i-D's guide to this summer's festivals

Helping you navigate the good times.

by i-D Team
13 January 2015, 1:45am

Australian summer is obviously always amazing—icecream, beaches, backpackers not understanding the difference between SPF 4 and 40—but it's the music that really makes it. despite being at the end of the earth, and the touring season, we always manage to be spoilt with a deluge of great local and international acts over the season. And with the festival period well under way we thought it was worth taking the time to share some of the artists and bands we wouldn't miss for all the Marques Almeida jeans in all the world.

This month Sugar Mountain will return for another mindblowingly on point show. Melbourne has always been spoilt with the festival's offerings, but 2015 really seems obscenely special. In fact if i-D Australia were to put on our own festival it would probably look like this, you know, just with more office karaoke breaks.

The news that NAS would be performing Illmatic is arguably un-toppable, but the addition of Kim Gordon's Body/Head has insured that this year's show has left its foot prints in the city's gig history before we were past the first line of announcements. Leif, Iceage, and SWANS remind us that the organisers not only have their finger on the coolest pulse, but also have the sway to attract some of the globes most exciting artists.

Although Sugar Mountain was born from a love of local acts and a staunch sense of community, both are reflected with exciting music/art collaborations from the likes of Terrible Love ft Kirin and Cara Stricker x John Kirby. Plus we'd be remiss not to shout out our own pals Chela, Banoffee, and Oscar Key Sung x Cassius—don't say we can't pick them.

February's Laneway is consistently a no brainer for big acts, with Banks and FKA Twigs as our personal standouts. But with St Vincent, Perfect Pussy, and resident almost-famous-next-big-thing Tkay Maidza bringing a powerful female presence to the lineup it's a reminder that Laneway is never one to rest on its laurels by locking in a few big names and then going home early. Flight Facilities, Flying lotus, and POND round out our Can't Miss list, because after all, if you can't dance all night by a river in summer, when can you?

Talking of dancing, obviously chatter about Future and a very long awaited appearance from Drake has been crowding parties for months. Although we're also holding out for 2 Chainz and, we're not embarrassed to say, Darude. Hey 2000 is totally the new 2015.

As summer progresses, you'll probably start to feel like you've already seen a pretty generous selection of your new favourites, so on the back of "Sandstorm" a very nostalgic Soundwave could be a perfect chaser. Everyone's favourite university band Fucked Up will remind you how cool you used to be. And don't mind us when Smashing Pumpkin play, we'll be the ones weeping to "1979" down the front.

Obviously all good things come to an end, and although nowadays we're lucky to have great shows and tours throughout the year, Golden Plains often feels like the last big summer party. We're excited to have Conor Oberst and First Aid Kit soundtracking our more reflective moments as we kiss the season goodbye. But don't get too emotional, Black Vanilla, Bombino, and Neneh Cherry will keep the party going. And the very special appearance of Radio Birdman and Village People will remind you that good music is forever, and there will always be next year, and the next, and the next. Okay, maybe not so much Village People. But it will hopefully be the last time you ever see anyone wearing an Indian headdress at a festival. 

Kim Gordon
Perfect Pussy
Sugar Mountain
FKA Twigs
Laneway Festival
Summer Festivals