10 NSW music festivals worth travelling for
Heaving crowds, glitter-dusted skin and the sun sinking behind an epic outdoor stage. The power of music draws people to outback plains, rainforests and country towns. Gather your tribe for these festivals.
Tamworth Country Music Festival
18-24 April 2022
Dusty boots, denim and dancing under the stars. The legendary overwhelms the senses with seven days of country music celebrations. From busking newcomers to Australian legends and the Golden Guitar Awards – this regional event voices the authentic soundtrack of rural living with 2800 shows across 120 venues. Celebrating a half century in 2022, see performances from Troy Cassar Daley, Kasey Chambers, Adam Eckersley and Brooke McClymont, Cass Hopetoun and many more.
Broken Hill Mundi Mundi Bash
21-23 April 2022
‘They got married early
Never had no money
Then when he got laid off
They really hit the skids’
Sing along with the crowd to this epic tune as Paul Kelly headlines Mundi Mundi Bash in outback NSW. Soak in the sense of freedom as you drive across the red plains, marvel at a stage with the extraordinary Barrier Ranges as the backdrop and a line-up of rock legends: Paul Kelly, Ian Moss, Russell Morris; Shannon Noll, Dragon and more.
Hit the highway for an epic road trip out to at Forbes Showground. This two-day summer fest is all about soaking up the sunshine, homegrown music, delicious local produce and fresh country air. The best thing? You can bring your own tent or book a camp that’s set up and ready to go, from a basic two-person right up to a glamping set up for luxe lovers. Expect epic tunes, pop-up bars, market stalls and a memorable weekend escaping the city.
Vivid Sydney 2022
27 May-18 June 2022
Enter a moody world of jazz in a supper club, move as one to the sound of new voices, or watch an outdoor concert with the iconic Sydney skyline as its stage. This year Vivid Music presents stellar performances in new spaces. Take a deep dive into Sydney's diverse music communities. Celebrate the soul of Sydney by examining the bond between artist and audience. Program revealed soon.
Parkes Elvis Festival
20-24 April 2022
Expect nostalgic vibes and a whole lot of rock and roll at the annual , which celebrates Elvis Presley's life and music. Step back in time to the 1950s as five joy-filled days of festivities take over the country town, and passionate fans in colourful rockabilly fashion or incredible costumes of the King gather for concerts, exhibitions, vintage markets and competitions. Taylor Rodriguez, reigning international tribute Elvis artist champion, will be the headline act this year.
Splendour in the Grass
22-24 July 2022
Music fans from far and wide travel to North Byron Parklands, Byron Bay, for a grungy but glam mashup of superb sounds and colourful sights. Expect a vibrant community spirit with family-friendly camping and pop-ups such as the Tipi Forest dance stage and Splendour Comedy Club. At its heart, is about music and this year’s line-up is a cracker with Gorillaz, The Strokes, Glass Animals, and more. This year’s festival is sold out, but sign up to the waitlist for a second chance.
Broken Heel Festival
8-12 September 2022
It’s time to feel fabulous, darling! This brings the dazzling presence of drag queens and kings to the red plains of Broken Hill. This small-town festival is not so small: what began as a celebration of cult film Priscilla Queen of the Desert organized by Palace Hotel, a key location in the 1994 movie, has evolved into a five-day extravaganza of divine diversity. Expect to sip Bloody Mary’s dressed in a muumuu, watch a drag contest and experience Friday Frock On or Frock Off.
14-18 April 2022
The Bluesfest vibe is powerful – a heady mix of music, contrasting crowds and one of the most stunning locations for a festival in the world. Since 1990, thousands have flocked to this pocket of paradise 11km north of Byron Bay to soak up the brilliantly curated lineup of blues legends and emerging artists. The sprawling footprint has multiple stages, five licensed bars and camping for 6,000. In 2022, some of the biggest drawcards include Crowded House, Midnight Oil, Jimmy Barnes, George Benson, Amy Shark – the list goes on.
Deni Ute Muster
30 September-1 October 2022
Outback plains, circling utes, clouds of dust, bull rides and Aussie music legends. In 1999, a group of locals resolved to launch a rural-themed festival to attract visitors to riverside town Deniliquin. Now, attracts almost 20,000 people to celebrate all things country every year. On the Muster Stage this year will be international country superstar, Brad Paisley, as well as Jessica Mauboy, John Williamson, The Angels, Busby Marou, Ian Moss and Troy Cassar-Daley, Shannon Noll, Sara Storer and more.
Lost Paradise, Central Coast
Think ofas a mini Burning Man in the Glenworth Valley, with plenty of music across four stages paired with a diverse program of activities, including yoga, talks, workshops, healing arts and Indigenous experiences – there’s also a Lost Village, where you can refuel at food trucks and browse market stalls selling fashion and jewellery (and offering tarot readings). Previous incarnations have seen crowds ring in the New Year with the likes of the Arctic Monkeys.