It all started at the American Woodstock Festival in 1969; the rise of alternate culture. The birth of music and arts festivals, where likeminded people would gather from all parts in celebration of freedom and connection. The idea was resurrected in the 1990’s with the introduction of what you may now commonly here as “bush doofs”. Littered with psychedelic trance music, techno and deep house, endless dance floors market stalls, conscious workshops (ie yoga and guest speakers), free camping, cheaper ticket prices than your average festival, and with an intention of spreading peace, love and good vibes towards your fellow men and women.
If you’ve already been, there’s a good chance you could be hooked. If you haven’t, here is a festival for every month this year you could pop your cherry to.
January – Rainbow Serpent Festival (Melbourne, Australia)
Currently in its 20th anniversary this year with four days over the Australia Day weekend, attracting an annual crowd of around 15,000, this is the place to be for Ozday if you’re based in Victoria. This year features artists such as Astrix, Symphonix, Freedom Fighters & Ranji.
February – Earth Frequency Festival (South East Queensland, Australia)
Definitely one of the more family friendly music and arts festivals in Australia, with a wide variety in the age of attendees, ranging from small children to the elderly. This family friendly vibe encourages parents to bring their children along to experience something different from a young age. There is even a designated kids area where a qualified babysitter is hired to look after the attendee’s children while they go “adult”. The art scene at this one is also superb.
March – Babylon Festival (Sydney + Melbourne, Australia)
A new festival to hit the scene this Autumn with its first year debut, Babylon Festival is touring Sydney and Melbourne this March. They are also collaborating with Robin Mutoid, who is the founding father of the infamous Mutoid Waste Company, specialising in building giant welded sculptures from waste materials, as well as customising or “mutating” broken down cars and bringing them to life. I guess we can only expect big hype from this one, especially with an international lineup including Infected Mushroom, Joris Voorn, Feed Me, Doktor Froid, Reality Test & Upgrade.
April – Rabbits Eat Lettuce (Northern New South Wales, Australia)
Experiencing its 10th anniversary this year, you could say that the REL crew would be pretty excited about holding their annual music and arts festival on Easter long weekend. Held on a large property known infamously as “Doofville”, this year is shaping up to be the biggest yet, with artists such as Audiomatic, Hermitude, Lane 8, Ruback & many more taking the stage. It’s nearly time to get the bunny ears on and march into the bush.
Tickets available: www.rabbitseatlettuce.com.au
May – Transition Festival (Spain, Europe)
If you’re heading over to Europe this year, make sure to check out Transition, which is a six day and night gathering in the Andalusian Forests of Spain. Known to be a highly spiritual experience with a constructive intuitive intention: to expand human consciousness and the relation between the soul, the body, and its centre of power.
June – Happy Daze Festival (Cairns, Australia)
Thinking of visiting mid north Queensland but don’t like the humid weather of the Summer months? Then pop up in winter and hit up Happy Daze Festival while you’re there. It’s called “happy daze” for a reason, and it’ll surely bring a smile to that face of yours.
July – Ozora Festival (Hungary, Europe)
Named the best bush doof in Europe by many, right beside the bi-annual Boom Festival in Portugal, this seven day music extravaganza is unmissable if you’re country hopping through Europe. Manifesting only the biggest artists and attendee numbers from all over the world.
August – Solar Eclipse Festival (Oregon, USA)
Hands down the biggest hype for global music and arts festivals this year is the full solar eclipse gathering in national forests of Oregon in the United States. Thousands will be gathering for this once in a lifetime event where during its seven day length the moon and the sun will collide for a totality of a few minutes, a very rare opportunity. With collaborators from all over the world joining the Symbiosis crew for this huge event, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else this August.
September – Sunset Festival (Belgium, Europe)
Ever gone to a festival where it’s so hot and you’re on the d-floor covered in not only your own sweat but the hundreds of people that surround you? Well this one has got you covered. With a swimming pool as the dance floor and a water slide as entry into said dance floor, you can’t get more perfection at a summer festival than this!
October – Mushroom Valley Festival (Whitsundays, Australia)
Spring is the best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef, Whitsundays and Airlie Beach in mid north Queensland, so why not add Mushroom Valley to your list? From the crew that brings you Happy Daze Festival in winter, this is their iconic spring festival that is five years in the running. Not one to miss.
November – Dragon Dreaming Festival (Wee Jasper, Australia)
Set on a beautiful property with a pristine lake for swimming and boating just inland from Canberra, Dragon Dreaming Festival doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves, with a wide variety of music, it gives back something for everyone. There is also a natural waterfall on site as well as mountain views you’ll die for.
December – Universo Paralello (Brazil)
There’s one thing we’ve all heard and most know, the Brazilians know how to party. And this is the one festival, set on an island for seven days over the new year, that is unmissable on that South American adventure of yours.
Image Source: AU Underground, Echonetdaily, Alive At Night, YouTube, Fest 300