The Open Records guide to the Australian festival season

We can hardly believe it, but the time has come for yet another scorching Aussie festival season. 

With arguably the biggest season ever in store, plus the summer-like weather persisting across the country for much of 2017, you you can be sure that this year’s dancefloors will be sweatier than ever. The official Open Records guide to the Australian festival season is your one-stop shop for all spring, summer and autumn’s best house and techno festivals, from boutique affairs right through to iconic summer blockbusters. We’ll be updating this article as new line-up details and events come to light, but now for now, here is our big list in all its glory. See you in the dust!

Earthcore (Victoria) November 23-27
The longest running doof in Australia always delivers on tunes and soundsystems, with this year’s techno and house including Anna, Coyu, Flow & Zeo, Marc Romboy, Nic Curly, Pirupa, Sharam Jey and Teenage Mutants. In addition to the main event at Elmore Fields in Victoria, they are hosting Earthcore In The Park events in Queensland, NSW and Western Australia in late November and early December as well, ensuring the rest of the country gets some fun, too. Visit: earthcore.com.au

Bohemian Beatfreaks (Northern NSW) – November 24-26
Rabbits Eats Lettuce’s sister event Bohemian Beatfreaks might not be quite as big as its Easter weekend sibling, but it’s still a mighty impressive event. Located on an amazing property about 1.5 hours drive from Byron Bay and within range of South-East Queensland, Bohemian Beatfreaks has arguably its best line-up ever in 2017, including Claptone, Opiuo, Shapeless, LUUDE, Sebastian Mullaert, Monolink, Extrawelt, ZEKE BEATS, K+lab, Twisted Sibling, catz n dogz, Willaris. K, Lovebirds, Smilk, Cheshire, Sun:monx, Terrafractyl, ZigMon, Uone, Taya, Steve Ward, Tahl, Matt DwellersHalen and our very own Victor Y.  Less than 300 tickets remain at the time of publishing, so get in quick! Visit: bohemianbeatfreaks.com.au

Subsonic Music Festival (NSW) – December 1-3
Located in a lush mountain resort in the World Heritage-listed Barrington Tops region of NSW, Subsonic gets our vote as summer’s most comfortable festival. Music isn’t in short supply either, with Rodriguez Jr, Andrew WeatherallOpiuo, tINI, Fred P, Boris Brechja, Pearson Sound, Catz’n’Dogz, Mr G, Flow & Zeo, Nicola Cruz, Dirty Doering, Madmotormiquel, Sampa The Great and more on headline duties, alongside favourites like Doppel, Eegor, InterpulseTaya, Victor YZigmon, Tetrameth, Smilk, Xenoscapes, VolkeineBongani & Less Is Moar and Tetrameth. The bad news is, if you haven’t got a ticket, they are now official all sold out in record time. You snooze, you lose. Visit: subsonicmusic.com.au

The Petting Zoo Melbourne

The Petting Zoo (Victoria) – December 16
A street festival with a difference, The Petting Zoo takes over Waterfront Way at Melbourne’s Docklands precinct on December 16 for a huge day and night of fresh tunes. Format:B, Finnebassen, CamelPhat and Kolombo head up the house-heavy line-up, alongside Retza vs Doshpot, Steve Ward, Dr Packer, Boogs, The Milkman, Luke Vecchio, The Journey, Market Memories, Viktor vs Le’Bruh and more. Visit: facebook.com/wearethezoo

Lost Paradise (NSW) – December 28-31
Lost Paradise presents a great mix of mainstream artists and killer electronica in the green surrounds of NSW’s Glenworth Valley. Among more commercial juggernauts like Rufus, Matt Corby, Little Dragon, Meg Mac and Cut Copy, you’ll find names like Stephan Bodzin (live), Patrick Topping, Jon Hopkins, Apparat, Late Nite Tuff Guy and more, ensuring this pre-New Year’s fest is sure to be a treat. Visit: lostparadise.com.au

Beyond The Valley (Victoria) – December 28-January 1
Like Lost Paradise, you’ll find a lot of different tunes on the bill for Victoria’s New Year’s festival Beyond The Valley, but it’s also some pretty stellar names on the house and techno front, including Stephan Bodzin (live), Adana Twins, Patrick Topping, Late Nite Tuff Guy and Pleasurekraft. It’s certainly got a bit of variety, with other names including Schoolboy Q, The Presets, Little Dragon, Mura Masa, 2MANYDJS, Meg Mac, The Preatures, Sampa The Great and many more over four days. Visit: beyondthevalley.com.au

Let Them Eat Cake (Victoria) January 1
Quite possible summer’s most unique electronic music event, Let Them Eat Cake takes place in the historical grounds of the colonial Weribee Park Mansion just outside Melbourne and is the perfect way to welcome a new year. Expect a full luxury experience with tunes from AME (live), Apparat, Bella Sarris, John Hopkins, Mall Grab, Stephan Bodzin (live), The Librarian and more. Visit: letthemeatcakenyd.com.au

Rainbow Serpent Festival (Victoria) – January 26-28
Australia’s premiere electronic music festival Rainbow Serpent returns for its 21st year across the Australia Day Weekend at Lexton, Victoria, bringing with it a massive line-up of music, arts and creativity. This year’s bill is a smorgasbord of delights for techno, house and progressive fans, with Robert Babicz, Gabriel Ananda, Petar Dundov, Michael Mayer, Solee, Thomas Schumacher, Edu Imbernon, Quivver, Patrice Baumel, Microtrauma, Third Son, Shlømo, Switchbox, Tara Brooks and loads more, and they haven’t even announced their full line-up yet! Tickets are already hard to come by, so if you haven’t got one, now is the time to mount a search. Visit: rainbowserpent.net

Electric Gardens Festival (NSW) – January 27
If you can’t get a ticket to Rainbow or just prefer the big city vibes, Sydney’s Electric Gardens is the Australia Day weekend party for you. Held at Centennial Parklands on January 27, it boasts a heavyweight international line-up including Dubfire, Art Department, Fatboy Slim, Nicole Moudaber, Henry Saiz, Edu Imbernon, Jeremy Olander, Petar Dundov and more. Electric Gardens is hosting satellite events Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide as well, but Sydney is the only one where you get them all in one place! Visit: electricgardens.com.au

Earth Frequency Festival (Queensland) – February 16-19
Techno and house festivals are a little few and far between in Queensland this summer, but Earth Frequency Festival more than makes up for it. With the techno and house line-up headed up by internationals Victor Ruiz and Loco & Jam, also expect Aussies Ord Rede Jesse KuchTayaZigMonButterzJamie GrenengerVinny XavierKick.On.Kings (Matt Guy vs Kyle Burchill), RascalElektropandaApróCiniiMood Swing & Chevy BassZygotwitchFungal DIstortionmIDiumZenithZibell and Tranceducer. Held from February 16-19 at the picturesque Ivory’s Rock Amphitheatre, the festival is less than an hour’s drive from Brisbane’s CBD and features heaps of creature comforts including powered sites, hot showers and running water, alongside epic markets, circus, arts, film, a massive workshop and environmental program, kids areas and indigenous culture. Visit: earthfrequency.com.au

Babylon Music & Arts Festival (Victoria) – February 23-25
Babylon was one of the new festivals to land in Australia last year, bringing with it an absolutely stellar line-up of tunes from across the full electronic music spectrum. After clashing with another new festival, Pitch, last year, Babylon moves to a fresh weekend in 2018, ensuring maximum vibes. The full bill is yet to be announced, but they’ve already dropped names like Agents Of Time, Atish, Carl Cox, Deborah De Luca, Dennis Cruz, Derrick Carter, Dominic Eulberg, Enrico Sangiuliano, German Brigante, Georgia Angiuli, Laurent Garnier, Opiuo, Pan-Pot, Robert Hood, Victor Ruiz and YokoO, so we think it’s safe to assume it’s going to be epic. Visit: babylon.net.au

Pitch Music & Arts Festival (Victoria) – March 9-12
The last festival in our list has the potential to be one of the absolute best. After a stellar inaugural event last year, Pitch Music & Arts returns with yet another stacked bill of the world’s biggest names in techno, house and electronica. Reading the full list can take a while, but you can be safe in the knowledge that Maceo Plex, Ben UFO, Bicep, Booka Shade, DJ Tennis, Eelke Kleijn, Floating Points, Hosh, Kate Miller, Len Faki, Mano Le Tough, Moodyman, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Rodriguez Jr, Sven Vath and Seth Troxler will all be making an appearance. Phew! After this one, we reckon  you’ve all deserve a bit of rest. Visit: pitchfestival.com.au

DONE & DUSTED

Dragon Dreaming (NSW) – November 3-5
Held in the lush surrounds of Wee Jasper in the picturesque Yass Valley in NSW, Dragon Dreaming kicks off the festival season in style. Featuring one of the biggest Open Records lineups of the year, expect big tunes from FunkForm, Doppel, GMJ, Matter, Eegor and Victor Y, alongside names like Sensient, Smilk, Like Liquid, Bass To Pain Converter, Zigmon, Volkeine, Juan Tellez, Trickbox, Shepz and loads more. By all reports, Dragon Dreaming’s 2016 edition (see the video above) was one of the best festivals of the year, with positive vibes, great tunes and a massive dancefloors all weekend. We expect the same when they return this year! Visit dragondreaming.com.au

Return To Rio (NSW) – November 3-5
Return To Rio is back at the historical town of Wisemans Ferry in NSW and this year, they are definitely bringing their A-game. Headlined by Carl Cox & Eric Powell’s Mobile Disco, which includes big names like Incognito (live), Lee Foss, &Me, Fabio & Grooverider, Mr C, Bedouin, Hoj, Khen and Neil James, Return To Rio also features a selection of Sydney’s finest talent including Robbie Lowe, Murat Kilic, Steve Marx, We Love and more. Visit: facebook.com/ReturnToRio

Strawberry Fields Festival (Victoria/NSW) – November 17-19
Strawberry Fields always brings one of the biggest and most interesting line-ups of the Aussie summer, packed to the brim with innovative names and special, one-off collaborations. Yothu Yindi and the Treaty Project will celebrate Australia’s most iconic indigenous anthem remixed by some of the country’s finest producers, alongside a big celebration of 20 years of Rush Hour with Antal, Hunee and Soichi Terada. Add to this names like Extrawelt, Andrew Weatherall, Archie Hamilton, Frankey & Sandrino, Francis Inferno Orchestra, Noah Slee, Monkey Safari, Oxia, Sebastian Muellart and Tim Engelhardt, plus a bumper Aussie line-up and you’ve got yourself a party, folks. Visit: strawberry-fields.com.au

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