Blacken The Globe
Bands Featured: Psycroptic, The Schoenberg Automaton, Uncreation
Selling Point: Located in Alice Springs, this is one of the most unique metal festivals that Australia has to offer. Bringing some of Australia’s best metal bands together, alongside a slew of locals, the festival helps shine a light on the small but thriving scene in the Northern Territory. Tickets are generally about $30 and be purchased online or at the event.
Things to Know: Due to the isolated location, there is a live-stream of the festival available through Triple J making it accessible to everyone with an internet connection!
– William France
Bands Featured: Ne Obliviscaris, Chaos Divine, The Helix Nebula, Ulcerate
Selling Point: An annual charity event run by the vocalist/violinist of Ne Obliviscaris, Welkin Entertainment, this is one of the larger annual metal festivals in Melbourne. Combining acts like Chaos Divine, Whoretopsy and Ruins on the same bill, this is festival that caters to a much wider audience than something you would typically expect. Tickets are around $25 and can be purchased online or at the event.
Things to Know: All proceeds from this event go to the Hope for Haiti Foundation who aim to improve the quality of life for all Haitians through better education, nutrition and healthcare. Headbanging for a good cause!
Bands Featured: Caligula’s Horse, Sleepmakeswaves, Tangled Thoughts of Leaving
Selling Point: Another brainchild of Welkin Entertainment, this time spanning about a week and stopping in each state of Australia, Progfest is a national showcase of all things under the progressive umbrella. The prog scene in Australia is very much an underground thing, and festivals like this really help to unearth enormous talent which would otherwise go largely unnoticed. Tickets are roughly $20 and are available online and at the event.
Things to Know: I can think of no better event to discover new progressive artists at, and with much of Australia’s prog scene relatively hidden by more accessible genres, this is an extremely valuable asset to this country’s music scene.
Bands Featured: Lamb of God, Meshuggah, Faith No More, The Dillinger Escape Plan
Selling Point: Soundwave is the second largest music festival Australia has to offer and has grown its audience from 5,000 to 50,000 since its inception in 2004. Over the last couple of years however, attendance figures have been steadily dropping – whether this is due to the festival catering to too many genres or simply because people prefer to attend more intimate shows is difficult to say.
Things To Know/Avoid (if applicable): This festival is very much marketed towards the mainstream, and with its generally broad line-up you can expect to face hoards of people and huge lines for food/bathrooms/merch. Expect prices for food and beverages to be astronomically expensive; $10 for a bottle of water is fairly commonplace so be sure to take a backpack with provisions so you aren’t caught out.
The Big Day Out
Bands Featured: Primus, Deftones, Soundgarden, The Algorithm
Selling Point: Catering to more than just the rock/metal scene, and overshadowing almost every other festival in the country, the Big Day Out is a cornerstone of Australian music culture. Since 1992, the event has brought over some of the largest acts to grace Australian shores. However, after Britain’s Blur pulled out of last year’s festival, triggering a mass ticket refund (and $10,000,000 in lost revenue), the event has come to a stand still, with only a small glimpse of hope for the BDO to return in the future.
Things To Know/Avoid (if applicable): Having prepared a small bag with food, water and any other valuables you might possibly need on the day will be hugely beneficial as this festival requires a lot of walking and will mean that you’ll be in direct sunlight for a large part of the day (also pricing is much like Soundwave: ridiculous). It almost goes without saying that you will have a bad time if you forget sun lotion, however a lot of the stages are undercover which provides some relief.