If one of your favourite things to do over the summer period is rock on at some fantastic live music, then you would be well advised to organise a hotel in Melbourne and head to this Aussie culture capital for a legendary line-up of festivals. With a range of well-known, annual events that cater to a variety of musical tastes, Melbourne is a hot spot for local and international live acts. To make sure you don’t miss any of the best in music action over the coming months, read on for five top music festivals in Melbourne this summer where you can truly get your groove on.
Big Day Out
One of Australia’s most well-known music festivals, the Big Day Out, returns in 2014 bigger and better than ever. The day-long festival will be held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne on January 24 and will host some of the biggest names in music. Pearl Jam, Blur, Snoop Dogg/Lion, Arcade Fire, Major Lazer and Flume will all be performing alongside a selection of Australia’s finest talent. The biggest music festival in the country is over 20 years old and each year features an eclectic mix of Aussie and international rock and dance acts as well as other performances, cultural displays and quirky art installations. Thousands of music fans are set to enjoy the next line-up of entertainment at the 2014 Big Day Out and any visitors heading to Melbourne when it’s on could not find a better live music event.
Australia’s biggest electronic-dance music festival returns to Melbourne in early December this year for its fifth anniversary. The festival is expanding into a two-day showcase and will be held at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Australia’s most loved electronic live music festival showcases emerging and established local talent to fans around the world. This year will feature more than 300 different Aussie acts. The 2013 festival will be the biggest so far; it’s set to feature first-time DJs, Australian names from the DJ scene and some of the world’s premier artists, like David Guetta, Armin van Buuren and Calvin Harris.
Harvest Festival launched two years and redefined the Aussie music festival experience. Rather than going down the path of other events and choosing massive arenas to host the festival in, organisers chose instead to embrace a unique setting – this year’s festival will be held in November in the wilds of Werribee Park, for instance. Harvest is not just a live music event but an all-round cultural experience. The festival includes art installations and explorations, impromptu burlesque shows, cocktail bars and intimate tent set-ups. Huge international names such as Massive Attack, Franz Ferdinand and Goldfrapp will play alongside a local Australian line-up of artists.
Melbourne Music Week
Taking place across 60 different CBD venues in Melbourne over a week during late November, the Melbourne Music Week returns in 2013 and is set to offer the biggest line-up of music acts yet. Visitors to Victoria’s capital city will be able to enjoy more than 230 performers playing at 110 events held around the city, half of which are completely free of charge to attend. This festival supports local Melbourne musicians and will feature acts such as Pantha du Prince and The Bell Laboratory, Canyons & Daniel Boyd, Nosaj Thing, Oval and The Bats. The opening night party will be presented by Mistletone Records, while a tribute to Polyester Records and its 30 years of business will also be held during the week. The new flagship venue for the 2013 festival will be called “The Residence”, and is a pop-up establishment at Birrarung Marr featuring food, installations and a new music program each day.
Future Music Festival
From the entertainment group that produced Summadayze, one of the most prominent annual summer music festivals in Australia, comes a growing live music event for 2014. The Future Music Festival, one of the country’s largest dance music events, will be held in Melbourne in March and will feature well-known international acts such as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Paul Van Dyk, Deadmau5 and Phoenix. The festival caps off a massive line-up of music events over the summer and is the perfect way to party in Melbourne.
Snoop Dogg/Lion image by Janet Dancer from Flickr’s Creative Commons
Goldfrapp image by starbright31 from Flickr’s Creative Commons
About the Author: Petra Mansfield is a Melbourne-based musician and freelance travel writer who loves scoping out the latest live music venues around the country.