You might remember the gushing review we gave Fairgrounds Festival last year. Phrases like “all time” and “best festival ever” were thrown around with abandon. Truth is, that weekend we fell in love with a event that combined the perfect amount of good music, tasty food and relaxed ambiance in an unpretentious country setting. Honestly, it's a festival romance that’s lasted the winter and as summer ’17 rolls in, we’re still as in love as ever.
This December 8th and 9th, Fairgrounds returns to grace the grassy greens of Berry, a 2-hour drive south of Sydney. The lineup is a swoon-worthy mix of local and international acts, most noteworthy including: indie-pop headliners The Shins, marking their first visit to Australian shores since 2012, Baltimore synth heroes Future Islands, Melbourne electro-pop revivalists Client Liaison and Castlemaine prodigy D.D Dumbo. With some homegrown talent from Gang of Youths, You Am I, Donny Benét and Jen Cloher thrown in for good measure. Not to mention NZ’s hottest exports Aldous Harding and the chiseled troubadour Marlon Williams.
So we’ve established that the lineup is great. Good, glad you’re still with us. Now let us take you through the unique perks of this country-boutique setting that have us so smitten.
Acknowledging the searing fire-pit from hell that is the Australian summer, Fairgrounds will bring back the in-house swimming pool for sizzle downs between sets (hallelujah). The Market and the Record Fair are back too, so you can buy rare and collectable vinyls while wearing rare and collectable cowboy boots. The food affair is just as gorgeous as expected, with the legendary Paperbark Camp Pop-Up Restaurant providing everything from Cuban cantinas to miscellaneous carby-drunk-food.
And then there’s the fact that it’s in Berry; NSW’s most bullshit-scenic, 100% true-blue country setting. The accommodation here is an absolute highlight, including options like Rivercamp, situated (you guessed it) on the banks of Berry’s very swimmable river and a short free shuttle ride from the action. The VIPs amongst you can indulge in the Fairgrounds Pop-up Hotel which includes an exclusive car park, pre-assembled tent accommodation and furnishings, complimentary brekky and guests-only pool access. Or just sample any other serene accommodation Berry has to offer, from cabins in Kangaroo Valley, beach shacks in Sholhaven to some farmer’s paddock (true story: we were actually offered a paddock space last year).
The bottom line is this: Fairgrounds Festival is like going on a camping trip in the country. But instead of shit neighbours you get laid back festival goers, instead of crappy rechargeable speakers you get the best lineup of live local and international bands, and instead of burnt sausages in bread you get gourmet-food trucks. All this without the general ball-ache that most large scale festival induce. And there’s nothing you can do to challenge that statement until you come and check it out for yourself.
Tickets available here,
More festival information here.
Do yourself a favour and get down to Berry this December.