Some may call transformational festivals in Australia ‘bush doofs,’ or maybe bush doofs are a subsection of transformational festivals. But one thing that’s for sure is that Australia throws one hell of a transformational festival, and they’re the only ones who may call them a bush doof. That was a tongue twister. 😛
Trasnsformational festivals are defined in that they have much more than just a lineup of music – they have art, they have yoga, they have seminars, workshops, smaller shows, and more. At a transformational festival, you are not an attendee, but a participant! They often promote certain values to uphold, sustainable living, healthy lifestyles, and personal growth and ‘transformation’ as a whole. They will often be rather psychedelic in their artforms, deep in their music, and open-minded in their attendees. They may not have all of these things, but any of a few would define a festival as transformational.
Australia has been at the forefront of this type of festival, throwing them in many different states and many different sizes. If you are a festival junkie, bush doofer, or burner like me, here are some to add to your bucket list, this season or any year to come!
Transformational Festivals in Australia
Lost Paradise takes place over New Years in New South Wales. It boasts an incredible and varied genre lineup across multiple stages, and lots of extras as well! You can check out the eccentric and artsy beach club, adventure activities like horse riding and abseiling, games like bingo, amazing food experiences and vendors, and a massive setup of well-being at their ‘Shambhala Fields.’ I’m talking yoga, astrology, massage, workshops, talks, and very special speakers and humans sharing their gifts. They even have a few burning man-esque theme camps this year! If I could do one thing for New Years, this would be it.TICKETS
Hey lovers it's Tuesday again – so if you're patiently waiting in our queue, check your emails for an invitation to purchase a ticket to Rainbow Serpent Festival 2018! Hurry – you only have three days to purchase before these invitations expire. . We've also released some extra spaces on the waitlist today if you still need to join up. We've already gotten through a lot of invitations and if you join up now it's likely you'll receive an invite in a few weeks so don't delay 🍭 . Market magic captured by Brett Nelson at RSF2017 xx Visit our website, reeead all about it! https://www.rainbowserpent.net/ticket-refund-and-waitlist 💜
This is the mother of all bush doofs, the funkiest festival of the bush, and one of the iconis transformational festivals in Australia. Rainbow Serpent really does have it all when it comes to transformational festivals. All possible kinds of art and expression are practiced here – installations, stages, VJ’s, and artists from all over the world.
They practice sustainability and plant new trees on the festival site each year. They have over a kilometer of vendors and stalls offering all kinds of conscious crafts and healthy eats. They have lots of camping options and are big on safety, being friendly to the environment, and wellness.
As the festival draws its name from an Aboriginal legend, the festival works with local tribes to teach and appreciate aboriginal culture. In ‘The Village’ you can find all sorts of yoga, speakers, workshops, panels, performances, and activities involving art, film, sound, meditation, you name it! It’s not a surprise at all that this festival sells out consistently and quickly.WAITLIST TICKETS
This may be the first doof of the season, coming in mid-November in a place known as ‘the Wildlands’ in Victoria. Attendees can explore the serene bushland or even swim in a river. Strawberry Fields harbors multiple music stages, each with their own vibe and general genre.
They push the boundaries with amazing stage design, art installations, amazing performances such as fire spinning and stilt walking, and workshops, healing, and art classes as well!WEBSITE
Pitch Music + Arts Festival
Pitch is the perfect example of a new festival done right. It started this year in 2017 and is already looking great for its second edition in 2018 at the foot of the Grampians in Victoria. A brief browse of their incredibly eloquent and minimalistic website will give you an idea of what is to come this year – they hold just enough back to keep you yearning for more!
You can find a variety of camping and ride share information on their website, as well as a few mixes done by talented dj’s leading up to this festival. You can expect a meticulously organized lineup, amazing art, and a selection of vendors and stalls to keep anyone interested.TICKETS
Rabbits Eat Lettuce
‘REL’ is Byron’s edition of the transformational festival, along with Bohemian Beatfreaks (below)! As their slogan goes, this festival is a ‘place of freedom, love, and dance music’ and boasts the tag line ‘we can dissolve barriers and dance together.” Isn’t that just beautiful? That’s part of the reason I adore festivals in the first place!
Located in a beautiful grassy valley at the foot of sandstone cliffs inland of Byron Bay, the environment is perfect for a festival community to be created. Rabbits Eat Lettuce encourages funky dress, positivity, leaving no trace, and departing from the real world just for a few short amazing festival days.
Here, of course, you will also find amazing art, design, and workshops each day to help expand your perspective.TICKETS
Bohemian Beatfreaks is run by the same people as Rabbits Eat Lettuce, and you can expect some of the same awesomeness… including the same venue! This party kicks off the festival season in November, while REL closes it off on Easter weekend.
Bohemian Beatfreaks has fun dress-up themes throughout, and has yoga, tie dye, massages, circus c=play, music production workshops, a massive market village and more!TICKETS
Earth Core is a classic Aussie Transformational Festival which has a full three day edition in Victoria and one day events in WA, NSW, and QLD with the same awesome vibes. They consider themselves the original bush doof! This festival has almost too extensive of an experience to try and list, but I’m going to try.
Some of their culture and experiences are the ‘bazaar of earthly desires,’ a kids zone, healing, physical, spirit, and wisdom exchanges, all sorts of sustainability and safety programs, markets, recycling and eco projects, cinema, comedy, face painting and hair styling, and all kinds of art and creativity!TICKETS
Maitreya + Yemeya Festivals
These amazing doofs unfortunately lost their permits/had their permits denied to hold the festivals in 2017, but there are rumors and hopes that they will continue sometime in the future! Yemeya is in constant dealings with councils and promises to fight for next year. Keep your eyes out for them in the future.
Massive gratitude to all the super early bird ticket purchases- As in previous years we have sold out in under 24 hours of super early bird tickets. Early bird tickets are now on sale, we advise snapping them up to secure your spot on the dancefloor for 2018 before these are all gone too! Thankyou to everyone for the support. (Tickets via website link) 🔊💚 Photo: @yumiya_psy_pho
Earth Frequency Festival
Earth Frequency brands itself as a ‘music, arts, lifestyle, and environmental festival’ which encourages ‘arts, education, healing and community spirit.’ If that isn’t exactly what a transformational festival is about, then I don’t know what is!
EFF focuses on art, creativity, sustainability, family values, respect, and community, and you can expect a wide range of amazing performances, artists, music, vendors, and installations to peruse while you are there. This one is held in south Queensland in February, so get on your tickets now!TICKETS
Splendour in the Grass
Splendour is one of Australia’s most famous music festivals, and it can quite marginally be considered as transformational, but it qualifies just the same. Along with an absolutely stacked lineup of international artists, Splendour in the Grass has a 600 acre art space with projects, live art and installations, and performances from internationally renowned artists. I’m not just talking big sculptures, I’m talking interactive, walk-through and participatory art experiences!
AT Splendour you can also except top-of-the-line food and vendors – you can never go hungry here! If you aren’t busy watching the many world famous music artists you can also find some interesting presentations and experiences at the science tent, get a laugh at the comedy club, listen to speakers of all kinds at the forum, do some yoga at the bohemian lounge, get some zen at the world stage or healing sancturary, or groove at the silent disco!TICKETS
Falls Music + Arts Festival
If you know transformational festivals in Australia, you definitely know Falls. Falls is somewhat taking over the scene with its many locations and amazing lineups. Falls now has four locations and consistently sells out very quickly. Falls is definitely not a classic doof, but it had to be included in this list due to its extra focus on art and sustainability.
Make a visit to the Village at Falls and take part in yoga, dance classes, circus instruction, comedy, burlesque, and more!
Blazing Swan is actually a regional burn, an event contingent upon the ten principles of Burning Man, in WA’s wheat belt bush countryside. These events are not classic festivals whatsoever, but would definitely be considered transformational! Anyone who heads out to the bush for a regional burn can expect to bring everything with them that they will need for the week, and be prepared to cocreate an event totally put on by its participants!
Expect home made mutant vehicles, spur-of-the-moment yoga and meditation sessions, theme camps and home made stages, amazing art, and great costumes. Make sure to leave to trace and participate as much as possible!WEBSITE
Burning Seed is also a regional burn contingent upon the ten principles of Burning Man. It’s held in New South Wales and, like Blazing Swan, is totally based upon a gifting economy, theme camps, redical self expression, leaving no trace, and all that good burn stuff.WEBSITE
Subsonic Music Festival
Another classic doof, Subsonic holds it down for NSW amongst the other transformational festivals in Australia. The festival is a branch of the Subsonic music label, and brings in awesome music of all genres to impress attendees.
Expect artists, galleries, installations, family areas, healing centers, and all the good stuff.TICKETS
Esoteric is a very small sized, new, psychedelic bush doof that is a bit more niche than a lot of the festivals on this list. They started up in 2017 and are gearing up to be even better in 2018.
You can expect live art, amazing sculptures and installations, interactive experiences, and lots of workshops to learn new instruments, reflect, move, and learn.TICKETS
Meredith Music Festival
This festival has been going for a whopping TWENTY-SEVEN years within the gumtrees west of Melbourne. These people know what they are doing, if they didn’t before, definitely by now!
Here they value watching the sunset, playing sports in the sunshine, classes, inspiration, and more. I think a quote from their website does a much better job of explaining than I ever could, so I’ll leave you with that.
“Music, nature, nonsense, humanity at its most wonderful, wild times, excursions, incursions, retrospections, a retreat, a Rare Treat, a rare feat, a rare bird, Things Rarely Heard, music, nature, nonsense, wild times, etc, etc, all staged in a purpose built Underground Wonderland specifically designed for housing The Very Best of Times on an annual end-of-year basis, all run VERY smoothly with pride and affection….uh….that doesn’t even scratch the surface.”
Mushroom Valley Festival
Held in the Whitsundays, Mushroom Valley is a small three day music, arts, and lifestyle festival. They are a Leave No Trace fest that encourages reuse and sustainability, and their lineup boasts tons of workshops right alongside the musical artists.
There are amazing markets with all kinds of colorful jewelry, clothing, face painting, and more, and they are all about coming together as a community and connecting with like-minded people.Mushroom Valley, also presents another transformational festival called Happy Daze in June.
After a small hiatus Psyfari Festival is back with a new edition: Psyfari Jamboree, in February in Canberra. At psyfari you can find workshops, amazing decor, all different types of musical acts, performers, and markets. Think: fire spinning, different presentations and talks, amazing stage design, bongo drums, crazy outfits, good vibes, and amazing people!
Like many doofs, psyfari pays respects to the owners of the land to begin the festival, and works closely with indigenous culture.TICKET WAITLIST
Dragon Valley Festival
Held in Canberra in October, Dragon Valley is a transformational/psytrance festival in Australia that should not be missed! Here you will find performers ranging from dance groups, fire acts, and tribal circles, amazing markets, and of course a massive array or art on display throughout the festival from a lineup of talented people.