Preview :: Subsonic Music Festival

December 3rd 2013

As the first weekend of December rolls around, the small town of Stround, an hour or so past Newcastle, is overstocking its food, water and ice.

Subsonic Festival weekend is coming and this town of just over 600 people is the last stop for festival revellers that will soon stream up the Bucketts Way to refill their food supplies and eskies before arriving at the boutique weekend festival.

Subsonic is held at the Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley Resort in Barrington Tops. This gem of a campsite, pulsing with natural energy, fills the festival and the people in it with the positive community vibe it is renowned for.

Walking from the festival campsite, the Karuah River that borders the festival comes into sight. Early arrivals camp along its shore, appreciating the calm contrast of the river to the ever growing tent city behind them inhabited by the thousands of other less lucky campers spread out across the rest of the field.

Beds @ Subsonic Music Festival


A walk from the campsite to the main stage at the other end of the festival is an experience in itself. Art installations, roving performers, craft workshops, live graffiti, percussion circles, and any number of side stages that seem to come and go over the weekend sidetrack even the most focused music viewing mission, yet leave no regrets.

Unlikely as it is, if at any time there’s no music to keep tired feet pounding, there’s still no end of fun to be had.

A freshly purchased drink in hand and Explorer 200 blow-up boat in tow, it’s to the shallow swimming area to cool off while techno floats over from the nearby Paraiso stage, the quintessential Subsonic experience shared by near every person who sets foot in these fields.

This year’s festival sees disco funk legends Chic feat. Nile Rogers taking the headline slot, opening the festivals main stage on the Friday night. While a bit of an atypical act for the predominantly dance festival, there are absolutely no complaints from this disco friendly author. Outside of the dance spectrum, Subsonic 2013 brings the goods with bands like Electric Empire and Salmonella Dub, offer Australia’s Rhythm Hunters for those who like a live percussive edge on their music, and round everything off with a strong world music presence with Keyim-Ba from Bondi Beach, who will supply afro-groove and funk vibes to the danced-out masses.

Paraiso stage @ Subsonic

The festival is licensed but the campsite is BYO, though cans only with a strict no glass policy, for everyone’s safety. This author and the Subsonic website both recommend punters to stay sober or stay safe, camp until Monday, and get home with no troubles.


WHAT: Subsonic Music Festival

WHEN: December 6-8

WHERE: Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley Resort in Barrington Tops – about a 3-hour drive from Sydney

HOW MUCH: $175 + bf from here



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