Australia's Best Festivals

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It's no secret Australians love a festival. Here's the cream of the crop, arranged as democratically as we can in alphabetical order.

Big Day Out [National]

The original (and in many people’s eyes, the best) Big Day Out is the don of the summer festival circuit. While the main-stages are reserved for marquee rock, hip hop and indie names, electronic music lovers have always flocked to the Boiler Room. Always hot and heavy, in 2011 the dance line-up includes Booka Shade, LCD Soundsystem and The Bloody Beetroots.

Breakfest [Perth]

For a decade now, Boxing Day in Perth has belonged to Breakfest. Staged in the unique setting of the Belvoir Amphitheatre, the boutique festival is the work of Perth’s premier party crew Boomtick. From the scorching afternoon to the finale under the stars, it’s a guaranteed block-rocker.

Creamfields [National]

In 2010, international powerhouse Creamfields made its bold entry to the Australian festival calendar. Helmed by Totem Onelove – the people behind the gargantuan Stereosonic tour at the start of summer – Creamfields does the national rounds in the usually barren month of May. 2011 sees Deadmau5 brings his LED Mau5head and jaw-dropping new live set-up to the headline slot.

Defqon.1 [Sydney]

With a scale of production rarely seen at Australian festivals, Defqon.1 arrived in 2009 with all fire-cannons blazing. Transforming the Sydney International Regatta Centre into “the ultimate party island”, Dutch powerhouse Q-dance pulls no punches on line-up, pyrotechnics, staging and – crucially – sound. In 2011, the motto is sure to be: “Bigger is better”.

Field Day [Sydney]

Field Day is the indisputable king of New Years Day partying in Sydney. What began as a recovery party with a handful of house DJs and a few hundred punters has grown and diversified with each year. Slickly organised and always buzzing, it’s little wonder Field Day has endured. Its star attraction remains the grassy surrounds of The Domain, which in 2011 were filled with the likes of Justice, Public Enemy, Erol Alkan and Trentemoller.