Because life isn’t the same without music, here’s something to brighten up your day: a guide to Queensland’s 2016 music festivals. Dig out that floppy-brimmed sombrero and book your time off work, readers. It might not be Bonnaroo, but it’s satisfying nevertheless. (We’ll take any excuse for a live music danceathon.)
Bleach*Festival, 6-22 March, Gold Coast
Alongside the usual Gold Coast festival shenanigans (surf, sand and sky), you’re getting a dose of live music, pop-up art exhibitions, outdoor films, theatre and street parties. Be prepared for a long-standing fiesta that’s perfect for the coastal couple looking for a new way to groove.
CMC Rocks Queensland, 11-13 March, Willowbank
If your music tastes come with a side of rodeo and heartbreak, CMC Rocks Queensland will be hosting some of the biggest names in international country music – Jason Aldean, for one. They’re also hosting the CMC Music Awards at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
Brisbane Baroque, 8-16 April, Brisbane
Drama abounds at the Brisbane Baroque festival, celebrating classic opera sung by some global stars. American mezzo soprano Vivica Genaux will make her Australian debut, and you and your sweetheart will see how romance is done on the big stage. (Hint: it includes arias and sweeping melodies.)
Music in the Mulga, 12-15 May, Eulo
Citygoers, take note: this is your chance to visit a working sheep and cattle property, and dance the night away. The Music in the Mulga festival has the vibe of a family get-together, paired with performances by Tania Kernaghan, Anite Ree and Trainwreck Trio. Grab a pint in the town’s sole pub, recover with Eulo’s artesian mud baths, and return to the city feeling quite the country soul.
Blues on Broadbeach, 19-22 May, Broadbeach
Eric Burdon and The Animals take their talent to the stage at Blues on Broadbeach, Australia’s largest free music festival. The four day festival promises a compilation of souls and blues tunes, plus other food to sate your musical hunger.
Cooly Rocks On, 3-13 June, Coolangatta
Slick that hair back and shrug on your leather jacket, because Cooly Rocks On is hosting over 50 rock ’n’ roll bands, and over 1300 cars for one of Australia’s biggest-ever car displays. It’s a bit of retro love, ready to inspire your own classic romance.
Big Red Bash, 3-4 July, Birdsville
Acoustic tunes on the edge of the desert are already tempting; throw Jimmy Barnes and Paul Kelly into the mix, and you’re set for a festival that’s a perfect ode to the Simpson Desert’s Big Red.
Australian Festival of Chamber Music, 29 July-6 August, Townsville
It’s an outdoor festival with a difference – over 25 outdoor music venues are being transported into stages for internationally-acclaimed orchestras to shine. Classical enthusiasts, rejoice.
Gympie Muster, 25-28 August, Gympie
Celebrate blues, roots and country with your sweetheart – the weekend of romance may come with mud slicked over your gumboots, but the festival’s 50 hectares of music and mateship is sure to enchant nevertheless.
Noosa Jazz Festival, 1-4 September, Noosa
Jazz hands and spirit fingers are a must if you’re visiting Noosa in September. Feast on the region’s local produce while enjoying world-class jazz – the 2016 line up, soon to be released, will definitely please.
Bigsound, 7-9 September, Brisbane
You might just find your signature tune at this festival – it’s a celebration of new music in the heart of Fortitude Valley. Basically, this is your chance to turn your nose up at those plebeian friends of yours who only just discovered the new hit that you heard ages ago.
Mitchell Creek Rock n Blues Fest, 16-19 September, Mitchell Creek
Three days of live music and BYO drinks are the recipe for romance – the Sunshine Coast Hinterland location is an added bonus. The line-up is yet to be released.
Caloundra Music Festival, TBC, Caloundra
Say hi to beach weather and hit up some good times on the sand with your sweetheart. This non-profit celebration has long been a stalwart of the Queensland music festival scene, with tickets selling out almost immediately on release. Keep an eye out for the line up and to secure your tickets ASAP.
Opera in the Outback, 6-8 October, Undara
The western corners of Queensland are getting their taste of classical music as Opera in the Outback turns 16, drawing hundreds of visitors to teeny-tiny Undara. Bonus, you and your partner can book in some romantic outback sightseeing while you’re there.