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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

All the Major Music Festivals Locked in for 2022 so Far in NSW

If you've been missing festivals over the last two years, check out the biggest and best ones planned for next year.
By Ben Hansen
November 22, 2021
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By Ben Hansen
November 22, 2021
  shares

ALL THE MAJOR MUSIC FESTIVALS LOCKED IN FOR 2022 SO FAR IN NSW

If you've been missing festivals over the last two years, check out the biggest and best ones planned for next year.

Following two years of heartbreaking postponements and cancellations, 2022 is looking set to deliver a big one for live music fans. With vaccination rates across NSW soaring and the reality of international borders beginning to reopen, the return of major music festivals feels more like an imminent certainty than it has for a long time.

The past month has seen a flurry of announcements from Australian music festivals, new and old, locking in dates and lineups across the state. From New Years Day celebrations and blockbuster 20th anniversary festivals, to summer Pride events with big international acts and hidden regional gems — there's a whole lot of dancing set for next year.

So, if you've been missing the thrill of dancing in a field to your favourite song, surrounded by your nearest and dearest, now's the time to book in a boogie.

  • 13
    Field Day 2022

    While international touring isn’t quite back to normal — so there’s no Cardi B or Tyler, the Creator leading the bill this year — the New Year’s Day festival will bring some of Australia’s biggest live acts to The Domain.

    Field Day’s 2022 lineup features a heap of festival favourites: Peking Duck, Hayden James and Mallrat, for starters. You’ll also be listening to Masked Wolf, Allday and Hot Dub Time Machine — and they’re just a few of the highlights.

    Image: Field Day/AP Photography.

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  • 12

    The annual arts, music and culture festival is bringing 133 events to spaces all around the city for 25 days. That includes performances, shows, gigs, installations and more across Sydney’s stages, screens, parks, ferry rides and the Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool — because a major citywide arts festival should sprawl absolutely everywhere it can around town.

    Other Sydney Festival must-sees include the entire lineup at Cathedral Square, at the 1000-seat pop-up dubbed Speakers Corner. That’s where you’ll be able to enjoy gigs by Amyl and The Sniffers, Gordi, King Stingray, Jaguar Jonze, Tropical Fuck Storm, Washington and more — plus a Radiohead for Solo Piano performance by Josh Cohen.

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  • 11
    King Street Carnival

    After taking the last two years off due to COVID-19, the inner west institution is returning with a massive new three-day event pushing out from King Street and into neighbouring roads and two idyllic outdoor spaces.

    Heading up the outdoor concerts is legendary group Yothu Yindi who will be performing alongside the likes of Hiatus Kaiyote, Sarah Blasko, Middle Kids, Stella Donnelly and Kaiit among others at Camperdown Memorial Park throughout the weekend.

    Over at Sydney Park, Horrorshow, Confidence Man and You Am I are topping the bill, accompanied by Jess B, Amyl and the Sniffers, Touch Sensitive and Mildlife. Sydney party mainstays Heaps Gay and Inner West Reggae Disco Machine will also be taking over the park’s Brick Pits throughout the weekend.

    Image: Destination NSW

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  • 10
    Twilight at Taronga 2022

    Taronga Zoo’s twilight concert series is returning next year with an all-Australian lineup. The after-hours live music series that boasts arguably the best view of Sydney Harbour (as well as lots of adorable animals) has had some incredible acts in the past and next year’s lineup shines just a bright.

    The concert series will kick off on Friday, January 28 and will run until late February. You can catch live shows from Aria award-winning artist Josh Pyke, summery six-piece Winston Surfshirt, harmonic masterminds Vika and Linda, and indie-pop favourites San Cisco. But it doesn’t stop there. Two of Australia’s finest singer-songwriters, Washington and Odette, will be co-headlining a special evening together on February 10.

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  • 9
    Mardi Gras 2022

    While the full 2022 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras lineup hasn’t yet been announced, the festival has revealed a stack of returning favourites that you can pop in your diary right now. First up: the Progress Pride flag-raising at Sydney Town Hall, which’ll kick off the event on Friday, February 18. The flag will then fly all throughout the fest.

    With Mardi Gras running through until Sunday, March 6, it’ll also welcome back Fair Day at Victoria Park on Sunday, February 20; the Kaftana Pool Party at the ivy Pool on Wednesday, February 23; and Laugh Out Proud at the Enmore Theatre on Friday, February 25. Yes, that means picnics, stalls, music and celebrating LGBTQI+ artists, as well as poolside partying and giggling at Australia’s rising queer comedy stars.

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  • 8
    So Frenchy So Chic 2022

    The ever-popular one-day French festival is waltzing back to Sydney’s Bicentennial Park on Saturday, February 19, and celebrating its tenth anniversary in the process.

    So Frenchy hinges around a solid lineup of eclectic artists, with taking cues from France as much of a focus this year as showcasing French talents. Heading the 2022 bill is the YÉ-YÉ 2.0 project, which features Australian female artists performing new interpretations iconic 60s French pop music, and will see Ali Barter and Nadeah take to the stage.

    Image: Liz Sunshine.

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  • 7
    This That

    Come February 2022, This That will be returning to Newcastle’s Wickham Park for its sixth event — so mark Saturday, February 26 in your diary, tell your mates and get ready for a road trip. Yes, you’ll be listening to the festival’s usual mix of electronic, hip hop, pop and rock tunes all day. On the bill is an all-Australian lineup, featuring Client Liaison, Dune Rats, Mallrat, Hayden James, Jack River, San Cisco, The Chats and more.

    As the event’s name suggests, all the acts are split across just two stages — the This Stage and the That Stage — so you shouldn’t miss too much of the action at any one time.

    Image: Jordan Munns.

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  • 6
    For the Love

    By this stage, there’s every chance you’ve forgotten what a dance floor even looks like. But the folks at Untitled Group — the same minds behind Beyond the ValleyPitch Music & Arts and Ability Fest — are here to get you reacquainted. They’ve just revealed a huge all-Aussie lineup for the 2021–22 edition of their live music series For The Love, which is headed to Wollongong, Perth, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.

    Across three dates, festival staples including Dom Dolla, Crooked Colours and Mallrat will help you dust off the cobwebs and rediscover that groove.

    The party is due to hit Wollongong’s Stuart Park in February and the waterfront venue is set to be transformed into blissful dance destinations, heaving to live sounds from favourites like singer-songwriters Running Touch and Allday, along with Telanova, Boo Seeka, George Maple and Ebony Boadu.

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  • 5
    Summer Camp

    Summer Camp is the country’s newest pride festival — and only touring pride fest, in fact. Years & Years, aka British singer and actor Olly Alexander (It’s a Sin), will headline the new fest’s stopovers in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, all as part of Summer Camp’s four-city tour of the country. The event will also head to Darwin, where the lineup will be led by New Orleans’ Big Freedia — who’ll play every stop of the tour, in fact.

    Also on the bill: The Veronicas, Cub Sport and Confidence Man from the local contingent, plus My Delirium singer Ladyhawke and Jess B from New Zealand and many more acts set to be announced.

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  • 4
    Great Southern Nights 2022

    A 2022 edition of Great Southern Nights has just been announced and will hopefully see us all returning to catching our favourite local bands live.

    This time around, the gigs will be popping up throughout March and April and the first six artists have been announced. Indie pop sensation Amy Shark, Yolngu rapper Baker Boy and DJ duo Peking Duk will join Australian music royalty Jimmy Barnes, Missy Higgins and Jessica Mauboy on the lineup, with a heap more artists set to be announced soon.

    Last year saw more than 75,000 tickets sold across the 1100 gigs.

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  • 3
    Sound West

    If a trip to SXSW has always been on your bucket list, here’s an alternative much closer to home: Australia’s own — and first — huge five-day technology and music festival.

    Called Sound West, the new event is headed to Sydney’s west in early 2022, and will combine a two-day conference at CommBank Stadium with three days of live music events. Networking, workshops, mentoring, big tech brands and music industry leaders, performances by local, national and international talent — that’s all on the bill.

    Exactly what’ll be on the entire lineup won’t be revealed until February — which is when tickets will also go on sale — but Dylan Alcott OAM, L-Fresh The Lion, Khaled Rohaim and Serwah Attafuah will all pop up among Sound West’s presenters and performers.

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  • 2
    Yours and Owls 2022

    When Wollongong’s Yours and Owls last took place back in April 2021, it ticked a couple of huge pandemic-era boxes. Due to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, it was the first major music festival that New South Wales had seen in over a year — and it was the first to allow dancing as well.

    Topping the bill in 2022: Hilltop Hoods, Benee, Bliss & Eso, Flight Facilities, The Jungle Giants, Peking Duk and Violent Soho, giving festival-goers quite the array of big-name acts to look forward to. And yes, you should’ve spotted that Benee will be making the trip from New Zealand, thanks to international border restrictions easing. The hefty lineup goes on, including indie legends Faker reuniting, Ruby Fields, San Cisco, The Meanies, Sycco and more.

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  • 1
    Splendour in the Grass 2022

    It’s time to dig the gumboots out of the back of your closet and begin planning your outfits, as Splendour in the Grass is finally set to return to North Byron Parklands for another year after a two-year hiatus that felt like an eternity. The long-running festival will be celebrating its 20th year with what’s set to be a memorable return after a string of postponements.

    Splendour organisers have promised the full lineup is on its way, but they did reveal the headliners when the new dates were announced in August. At the op of the bill will be Damon Albarn’s animated supergroup Gorillaz, chart-topping rapper Tyler, the Creator and New York indie legends The Strokes.

    Top image: Dave Kan

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