8 family-friendly music festivals to take the kids to this year

happy family roadtrip

Before kids, I was a big music festival fan. I loved the camping, the back-to-back bands and the whole escape from the mundane city hustle-bustle. Although I’ll never forget the portaloo toilet stink at Glastonbury. These days I don’t get out to concerts much, let alone full-on music festivals. Despite missing that whole band atmosphere, I can’t imagine how I’d do a music festival with kids. Would I leave them at home? I don’t think I could do it. Bring them with me? Surely not – music festivals aren’t the place for kids!

Or are they? It turns out, I’ve been a little ignorant these last few years, because there are plenty of music festivals that are family-friendly, and others designed with kids in mind. Looking at the festivals set to take place this year, I’m feeling that stir of excitement I used to get when planning my festivals back in the day. And the even more exciting thing is that I think my kids would LOVE to go to a music festival too.

Here are several music festivals I discovered will be running this year, which are all family-friendly. Any of them take your fancy?

1. Bluesfest – Byron Bay, NSW 29 March – 2 April 2018

This super groovy festival is running for its 29th year and it’s still going strong. This one offers facilities for nappy changing and a place to breastfeed if you need the privacy. It also offers kids entertainment alongside a seriously big line-up of awesome performers for all of you to enjoy.

Rolling into 2018 like… 🌅✌🏻❤️ Photo by Phil E.

A post shared by Bluesfest Byron Bay (@bluesfestbyronbay) on

2. The Gumball – Hunter Valley, NSW 27-29 April 2018

Set in secluded bushland in the Hunter Valley, this festival oozes chill vibes, and offers the perfect chance to escape to the country for some fresh air. Meet like-minded people, listen to great tunes and even check out some art. And get this: they offer a children’s creche during the evening so you can have your adult time!

3. Big Red Bash – Birdsville, QLD 10-12 July 2018

Said to be the most remote music festival in the world, this family-friendly music and camping event is held in the Simpson desert, Queensland. There’s a huge line-up this year including John Farnham and the Hoodoo Gurus, so no need to feel confused by bands you’ve never heard of. There’s also a family-friendly camping area and kids under 11 can join the festival for free. In between gigs, check out the desert drag racing or ride a camel. This one’s sure to be a unique experience for the whole family.

4. National Folk Festival – Canberra 29 March – 2 April 2018

One for the family, the National Folk Festival runs over the Easter weekend in 2018 and includes a Kidzfest program that offers activities and entertainment each day and many performances on the main stage are geared towards children.

5. Splendour in the Grass – Byron Bay, NSW 20-22 July 2018

This is a big festival, so your kids need to be old enough to deal with crowds and a slightly hectic atmosphere, but if you want a fun and exciting music weekend, Splendour in the Grass in Byron is the place to be. With big bands and multiple stages, as well as lots of stalls and things to do, camping as a family for the weekend will be a busy and stimulating experience for all of you.

6. Mullum Music Festival – Mullumbimby, NSW 15-18 Nov 2018

Kids are welcome to join in this celebration of music, where the whole town gets involved. Set in the hinterlands of Byron Bay, this promises to be a ‘no hassle festival’. The festival is held in the town rather than between fields and paddocks, so performances are held in pubs and halls instead of music tents. If you want a no drama festival experience, this one could be the place to start.

7. Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, VIC 23-25 Nov 2018

The Queenscliff music festival is very family focused, with a dedicated kids program to keep your offspring happy and entertained across the weekend. The band line-up for this festival hasn’t been released yet, but going by the 2017 list of performers that included Bernard Fanning and the Temper Trap, you’re sure to be entertained yourselves.

8. Blenheim Music and Camping Festival, Clare Valley, SA 29-30 March 2018

This kid-friendly music and camping festival also sends profits to charity, which already makes it a beautiful sounding place to be for a weekend. It offers a designated family camping zone and kids under 12 are free to enter. Check them out here for more info.

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