As we slink into the second half of 2014, the music festival announcements have been coming thick and fast, offering new and returning events to fill the music fans’ calendar.

In the last week alone there’s been news of a new Neil Young-inspired one-day festival, the VIP camping options for NYE’s Beyond The Valley, and the first band of this year’s coveted Meredith Music Festival lineup

On top of that, just yesterday we reported on a selection of must-attend music festivals that would be returning to make their mark in 2014 while predicting that there’d be another wave of festival announcements on the way – we just didn’t think it would be this soon.

A trio of Aussie boutique festivals worth your attention have announced their first details, including the launch of a brand new music festival in Adelaide, the return of a regional NSW event with an intriguing new marketing angle, and the reboot of flagship indie gathering Sugar Mountain under new promoters, Mushroom.

So let’s take a look – in chronological order, beginning with an exciting new prospect for residents in the City of Churches…

This October sees Adelaide being gifted with Follow The Sun, a brand new one-day boutique event celebrating Australian blues and roots music, taking place at the suitably summery surrounds of beachside suburb Glenelg.

Taking place on Sunday 5th October, over the Labour Day long weekend, the inaugural Follow The Sun 2014 lineup is headlined by none other than Something For Kate frontman Paul Dempsey, joined on the bill by Melbourne-via-NZ roots favourites BONJAH, riff-loving rockers Dallas Frasca, blues bandits Benjalu, and NSW music maverick Lyall Moloney.

Rounding out the bill is Tom Richardson, Babylon Burning, Ciaram Granger, Voice Of Trees, James Abberley, Alice Haddey, The Fuller Brothers, and Kiki.

As well as its lineup, the all ages event is also promising attendees a “backyard BBQ vibe … without the hassles of long queues and with a commitment to high standard hospitality across the board.” That includes an array of culinary delights, local wines, and imported beers on the festival grounds, located at Wigley Reserve in Glenelg.

Follow The Sun founder David Elmes, who runs local Adelaide venue the Watermark Glenelg, says the festival marks a “great opportunity to showcase Glenelg” while combining his twin passions for hospitality and live music.

“Some outstanding Aussie music talent and a few drinks with your mates. What could be better?” quizzes Elmes. “It will almost be like a party in your own backyard. I am really excited for Follow The Sun and to create something unique for the bay.”

A batch of 500 earlybird tickets, priced at $49.95, are on sale this Friday 25th July from Oztix. Full info and ticket details at bottom.

The organisers of NSW regional music festival Return To Rio have an interesting approach for the sophomore edition of their flagship event; they’ve announced the dates and location, but the 2014 lineup will remain ‘Top Secret’ until all tickets are sold to the “glamorous pool party [with] some serious fancy-dress capers.”

Not only that, but the “1,500 Willy-Wonka-inspired golden tickets are only available on the melodic grapevine,” meaning they’re only available to sell through friends-of-friends.

Despite the exclusivity, what the organisers of the three-day music festival can tell you about the bill is that “contracts are signed, flights are booked, and the best in local talent and some extra special internationals have been confirmed” to perform across two stages of music.

Last year’s inaugural Return To Rio, hosted at Wiseman’s Ferry – the former home of the flooded Playground Weekender festival – saw promoters Distrikt booking a party-centric line-up of DJs and electronic artists to provide a soundtrack to a whole host of aquatic activities and amenities.

This year promises more of the same, with promoter Ricky Cooper boasting the festival ” features a range of wholesome activities … including tennis, crazy golf, basketball, volley ball and water skiing” as well as water aerobics, meditation, pilates, yoga, a “queue-free-bar stocked with delicious drinks.” as well as “clean, flushing, toilets and hot showers.”

There’s also a range of luxury accommodation available to festival ‘Riopians’, ranging from air-conditioned cabins to Del Rio Riverside Resort’s glamping options.

Interested? Then you’ll need to sign up to Return To Rio’s Facebook and start getting cozy with the community to score one of the $150 Golden Tickets.


(Photo: Carbie Warbie. Source: Sugar Mountain Tone Deaf 2013 Gallery)

Last but not least is Melbourne indie music and arts festival Sugar Mountain, which has confirmed that after taking a year off, it will be making its grand return early next yea under the auspices of the Mushroom Group, who announced their partnership with the event last December.

Today, the boutique festival has confirmed that it will be held in Melbourne on Saturday 24th January, 2015 – the weekend typically reserved for the now-absent Big Day Out – in a Facebook post this morning.

The fourth ever edition of Sugar Mountain will also be moving away from its usual home at the Forum Theatre to a new, yet-to-be-announced site. “We love The Forum, but it felt like the right time to move,” said promoter Tig Huggins of organisers To And Fro last year, while detailing the new union with Mushroom’s Matt Gudinski and Frontier Touring promoter and booking agent Gerard Schlaghecke.

As for the 2015 lineup, that’s still be revealed in the coming months too. Previous Sugar Mountain editions have featured an impressive list of international indie names – including Dirty Projectors, Tune-Yards, Deerhoof, Shabazz Palaces, Thee Oh Sees, Julianna Barwick, Action Bronson, and more – as well as a strong emphasis on visual arts, with contributions from Misha Hollenbach, Maya Hayuk, Dylan Martorell, Vincent Moon and Beci Orpin.

Follow The Sun 2014

Sunday 5th October – Wigley Reserve, Glenelg, Adelaide SA
Lineup: Paul Dempsey, BONJAH, Dallas Frasca, Benjalu, Lyall Moloney, Tom Richardson, Ciaram Granger, Babylon Burning, Voice Of Trees, James Abberley, Alice Haddey, The Fuller
Brothers, Kiki
$49.95 Earlybird tickets (first 500 only) go on sale this Friday 25th July at 9am through Oztix.

More info: http://www.followthesunfestival.com/

Return To Rio 2014

14th – 16th November, 2014 – Del Rio Riverside Resort, Wisemans Ferry, NSW
Lineup: Top Secret
Tickets: $150 (limited to 1,500)
Camping: $45 (total for three nights) & other accomodation options available

More info: facebook.com/ReturnToRio

Sugar Mountain 2015

Saturday 24th January, 2015  – Melbourne, VIC

Lineup & Venue TBA

http://www.sugarmountainfestival.com/