triple j Unearthed's Small Festival Guide

triple j Unearthed's Small Festival Guide

There's no denying that boutique music festivals in Australia are on the up and up. Boutique events offer an alternative, more niche experience to large scale festival options like Soundwave, Groovin' The Moo and Falls Festival, and because of that, they've seen a real increase in popularity over the past few years. Whether it's fancy dress, all-Australian lineups, secret farm locations or a "no dickhead" policy, these smaller festivals appeal to punters who seek a more individual experience.


When Unearthed spoke to Aiden McLaren, co-director of The Hills Are Alive and NYE On The Hill festivals, he said that they "wanted to create an alternative to the massive crowds and impersonal nature of some of the bigger festivals". As well as giving the festival-goer a unique, stylised experience, it also gives up and coming bands the opportunity to play to larger audiences and gain new fans. If you're an artist looking to score a spot on these kind of festival bills, head over here.  

Wanna know what all the fuss is about? Have a look through our guide to some of the best smaller festivals in Australia - we've put a little (ue) next to some of our favourite from Unearthed!





Bush Bands Bash

Northern Territory (Sept 5)

2015 Lineup: D7's and the E Town Boyz (ue), Creekside Reggae Band

Past Lineup: Eastern Reggae Band, Little Orphans, WMC All Stars



Sydney NSW (Dec 4) 1000 capacity

2015 Lineup: Cosmos Midnight (ue), Feki (ue), GL (ue),


Yours and Owls

Woolongong NSW (2-3 October)

2015 Lineup: The Smith Street Band, The Preatures, Cloud Control (ue), The Rubens (ue)


Red Deer Festival

Brisbane, QLD (Oct 3)

2015 Lineup: Frenzal Rhomb, Hey Geronimo (ue), Andy Bull (ue)


Sounds of the Suburbs

Cronulla NSW (October) 1000 capacity

2015 Lineup: Holy Holy (ue), Drunks Mums (ue), Citizen Kay (ue)

Past artists: The Beautiful Girls, The Babe Rainbow, Buzz Kull (ue), Hockey Dad (ue), The Walking Who (ue)


Camp Doogs

Perth WA (9-11Oct)

2015 lineup: It's a ~secret~

Past artists: Kucka (ue), Mangelwurzel (ue)


This That

Newcastle NSW (31 Oct)

2015 Lineup: RUFUS, Birds of Tokyo, Sticky Fingers, The Jungle Giants


Strawberry Fields

Tocumwal NSW (20-22 Nov) 4000 capacity

2015 Lineup: Booka Shade, SHIGETO, klo (ue)

Past artists: Hiatus Kaiyote, Baths, Tycho, Willow Beats (ue), Lucian Blomkamp (ue)


Paradise Music Festival

Lake Mountain VIC (Nov 27-29)

2015 Lineup: My Disco, Lurch & Chief, Tired Lion (ue), Dorsal Fins (ue)

Past artists: Oscar Key Sung, Crooked Colours (ue), Foreign/National (ue), Banoffee (ue), Lanks (ue)


CoLAB Festival

Perth WA (29 Nov) 2500 capacity

Past artists: Hermitude, Midnight Juggernauts, Kite String Tangle (ue), The Creases (ue), Kucka (ue), Grrl Pal (ue)


Queenscliff Music Festival

Queenscliff VIC (27-29 Nov)

2015 Lineup: Angus And Julia Stone, Paul Dempsey, Harts (ue)





Forbes, NSW

2015 Lineup: Illy, Birds of Tokyo, John Butler Trio


Fairgrounds Festival

Berry, NSW (5th Dec)

2015 Lineup: Father John Misty, Ratatat, Royal Headache



Barrington Tops NSW (Dec 5-7)

2015 Lineup: Roman Flugal, Max Cooper, Kink

Past artists: James Holden, Factory Floor, True Vibenation, Paces (ue)


Disconnect Fesival

Fairbride Village WA (Dec 11-13)

2015 Lineup: Chet Faker, Flight Facilities, Father John Misty


Hooch Fest

Mandurah WA (Dec)

Past artists: Golden Features, Chiefs (ue), Basenji (ue), Sable, Indian Summer, Jia Lih (ue)


Festival of the Sun

Port Macquarie NSW (11-12 Dec) 3000 capacity

2015 Lineup: Illy, Thundamentals, Jebediah

Past artists: The Jezabels (ue), Violent Soho, Dune Rats (ue), Sons of the East (ue), Timberwolf (ue), Apes (ue)


Meredith Music Festival

Meredith VIC (15 Dec) 12,500

2015 Lineup: Father John Misty, Ratatat, Thurston Moore Band

Past artists: The War on Drugs, Ty Segall, De La Soul



Perth WA (20 Dec) 5000 capacity

Past artists: Rufus, All Day (ue), Kilter, Willow Beats (ue), Slumberjack (ue), Wave Racer (ue)


Beyond The Valley

Gippsland Parklands, VIC (Dec 29-Jan1)

2015 Lineup: Jamie XX, RL Grime, JOY. (ue)


Lost Paradise

Glenworth Valley, NSW (29-31 December)

2015 Lineup: Angus And Julia Stone, Jon Hopkins, Jungle Giants (ue)


New Years Eve On The Hill

South Gippsland VIC (NYE) 2000 capacity (31st Dec)

2015 Lineup: SAFIA (ue), Harts (ue), Dylan Joel


Let Them Eat Cake

Melb VIC (1 Jan)

Past artists: Jamie xx, Cashmere Cat, Todd Terje, Broadway Sounds (ue), Rat & Co (ue)



Brisbane, QLD (January 9)

2016 Lineup: RL Grime, Flight Facilities, Jamie XX



Gippsland VIC (Jan 10-11) 3000 capacity

Past artists: Northlane, Amity Affliction.


Cool Summer Festival

Mt Hotham VIC (31 Jan- Feb 2)

Past artists: Delta Riggs (ue), Timberwolf (ue)


St Kilda Festival

Melb VIC (31 Jan - 8 Feb)

Past artists: Thundamentals, San Cisco (ue), Remi (ue), Japanese Wallpaper (ue), Banoffee (ue)


Riverboats Music Festival

Echuca VIC (13-15 Feb)

Past artists: Sarah Blasko, Dan Sultan, The Bamboos



Hobart TAS (15-18 Feb)

Past artists: Swans, Zammuto, Kira Puru (ue)


Party In The Paddock

Burns Creek TAS (19 - 20 Feb)

2016 Lineup: Violent Soho, Spiderbait, The Preatures

Past artists: Jinja Safari (ue), All Day (ue), The Smith Street Band (ue), Luca Brasi (ue), Willow Beats (ue)


Mountain Sounds

Kariong NSW (21 Feb) 10,000 capacity

Past artists: Jungle Giants (ue), Deep Sea Arcade (ue), Little Earthquake (ue), Winterbourne (ue)


Secret Garden Fest

NSW (27,28 Feb) 5000 capacity

Past artists: Parquet Courts, Sharon van Etten, Milwaukee Banks (ue), Gooch Palms (ue), Baro (ue), Lucian Blomkamp (ue), Spookyland (ue), UV Boi (ue)


Camp Casual 

Gippsland VIC (Feb 27-Mar 1)

Past artists: The Ocean Party (ue), Dugong Jr (ue), Mangelwurzel (ue)




A Festival Called Panama

Golconda TAS (7, 8 Mar) 1000 capacity

Past artists: Courtney Barnett (ue), #1 Dads, The Furrs (ue), Violet Swells (ue)


Golden Plains

Meredith VIC (7-9 Mar) 10,000 capacity

Past artists: First Aid Kit, Real Estate, Total Giovanni (ue), Milwaukee Banks (ue)


Party in the Park

Sydney NSW (14 March) 15,000 capacity

Past artists: The Jezabels (ue), Husky (ue), Little May (ue), Sons Of The East (ue)


Farmer & The Owl

Wollongong NSW (Mar 14)

Past artists: DZ Deathrays, The Mess Hall, The Peep Tempel (ue), Bad//Dreems (ue), Shining Bird (ue), Spookyland (ue), The Walking Who (ue)


The Peninsula Picnic

Mornington VIC (29 Mar)

2015 Lineup: Paul Dempsey, Pierce Brothers (ue), Hayden Calnin (ue), Tinpan Orange (ue)


The Hills Are Alive 

South Gippsland VIC (27-29 Mar) 1200 capacity

2015 Lineup: Remi (ue), Safia (ue), Asta (ue), Harts (ue), Luca Brasi (ue), Lucian Blomkamp (ue), Fortunes. (ue), Lanks (ue)



Tallarook VIC (April 3-5) 1500 capacity

2015 Lineup: Dorsal Fins (ue), The Peep Tempel (ue), Mangelwurzel (ue), Cool Sounds (ue)


Blacken The Globe

Northern Territory (April 4)

2015 Lineup: Psycroptic, Mammoth, IWANTJA


Marmalade Skies

Goulburn, NSW (April 10 - 11)

2015 Lineup: KLP, Kilter (ue), Airling (ue), Flamingo (ue), Kailo (ue), Sons Of The East (ue)


By The Meadow Festival

Bambra VIC (Apr 11-12)

2015 Lineup: Dorsal Fins (ue), Foreign/National (ue), Fortunes. (ue), Ali Barter (ue), Jim Lawrie (ue)


Wide Open Space Festival

Northern Territory (May 1-3)

2015 Lineup: L-FRESH The LION (ue), Edward Francis (ue), Whichway (ue)


Big Pineapple Festival

Sunshine Coast QLD (30 May) 13,000 capacity

2015 Lineup: The Jezabels (ue), Violent Soho, Coin Banks (ue), Sahara Beck (ue)




Come Together

Sydney NSW (June 6 & 7) 6000 capacity

2015 Lineup: Seth Sentry (ue), Thundamentals, Remi (ue), Coin Banks (ue), Ball Park Music (ue), Montaigne(ue), Ecca Vandal (ue)


Dark Mofo

Hobart TAS (June 12-22)

2015 Lineup: Antony and the Johnsons, The Preatures, Klo, Tiger Choir (ue)

Past artists: Total Control, Kirin J Callinan, HTRK


PigSty in July

Belford NSW (4 July) 500 capacity

2015 Lineup: L-FRESH the LION(ue), Grenadiers(ue), Bootleg Rascal (ue)

Past artists: Wolf & Cub, Steve Smyth (ue), The Walking Who (ue)


Camp Unknown

???? NSW (24-26 July)

Inaugural lineup is a ~mystery~


Maroochy Music Festival

August 22

2015 Lineup: Flight Facilities, Alipine (ue), DZ Deathrays


North West Festival

August 21-23

2015 Lineup: Peking Duk, Birds Of Tokyo


(Dates are based on this year if announced or last years if unannounced)