Hilltop Hoods, Mashd N Kutcher and Sampa the Great Will Headline Ability Fest's Hefty 2023 Program

Also hitting Birrarung Marr for Dylan Alcott's fully accessible music festival: Paris, Meg Mac, DZ Deathrays and more.
Libby Curran
Published on January 19, 2023

It's only a few years young, but Australia's most inclusive music festival just keeps getting bigger and better. Case in point: Ability Fest just announced the jam-packed lineup of artists that'll be joining in the fun for its next instalment on Saturday, March 25 — and it's a cracker.

Leading the talent firing up the crowds at Melbourne's Birrarung Marr this autumn: Aussie hip hop legends Hilltop Hoods, dance duo Mashd N Kutcher and ARIA Award-winning songstress Sampa the Great, along with names like Paris, Meg Mac, DZ Deathrays, Linda Marigliano and dameeeela.

Unfolding across two stages, including one devoted to dance acts, there's something on this program for all kinds of music fiends — with SHOUSE, Telenova, Juno Mamba, Mulalo and Latifa Tee just some of the other artists who'll be working their magic at Ability Fest 2023.

The brainchild of 2022 Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott and Untitled Group (the crew behind Pitch Music & Arts and Beyond the Valley), Ability Fest is carefully designed to be completely accessible and as inclusive as they come.

It'll feature ramps and pathways for easy access, Auslan interpreters working alongside the artists, and elevated platforms to give everyone a shot at seeing the stage. Plus: quiet zones, a dedicated sensory area, ticketing for companions and accessible toilets. And tickets start from $89.

During its life, the not-for-profit fest has raised close to $500,000 for the Dylan Alcott Foundation, while continuing to dish up primo live tunes and music experiences to Aussies of all abilities.

"I'm so proud to see the path Ability Fest has already paved for inclusive events across the country," says Alcott. "First and foremost, our main priority is to create a kick-ass festival that happens to be accessible. And that's something I think we've achieved since launching in 2018."

Here's the full lineup:


Alex Lahey
Alter Boy
DJ Cooper Smith
DZ Deathrays
Hilltop Hoods
Juno Mamba
Latifa Tee
Linda Marigliano
Mashd N Kutcher
Meg Mac
Sampa the Great
The Journey
Tiff Cornish
Tyson O'Brien

Ability Fest 2023 will hit Birrarung Marr in Melbourne on Saturday, March 25. Pre-sale tickets are available from 6pm AEDT on Monday, January 23 (register online), with general tickets selling online from 12pm on Tuesday, January 24.

Published on January 19, 2023 by Libby Curran
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