John Butler Trio, West Coast Blues n Roots, Fremantle, 2010 by Anni Fordham
Festival stalwart John Butler. Picture: Anni Fordham

3 ways to beat summer music festival withdrawal

That’s right, folks. Winter’s frosted hand is clawing at you and those long, hot summer days spent at your favourite music festivals are fast becoming a distant memory.

Sure, there’s a handful of winter festivals to ease the pain, including the beloved Splendour in the Grass and the all-Aussie Come Together festival, but we all know it’s just not the same.

So here are three tips to help you through the chilly months, and to ease that festival withdrawal. Take my advice, and you’ll be back clutching an $8 beer and suffering sunstroke in front of the main stage before you know it.

1. Support your local artists.

Craving a music fix, a few drinks and some good company during the winter months? Well, look no further than the musicians playing at your local pub or club. Sure, a few no-names on a Wednesday night at Bankstown RSL or the Brunswick Hotel mightn’t be as glamorous as a Big Day Out or Laneway main stage, but these nights give true music lovers the chance to potentially spot the next big thing in music.

Imagine the smug street-cred you would have right now if you’d witnessed Tame Impala doing their thing on the Perth pub scene before they dropped their first EP or if you’d caught a young Chet Faker twisting and manipulating sounds at Sydney’s Chinese Laundry a few years ago.

Get amongst it, people.

2. Make a fresh mix-tape or playlist for the car.

Whether you’re rocking a CD, iPod, smartphone or even a freaking cassette in your car, you should use the winter months to treat yourself to a fresh mix or two.

Don’t just go and jam a random collection of tracks together. Try and make it flow nicely. Get a bit wanky about it. Your future self and future passengers will thank you. After all, no one wants hear Slayer straight after The XX, or Bright Eyes killing everyone’s buzz after a banger from Run The Jewels.

Not only would you be easing the pain of festival withdrawal, you’d also be making that drive to work or university a touch more pleasant.

3. Splash some cash (if you got it).

This certainly isn’t an option for all, but if you have the cash, why not get yourself to the northern hemisphere and partake in one of the dozens of festivals an American or European summer has to offer?

Glastonbury, Coachella, Primavera Sound, Sasquatch, Tomorrowland, Download and All Tomorrow’s Parties are just a few of the amazing festivals on offer from our northern neighbours. As a music fan, you’d be crazy to not experience a festival on foreign shores at least once in your lifetime.

The twisted and battered promotional poster I swiped during my time at last year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Reykjavik, Iceland hangs proudly on my wall; reminding me to save every possible dollar for the next trip.

In the meantime, there are countless hours of local music to be experienced and that warm, fuzzy feeling you get from a well-honed mix-tape or playlist to get you through the winter months.

Now, someone pass me the blanket.




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