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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Six Big Music Festivals In and Around Brisbane to Put in Your Diary This Spring and Summer

The weather is warming up, restrictions are easing, and these events will get you listening to live tunes while dancing in a crowd.
By Sarah Ward
October 11, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
October 11, 2021
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SIX BIG MUSIC FESTIVALS IN AND AROUND BRISBANE TO PUT IN YOUR DIARY THIS SPRING AND SUMMER

The weather is warming up, restrictions are easing, and these events will get you listening to live tunes while dancing in a crowd.

Each year, once winter takes a hike across Brisbane, the city comes alive with the sound of music. Spring and summer are prime festival seasons Australia-wide — but southeast Queensland sure does know how to throw a huge live gig, pack it with eager festival-goers and get everyone dancing.

Now that making shapes is allowed again, and hanging out in crowds is becoming part of daily life once more as well, the Sunshine State's music festival calendar is starting to fill up. Fancy spending three days hopping between Fortitude Valley venues? Kicking back in a riverside park? Seeing in 2022 at a massive fest? They're just some of the big events filled with live tunes that Brisbanites can look forward to.

  • 6
    Valley Fiesta 2021

    On most days of the year, a Brisbanite can wander into a Fortitude Valley venue and listen to live tunes. In most years, too, the inner-city suburb celebrates that fact in a huge way. We’ve all been to a Valley Fiesta. We’ve all been to several, in fact, because they’ve been filling the Brunswick Street Mall and surrounding bars with music for 24 years now — and the suburb-specific festival is back in full swing in 2021.

    Running from Thursday, October 28–Saturday, October 30, this year’s three-day Valley Fiesta is hitting up 23 locations with oh-so-much live music. The list of acts includes more than 150 artists and bands, so you can get ready to check out Blonde on Blonde, Butterfingers, Beddy Rays, Nerve, DVNA, Jesswar, VOIID and SixFtHick — plus DZ Deathrays doing a DJ set — among a heap of other names.

    Image: Dave Kan.

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  • 5
    Spring Sounds at Sunset

    There’s something particularly enticing about spring in Brisbane. The baking summer heat hasn’t arrived quite yet, the flowers are in full bloom and we all just want to spend all our time outdoors. And, between Friday, November 12–Sunday, November 14, Brisbane Powerhouse also happens to be livening up your spring by hosting three nights of free sunset tunes. Yes, that’s how you make the most of the season.

    At Spring Sounds at Sunset, you’ll listen to jazz, blues, folk and world music, all while getting comfy on the riverside venue’s performance lawn. This is the kind of afternoon shindig that calls for packing a basket, grabbing a rug and gathering the gang. You’ll need to sort out who brings what to eat, of course — but Brisbane Powerhouse will take care of the music.

    Image: Xenica Ayling.

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  • 4
    Nine Lives Festival 2022

    Back at the beginning of 2020, Jet Black Cat Music marked its ninth birthday — and, to celebrate, the West End store hopped over to the other side of the inner city and threw a huge block party. This year, it’s repeating the feat. That means that Brisbanites will need to head to The Tivoli again, with Fortitude Valley’s Costin Street set to overflow with tunes, markets and food on Saturday, November 13.

    On hand at Nine Lives Festival this time around: Stella Donnelly, Good Morning, No 1 Dads, Bananagun, Cool Sounds, Floodlights, Gordon Koang and Surprise Chef. The music lineup also includes Family Jordan, Lucky Idiot, Maple Glider and Middle Name Dance Band, with tunes taking over three indoor and outdoor stages. Dance in The Tiv’s main space, at What’s Golden and in the carpark — to DJs such as Dameeeela, DJ Heartbeats, Mumgenes, Rock Lobster, In the Flowers and First Beige DJs as well.

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  • 3
    Wildlands Festival 2021

    Hailing from the teams behind Melbourne’s Beyond The Valley and Perth’s Origin Fields fest, dance, electronic and hip hop festival Wildlands is back. Returning to Brisbane Showgrounds, it’s returning for 2021 as a two-day affair across Sunday, December 26–Monday, December 27, 2021.

    This time, there’ll be just one stage per day, so you can see absolutely everyone. And each day will be ticketed separately. As for who you’ll be checking out and dancing along to, the lineup unsurprisingly focuses on all-homegrown talent, as headlined by Golden Features, Lime Cordiale, Cosmo’s Midnight, The Veronicas and What So Not.

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  • 2
    Factory Summer Festival 2021

    In all the regular ways, this hasn’t felt like a big year. Neither did last year, and we all know why that’s proven the case both then and now. It has been a chaotic time, of course, although that’s completely different. But on the final night of 2021, Eagle Farm Racecourse will feel huge — because that’s when the site is welcoming the Factory Summer Festival back to town.

    This year’s fest is a one-night-only affair, with Broods, Masked Wolf, Example, Young Franco, Stace Cadet + KLP and Electric Fields among the acts on the bill. Yes, that’s your New Year’s Eve plans sorted. Last year’s event spanned multiple stages and bars, a silent disco, carnival rides and a games arcade, so fingers crossed that’s all on the agenda this time around as well.

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  • 1
    Good Love Festival

    Clear your diary, grab your sneakers and prepare to spend some time dancing to reggae by the water — because on Saturday, February 5, 2022, Good Love Festival is headed to Doug Jennings Park on the Gold Coast. New Zealand’s huge One Love Festival actually made its local debut back in 2020; however, it’s now had a name change — and it’s popping up in 2022 in a different GC location.

    The festival is quite the big deal across the ditch, attracting more than 20,000 festival-goers each year for a decade before the pandemic. And, the reggae-focused fest clearly enjoyed its first trip to our shores, so now it’s returning fo another day of Jamaican-influenced tunes. This time, the lineup is set to span Multi-Rebel SoulJahz, Kolohe Kai, Stan Walker, J BOOG, FIJI, Sons of Zion and House of Shem. Also on the bill: Sammy J, Spawnbreezie, Siaosi, Swiss & Tree, Tomorrow People, Victor J Sefo, STNDR, Krisy Erin & Mike Mayz, and DJ TIKELZ.

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Top image: Bianca Holderness.

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