Origin of Australia’s Music Festivals

Origin of Australia’s Music Festivals

Music festivals have played a key role in Australian culture for more than 5 decades. Even though recent lockdowns and restrictions on mass gatherings left these events in limbo, they have slowly been making a comeback over the last few months.

The first Australian music festival was labelled as the ‘’Pilgrimage of Pop’’, where thousands of people attended the Ourimbah festival in 1970. This event was also the first time where Australian youth culture could celebrate and express themselves in many ways out in the open.

More than 10 000 fans pitched up to the event, with artists like Tully and The Aztecs making their debut on stage. Even though the first large-scale music festival had numerous arrests, the event was labelled a remarkable success by media reporters of the time.

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This event was also borne from the hippie culture of the mid-sixties. Traditional folk music became widespread, with artists like Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, and a range of psychedelic and blues artists that added fuel to the hippie culture.

Even though festivalgoers still maintain a dicey relationship with the police, thousands of people are still keen on rocking up to outdoor music festivals annually. Since Ourimbah, hundreds of permits and projects have been given the green light, and the industry has slowly developed to play a significant role in preserving the cultural heritage of Australians.

The Sunbury Pop Festival shortly followed in 1972 and became one of the most influential festivals in the country. It was the first festival to be marketed as an annual event, and attendees could enjoy a rich blend of local artists. Unfortunately, the festival had its last run in 1975 due to some financial issues.

Major festivals made a comeback in the 90s, with the Homebake Festival of 1996 featuring a range of famous Australian artists. The country’s ability to produce world-class artists helped to galvanise the music festival industry – where international festivals had an incredible talent pool to draw from to help bolster festival line-ups for many years to come.

Followers on this platform can also learn more about Leaps and Bounds Music Festivals to stay in the loop with the latest upcoming events in the country.


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