Photo by: Körschgen. While northern hemisphere folks are breaking out their winter coats, Australians are slathering on the sunscreen and joining the throngs of other music heads attending the continent’s greatest summer music festivals.

Matador gives you the quick and dirty on ten summer music festivals definitely worth checking out the next time you’re down under. A very merry summer, indeed.
1. Summadayze

Photo by: AFlickion

A massive to end all massives, Summadayze is a conglomerate of four different music festivals held all over the Australian continent.

Beginning with their new year’s eve party, Summanights, held in Sydney, the powerhouse event then holds court in Melbourne and Adelaide for simultaneous New Year’s Day celebrations that start at 9am and continue long after the sun has called it quits.

But they don’t stop there.

Summadayze winds through Perth on the 3rd, then Auckland on the 8th, concluding its tour in Gold Coast on the 9th.

With talents such as Carl Cox, Sharam (Deep Dish), Don Diablo, and The Shapeshifters contributing to the lineup, Summadayze is every raver’s candied-necklace, glow-sticked dream and enough hype to make this author to want to spend her first ten days of January in Oz.

Tickets are on sale now and vary in range (the cheapest being $99 not including booking fees or service charges) depending on the date participants choose to attend.

2. Big Day Out

Photo by: tHcnunz

From January 15th-31st, Big Day Out conquers the coastal music scene bringing in exceptional musical talents to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Auckland, and Gold Coast and an average of over 150,000 attendees per concert.

This year, the lineup includes Muse, Lily Allen, The Decemberists, The Mars Volta, Dead Prez, Devendra Banhart, and many many more. Big Day Out is well-known for being the most popular event of the summer.

A testament to the intense popularity of this festival, 2010 tickets are pretty much all sold out. If you have one, the rest of us request photos and crazy stories. In return, we offer the warmth of concentrated jealousy.

3. V Festival (Australia)

Photo by: Bradii

A spin-off of the British V Festival, V Fest brings a host of big name acts to the four popular cities Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Gold Coast for three days every summer.

Though the festival has been canceled for 2010, news reports have been quick to assure us that the future of V Festival is secure, a fact made believable by billionaire Richard Branson footing the event’s bill.

Since its inception almost three years ago, V Festival has not enjoyed the smooth start it was hoping for amidst the heightened activity that defines Australia’s summer music festivals. Last year’s internationally popular bands couldn’t save the event from poor planning and poor weather, but if there’s one thing Branson can do, it’s business. Keep your eye on V Festival.

4. Woodford Folk Festival

Photo by: Irene Cassarino

Held on 500-acres of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland (roughly one hour north of Brisbane), Woodford Folk Festival is a music festival with an environmental bent, placing emphasis on sustainability, nature, and positive social change.

From December 27th to January 1st, the Woodford Folk Festival hosts over 2000 performers and 580 events. Concerts are not the only thing this festival offers attendees as it features street dances, film screenings, comedy performances, and, of course, environmentalism debates and talks.

Tickets are available for purchase on their website.

5. St. Kilda Festival

The St. Kilda Festival bills itself as “one of Australia’s best known and Melbourne’s most loved events.” And why wouldn’t it be? The festival serves as a giant tribute to and showcase for Australian musical talents, from aboriginal artists to local contemporary artists.

This year, the festival begins on Saturday, February 6th and runs until Sunday, the 14th. It’s a family friendly event that offers a variety of games and activities for kids as well as over 50 bands on stage for music lovers.

6. Sensation

A music event for 40,000 plus of Melbourne‘s best friends, Sensation is held at the very large and very expensive football arena, Etihad Stadium on New Year’s Eve this year.

Requisite for all attendees is all-white garb as Sensation distinguishes itself as “The Ocean of White” massive. Admittedly, the pale dress code does lend a slice of visual coolness to the giant gyrating and sweaty party. Who’s in this year?

If you can’t make the Melbourne event, not to worry, Sensation is a global music festival that works tirelessly to satisfy music heads all over the globe into somnolence. Check out their website for event dates and locations information, ticket purchase, videos, photos, and more.

7. Rainbow Serpent

Photo by: Scootie

A multi-sensory, outdoor art and music festival, the Rainbow Serpent Festival runs from Friday, January 22nd to Monday, January 25th in Western Victoria.

Like Burning Man or Bonnaroo, Rainbow Serpent Festival places heavy emphasis on community and art in addition to music, which makes it one of the can’t miss events this upcoming January.

That’s not news to the event’s fan as the festival sold out of its first round tickets within mere minutes.

8. Good Vibrations

Photo by: S Baker

Starting February 13th and running until February 21st in 2010, the Good Vibrations festival tours Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, and Gold Coast, showcasing acts ranging from Salt ‘N Pepa to The Killers.

Typically a haven for dance music fans, this year, the event is trying to draw a more diverse crowd through its eclectic lineup. Tickets cost over $100 and are usually quick to sell out as Good Vibrations is one of the billboard events among Australia’s summer music festivals.

9. Pyramid Rock

A four day, camp-out music festival, Pyramid Rock is held annually at the incredibly scenic Pyramid Rock on Phillip Island, Victoria.

This year, the Pyramid Rock festival is taking place from December 29th to January 1st. Tickets are sold as two- or three-day passes that start from morning entry and end when your energy is completely depleted.

Bands sharing the Pyramid main stage include Empire of the Sun, Architecture in Helsinki, Cat Power, Ugly Duckling, and Blue King Brown. The Pharaoh’s Annex provides the DJ and dance floor for all the dancing shoes out there.

10. Falls Festival5>

Photo by: Looking Glass

Taking over Lorne, Victoria every new year’s eve, Falls Festival is one of Australia’s longest running music festivals, clocking in at 16 years this coming January.

The festival runs four days, from December 29th to January 1st, with attendees usually bringing a tent and camping out on one of the nearby beach sites.

This year’s lineup includes the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Moby, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Lyrics Born, and Major Lazer.

Seen any of these festivals firsthand? Share your stories below!
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