midday beer. Discover a band you’ve never heard before as the sun sets on a balmy Queensland evening.
The strong sense of community felt here will stay with you long after you leave.
Surfers Paradise Live | Gold Coast
WHEN: 30 April – 3 May 2020
Come for the surf, stay for the free live tunes that’ll ring out across multiple stages throughout Surfers Paradise.
Aussie acts are the star of the show here. The event even kicks off with the Gold Coast Music Awards which recognises local talent.
While you’re in town, take a wander through the Surfers Paradise Markets to check out local artisan made fashion, jewellery and photography.
Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival | Gold Coast
WHEN: 14-17 May 2020
In 2019, over 60 artists took to 20 stages over the Blues on Broadbeach festival – and 2020 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 2020 line-up announcement.
Groundwater Country Music Festival | Gold Coast
WHEN: 24-26 July 2020
The beach is probably the last place you’d expect to find a country music festival, but Queensland continues to surprise (and we couldn’t be more thrilled).
Free to attend, Groundwater flows through the streets and venues of Broadbeach nestled steps from the sand. Expect 50 artists across 15 stages, and three whole days of rocking country music.
There’s nothing else like it – and the best excuse to make a weekend of it on the Gold Coast.
Jumpers & Jazz Festival | Southern Queensland Country
WHEN: 16-26 July 2020
Don’t stand still too long in Warwick during the Jumpers and Jazz Festival or you might just be yarn bombed.
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 up-tempo vibes continue with more than 30 jazz performances across the 10 day event as both locals and tourists wake from the winter.
Australian Festival of Chamber Music | Townsville North Queensland
WHEN: 31 July – 9 August 2020
Sublime music performed by some of the best musicians in the world, staged in a tropical destination in the middle of winter.
The Australian Festival of Chamber Music is returning to Townsville for its 30th anniversary – and it brings a diverse program of 16 international artists and 29 Australian artists for 10 days of performances – including one on the beach at Orpheus Island.
Gympie Music Muster | Sunshine Coast
WHEN: 27-30 August 2020
Like clockwork, thousands of revellers make the pilgrimage to pitch their tents, pull on their cowboy boots and celebrate the best of blues, roots and country at the Gympie Music Muster.
Why not make 2020 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 good times and great mates together under one big open roof.
Yarrabah Band Festival | Tropical North Queensland
WHEN: 3 October 2020
Music has been the way the local Gunggandji people have passed down stories for thousands of years – and this is your chance to feel the energy of a community uniting in celebration.
Travel to Yarrabah, a small town south of Cairns, to experience one of Queensland’s premier Indigenous events. You’ll be dancing with the whole community as local and well-known performers take the stage.
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.
Caloundra Music Festival | Sunshine Coast
WHEN: October 2020
It’s beach weather year-round in Queensland, but what better way to welcome spring than a beach-front music festival on the Sunshine Coast?
The Caloundra Music Festival is a not-for-profit celebration that plays host to all ages and musical tastes across one huge October weekend. 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 2020 line-up announcement and book early as tickets fly out the door. 2019 saw Jet, Missy Higgens, Kate Miller-Heidke and The Veronicas smash it out – so expect awesome things to come.
Airlie Beach Festival of Music | The Whitsundays
WHEN: November 2020
Only in Airlie Beach can you see 74 bands alongside 74 islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.
There’s no need need to choose between a tropical getaway or seeing your fave band live. Here at Airlie Beach Festival of Music there’s 17 stages worth of performances.
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.
One Hot Night | Rockhampton
WHEN: December 2020
Rocky gets even rockier when Busby Marou and a crew of Aussie musicians come to town for One Hot Night in December.
Discover emerging talent and sing along to bands you love, where cowboy culture meets coastal vibes.
Dive into islands of the Southern Great Barrier Reef while you’re here in the region – there’s plenty more to see after the encore.
WOODFORD FOLK FESTIVAL
WHEN: DEC – JAN 2020
It’s new year, new inspiration at Woodfordia.
More than just a music festival, Woodford Folk Festival is the largest gathering of artists and musicians in Australia, held annually over six days and six nights.
Set on a former dairy farm that has been lovingly regenerated with subtropical rainforest and wildlife, this festival experience is deep, rich and colourful.
Folk music, indigenous performances, theatre, comedy, film, street performances, visual arts, acro yoga, sustainability forums and so much more comprise a festival for everyone – even those with kids in tow.