Cover image courtesy of Bryony Jackson Productions


We all love camping but sometimes you do have to admit that once all the beers have gone, the fire has gone out and the only form of entertainment left is your mate playing stairway to heaven on the guitar, that maybe, just maybe you have had enough of nature and would like to party with a couple of thousand strangers. Music festivals are the best of both worlds and here is seven of the best.

1) Rainbow Serpent
Within 2hrs of Melbourne | January | 4 days

Held over four days in January in Lexton Victoria, Rainbow Serpent Festival has been going since 1998. From its humble beginnings, the festival has expanded to 10,000 participants a year and people come from all over the world to experience this festival in Western Victoria. While initially a psytrance focused festival, Rainbow Serpent has branched out musically over the years and punters will be treated to a melting pot of grooves, atmospheres and beats over the weekend. This Festival runs for the whole weekend and on into the Monday so be sure to spread your energy over the weekend!

2) Falls Festival
Within 2hrs of Melbourne | NYE | 4 days

One of the oldest and the best, Falls Festival started way back in 1993 in Lorne, a small coastal town on The Great Ocean Road. While the festival has now spread to both Tasmania and NSW the original and the best is still Lorne. Held every year over New Year’s Eve the Falls Festival pulls huge line ups and is an awesome way to ring in the New Year with your mates. The campsites are tightly packed at this festival which often means you just end up adopting lost souls into your group or you may find yourself right at home as the adopted one amongst your new best pals.

3) Meredith Music Festival
Within 2hrs of Melbourne | December | 3 days

Meredith is held around the second weekend of December every year at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, on Mount Mercer Road, near a town called Meredith. This festival has one of the best reputations for not only huge line ups but also great crowds due to their strict no dickhead policy. There is also only one stage so no clashes and it is BYO into the campsite. Just make sure you hide your friend’s guitar before he returns from the stage.

4) Golden Plains
Within 2hrs of Melbourne | March | 3 days

Golden plains is also held every year at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, on Mount Mercer Road, near a town called Meredith. However Golden Plains happens over the Labour Day long weekend. Golden Plains is considered the little sister of Meredith festival and 2016 marks its 10th anniversary. Golden Plains makes the most of the fact that it is in autumn and those long warm nights are spent with plenty of space to move as numbers are purposefully smaller for this festival than Meredith. All the same good stuff applies however, BYO food and drinks and according to their website, if you want to bring along an old couch and laze on that in front of the stage, well go right ahead.

5) Inner Varnika
Within 3hrs of Melbourne | Easter| 3 days

Sticking with the theme of small boutique festivals, even smaller than the Golden Plains festival is Inner Varnika. With just 1,200 tickets on sale this festival provides an incredible line up of electronic acts and its size will give you the chance to dance with almost everybody on site! Held over Easter, the organisers state that the festival is an all-inclusive, environmentally neutral and musically blissful affair. Sounds too good to be true, let’s hope 2016 dates are announced soon!

 6) Strawberry Fields
Within?? hrs of Melbourne | November | 3 days

The exact location of this year’s instalment has not yet been revealed but we are advised it will be held somewhere convenient to both Sydney and Melbourne and the fact that tickets are nearly sold out before the final location is revealed is a testament to the reputation of this boutique festival. Previous years of the festival have been described as an all-out party, with a focus on dance and electronica, the line-up is eclectic both celebrating home grown talent and international acts. You will leave wishing for Strawberry Fields Forever.

7) Boogie Festival
Within 2 hrs of Melbourne | April | 3 days

Boogie Music Festival is held in April and is a boutique camping festival committed to providing diversity in music, arts, booze and food. It is held in Tallarook on the property of a local legend named Bruzzy. Much like the Meredith Amphitheatre, the campgrounds at Boogie are BYO drinks and food, you are welcome to spread out with your mates and make an awesome home camp. For a small festival Boogie still pulls big acts both home grown and international. 2016 will be the 10th anniversary for Boogie, so it’s time to get down and see what the LATE NIGHT HILLBILLY HOUSE PARTY is all about.