Fireman Ron’s 3 top fests

When planning a trip anywhere in this country you can be lucky enough to include a great music festival into your itinerary, as long as you plan ahead. But which one should you aim for? Here’s our top three (so far) to help you in you planning.



Number Three is Byron Bay BluesFest. This festival is held each year at Tyagarah, near Byron Bay over the Easter period. It’s a five day event but you can attend for one, two or three days if that suits you better.

Kasey Chambers and Ben Harper performing together.

Kasey Chambers performs alongside Ben Harper at theByron Bay Blues Festival

Why we love it

Bluesfest is most noted for the major overseas and Australian artists that appear each year. The range and sheer number of acts is staggering and there’s always plenty to see.

Don’t believe us? Ron snapped this stunning shot of Michigan duo War & Treaty performing in the main tent!

Attracting global artists. Michigan duo War & Treaty stun at the Byron Bay Fest main stage. PIC Fireman Ron Sinclair

Where to stay

There are limited camping options at the actual event so most people stay in the region of Byron Bay and access the event by bus or car. The venue is a spectacular purpose-built festival space with two huuuuge marquis and stages, as well as a series of smaller stage areas. The food & drink, merchandise and retail precincts are all nearby and easy to access.

Vibrant retail precinct at the Byron Bay Blues Fest. Did we mention it’s huge?

Food and supplies at the huuuuge tents at the Byron Bay Blues Fest


Number two is Woodford Folk Festival. Woodford is held over the new year period each year near Woodford in Queensland. This festival is spectacular in many ways but the first thing that hits you when you arrive is the wonderful setting amongst the forest at ‘Woodfordia’ as the venue is named.

Festivities set amongst forest

Woodford Festival

Why we love it

Woodford has a great mix of music styles as well as a fabulous selection of overseas and Australian acts. There are so many things to see and do that you almost feel like there’s not enough time, but just being in the precinct is an experience in itself. There are street performers, interactive events, comedy and spoken word events and major features such as the new year’s eve Fire Event. There are even jam sessions for aspiring and accomplished muso’s in one of the ‘pubs’.

Street performer add to the festivities

Woodfordia? That's how we roll

Where to stay

Camping is onsite and there’s a bus service around the camp grounds to get you to the performance areas, so once you set up your accommodation you can enter Woodfordia as often as you like and/or relax around the campsite and recharge your batteries. It’s a great experience and should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Once you’re camped up, Come and Go to ‘Woodfordia’ as you please

Woodford Festival


Number one is the Big Red Bash (BRB), Birdsville, Queensland, held in July each year. Of all the festivals we have attended this was the best for organisation, set-up and ease of experience. The only challenge is getting there, but as you will see in our original article, it only takes a bit of planning and the journey to and from the BRB is very achievable. In fact it’s a big part of the BRB experience.

Big Red Bash Camel Rides

Why we love it

Unlike many festivals BRB has one large stage, so you don’t have to move around and follow different venues during the festival. You wander down to the arena and pick a spot for your chairs, set up and make yourself comfortable to enjoy the music and entertainment. You can take your own esky, food and drink with you which is great news for a tight-arse like me!. The venue does have food and drink stalls, as well as merchandise and retail outlets, so it’s easy to feed and water yourselves if necessary. 

Big Red Bash - so well organisedThe music is all Australian and features a number of big names as well as many bands and performers from both the rock scene and from the country scene, so it’s a great mix. We were very fortunate to see Midnight Oil, Kasey Chambers and Busby Marou, just to name a few, and each year the announcement of the upcoming artists is awaited with great anticipation.

Where to stay

The BRB is situated about thirty k’s from Birdsville, on a private ‘organic’ cattle station. The set up is amazing as you are situated right under the giant sand dune named ‘Big Red’ and right on the edge of the national park. The outlook is spectacular from anywhere in the grounds and as most people camp onsite you get to enjoy the view from your camp or from the performance area.

All in the one place


Bluesfest is incredible with great ‘big name’ artists; Woodford is an amazing experience that is more than just the music; and, the Big Red Bash is a unique Australian event combining the outback, great music and a travel experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. Start planning!

Happy trails!
Fireman Ron & Di