meredith music festival melbourne
kraftwerk [l] and crowd [r] at meredith music festival, 2023
Festivals

The VICE Guide to Music Festivals in Melbourne

Looking for the party? Here’s our round-up of upcoming music festivals in Melbourne and country Victoria, across summer, winter, NYE... et cetera.
Arielle Richards
Melbourne, AU

Melbourne is the music festival city. There’s something for everyone, all year long. While we’ve said goodbye to some favourites in recent years, the good City of Melbourne is constantly conjuring up more music-fuelled festival activities to keep the walls from closing in.

If anything, there are too many music festivals in Melbourne. If only there was a dedicated guide to help you keep all of them in one place…

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Here’s our guide to the best, greatest, and most unmissable music festivals in Melbourne.

1. Port Fairy Jazz Festival

The baby sibling of the widely beloved Port Fairy Folk Festival, the Port Fairy Jazz Festival takes place from 7-9 February, in the quaint beachside town about a three-hour drive south-west of Melbourne.

Port Fairy, Victoria, tickets and info here.

2. St Jerome’s Laneway Festival

Laneway started out in 2005 as a cool, DIY-style festival in a CBD – you guessed it – laneway, and now it’s one of the country’s biggest one-day music festivals. Usually held at Flemington Racecourse, the Laneway lineup frequently draws big international acts, as well as home-grown favourites. It’s filled with underage kids and vape smoke.

448 Epsom Road, Flemington, tickets and info here.

meredith music festival melbourne

meredith music festival by night

3. St Kilda Festival

According to their website, St Kilda Festival is Australia’s largest free and all-ages music festival. It’s held across a weekend in February, usually Feb 17-18, and features music, artists, market stalls, street performers and more.

St Kilda, tickets and info here.

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4. Brunswick Music Festival

Every suburb gets a festival! The iconic Brunswick Music Festival happens across March 3-11 yearly, with a range of parties, events and gigs held across a variety of bars and venues.

270 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, tickets and info here.

5. Port Fairy Folk Festival

The sleepy seaside town of Port Fairy comes alive for its beloved annual Folk Festival. Happening across four days, from the 7-10 of March, it’s all-ages, all-fun.

Port Fairy, Victoria, tickets and info here.

6. Golden Plains Music Festival

Part one of Melbourne’s best music festival, Golden Plains descends upon the sleepy Victorian town of Meredith every April. Held on the Labour Day long weekend, March 9-11 yearly, Golden Plains is the yearly farewell to the summer festival season, featuring a beautifully-curated genre-spanning selection of local and international acts.

Golden Plains Shire, Victoria, tickets and info here.

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golden plains music festival melbourne

king stingray at golden plains 2024

7. Pitch Music and Arts Festival

This humungous doof presented by Untitled Group is known for blazing heat, dust storms, incredible art installations and big-European-electronic-music-festival-style light shows, stage design and lineup curation. It’s BIG. Expect techno, techno, techno.

Moyston, Victoria, tickets and info here.

pitch music and arts festival melbourne

pitch music and arts by day and night

8. RISING Festival

From June 1 - 16, RISING Festival will save Melbourne from the grim tragedy that is winter in this cold city. With an incredible lineup of arts, music and culture, RISING seems to get better and better every year.

Melbourne CBD & surrounds, tickets and info here.

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rising music festival melbourne

hear my eyes [l] and the 100,000 kazoos moment [r] at rising festival 2023

9. Woodend Winter Arts Festival

From June 7-10, the hill town of Woodend will celebrate its winter arts festival. Expect a vast array of music events, including free gigs, classical music and choirs.

Woodend, Victoria, tickets and info here.

10. Mornington Winter Music Festival

On the King’s birthday weekend, 7-10 June, Mornington on the Peninsula will host its annual winter music festival, with jazz, blues, rock and more.

Mornington, Victoria, tickets and info here.

11. Now or Never

The City of Melbourne’s “congratulations you’ve nearly made it out of winter” festival, its first iteration last year brought Kelela, Autechre and Giant Swan to the Royal Melbourne Exhibition Building’s hallowed halls. A festival of “art, ideas and technology”, the lineup for this year’s edition is yet to be announced, but it’s hotly anticipated nonetheless.

City of Melbourne, tickets and info here.

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pitch music and arts festival melbourne

pitch music and arts by day

12. The Eighty-Six Music Festival

Its first iteration last year was pretty sick, with a bunch of events happening at iconic venues all down the 86 tram line’s route – encompassing Northcote, Thornbury and Preston. Hopefully the Eighty Six returns in 2024.

Northcote, Thornbury, Preston, tickets and info here.

13. Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Held in Melbourne from October 18-27, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival began in 1998, and has been bringing incredible international and local jazz acts to concert halls, venues and jazz bars ever since.

Melbourne, tickets and info here.

14. Always Live Music Festival

Last year’s Always Live Music Festival brought Christina Aguilera to the Sidney Meyer Music Bowl. Bananas. There were plenty free events, too. Hopefully it’ll return for 2024.

Melbourne, tickets and info here.

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15. Meredith Music Festival

Part two of everyone’s favourite music festival. Held annually in December, Meredith is the perfect gateway into the summer season, with a revelatory curation of acts, the best facilities, a wonderful crowd and just the best overall vibes.

Golden Plains Shire, tickets and info here.

meredith music festival melbourne

kraftwerk [l] and crowd [r] at meredith music festival 2023

16. Beyond the Valley Music Festival

Maybe the only NYE festival worth attending, BTV often has a pretty good lineup, good facilities and multiple stages. It’s more like a five-day-concert than a doof, more like Splendour in the Grass than Pitch, set on a sprawling, hilly green in semi-regional Victoria.

Hesse, Victoria, tickets and info here.

Arielle Richards is the multimedia reporter at VICE Australia, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.