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Is Australia's festival scene the best it's ever been?

A slew of small festivals are keeping the country's scene firing

  • Words: Scott Carbines | Image: Cai Griffin
  • 31 May 2016

The giants of Australia’s festival scene have fallen since March last year.

Stereosonic and Future, leaders of the country’s once dominant touring festival model (where events hit major cities Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth each summer) are not on the 2016 festival calendar.

But Australia’s electronic music festival landscape is more exciting than ever. The reputations of smaller events and multi-day festivals away from the main cities are growing and they’re freshening things up.

“When we started Strawberry Fields seven years ago we were barely 21, passionate as hell, and probably quite naïve too,” says Strawberry Fields director and Let Them Eat Cake partner Tara Benney.

“It’s really evolved alongside the three of us [including co-directors Elliot Rothfield and Billy Staughton] as we have been exposed to different music, art, experiences and ideas and it’s still evolving today. We’re not afraid to do things differently to what people might expect.”

Strawberry Fields relocated to a new, larger site at The Wildlands, beside the picturesque Murray River roughly between Melbourne and Sydney, in 2015.

Soul Clap, Apparat, Bicep and Booka Shade were among the headliners, and, this year, it will add another day, taking place from November 17 to 20.

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