With only three weeks left of the uni semester, The Two are seriously excited for summer. This season means long days, sunshine, tand – well failing to tan in both girls’ cases – and of course FESTIVALS!

We’re pretty lucky to have a huge variety of festivals over the summer in Melbourne and surrounding areas, catering to different tastes and prices. We’ve seen many line-up announcements over the last few weeks, so The Two thought it was time to review the line-ups and overall experiences of the festivals they've attended before. Now an almost obligatory hipster festival-wear, each festival will be rated out of flower headbands, five for the best line-up and festival experience on a Glastonbury scale.

B: St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
When: February 1
Where: Footscray Community Arts Centre

Lineup: I was particularly eager to hear what Laneway organisers would have in store this year, and they certainly delivered. It's an eclectic and extensive list, with highlights for me including Chvrches, Haim, Jagwar Ma, Lorde, and Vance Joy. It's always a festival that promotes growing bands (as well as those who are engaging live performers) rather than the current big thing. It's highly likely that the band you stumble upon by accident will be all over the place a few months later.

Highlights: I lost my Laneway virginity last year. Highlights for me included a surprise performance by Seth Sentry with The Rubens, Alt-J, Flume and Of Monsters and Men. It's in an interesting location – essentially an arts centre car park – just outside of the city. There were three stages: two main ones that have a concrete, industrial feel, while the third was more laid back with a grassy area to lounge around in. The variety of food was good and arts and crafts and market stalls offered something to do between bands. The space for the stages is quite narrow, which means you'll have to fight tooth and nail to get a good view. Tip: if you need to leave an area quickly to go to another stage, just yell 'my friend's about to vomit' and the crowd will part. Being polite and waiting your turn will only mean you'll miss the band you wanted to see. It's mostly an older crowd (read: less tweens in short shorts than other festivals) so it's a crowd who are there for the music rather than the social side.

The verdict: 4 flower headbands.

Flume - Laneway Festival

A: The Falls Music and Arts Festival
When: December 28 – January 1
Where: Lorne, Marion Bay and Byron

Lineup: This year the line up looks pretty good, but I don’t think anything will beat some of the outstanding acts I’ve seen in the past at this festival. But to anyone going this year, you’ll have the time of your life. Some great acts include Big Scary, The Cat Empire, Flight Facilities, Grizzly Bear, James Vincent, MGMT, Vampire Weekend, The Wombats, Emma Louise, Hungry Kids of Hungary, The Paper Kites and The Rubens. If you haven’t already bought a ticket (only Marion Bay and Byron ones left), then please do so!

Highlights: Falls is without a doubt the best music festival I’ve ever been to. Four days of great live music, sunshine, friends and booze is the best way to spend the Christmas to New Years period. I unfortunately didn’t buy a ticket to the festival this year, but my experiences from 2011-12 still bring a smile to my face. The lineup was amazing: The Jezabels, Grouplove, Josh Pyke, John Butler Trio, Kimbra, Missy Higgins and Arctic Monkeys. Need I say more? Despite being incredibly hungover for New Years Eve, it was one of the best celebrations to date. The camping experience is worth every bit of tedious preparation, and even though I had to get jump started from a flat battery upon our departure back home, I learnt something fun from every experience that trip.

The verdict: 5 flower headbands.

Falls Festival

B: Big Day Out
When: January 25
Where: Flemington Racecourse

Lineup: At first glance I was kind of disappointed with the Big Day Out line-up. Compared to Splendour, I thought it was pretty weak. Looking at it now, it does have some gems among the lengthy lineup. Many people are excited for the chance to see Pearl Jam and Blur, so we can expect to see a large age range in the crowds. My picks are also Arcade Fire, Flume, The Lumineers, Tame Impala, Grouplove, Toro Y Moi, Portugal The Man, Loon Lake and RUFUS. It has acts for a range of music tastes, and can probably be called Australia's most well-known and established festival.

Highlights: Big Day Out in 2010 was my first ever festival. I got to see Muse, Lily Allen, Dizzee Rascal, Calvin Harris, Passion Pit and Temper Trap. Flemington offers ample space for multiple stages and entertainment areas. Big Day Out has been one of the best festivals at improving food offerings such as gourmet food trucks. While it's one of the best Victorian festivals for attracting big names, it's definitely one of the more expensive day festivals at $185 a pop. If you feel like spending more/don't do common crowds and queues, then there's the 'Like A Boss' ticket which gives you the VIP experience of bathrooms, private bars and presents.

The verdict: 3 flower headbands.

A: Future Music Festival
When: March 9
Where: Flemington Racecourse

Lineup: Some of the highlights for next year include Phoenix, Cut/Copy, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Eric Prydz, Rudimental, Tinie Tempah, Deadmau5, Hardwell, Knife Party and Kaskade.

Highlights: Future was one of those events that seemed like a great idea in hindsight, but turned into an absolutely shit waste of a day. I had my concerns from the beginning as I caught the train to Flemington Racecourse watching my friends drink Smirnoff Vodka out of Mount Franklin drink bottles. It was going to be a long day. In the middle of Year 12, I was content enough to just get into an over-18 festival with a fake-ID; I didn’t feel the alcohol was necessary at that point. Boy, was I wrong. A bright sunny day was forecast, so off I went in my sandals, short shorts and singlet, only to leave the festival looking like a drowned rat with mild hypothermia. Ke$ha wasn’t wearing pants, the Presets nearly gave me an epileptic fit and don’t even get me started on the Porterloos. So I bed farewell to my friends, passed out in the medical tent and began my cold trek home. Maybe that was my karma for getting into a music festival underage.

The verdict: 1.5 flower headbands.

B: Homebake Festival
When: December 6-8
Where: Sydney Opera House

Line-up: Paul Kelly, Gurrumul, Eskimo Joe, Vance Joy, Thelma Plum, Sheppard, The Presets, The Cat Empire, Architecture in Helsinki, Miami Horror, The Aston Shuffle, Way of the Eagle, Deep Sea Arcade, Bam Bam, Birds of Tokyo, Bernard Fanning, The Rubens, You Am I, Beasts of Bourbon, Kingswood and Courtney Barnett.

Highlights: Now I haven't been to Homebake festival but looking at this line-up, it's definitely one I wish I was going to! I think it's a stellar list with a great mix of chilled and more energetic acts. It's also Homebake festivals 18th birthday (and Sydney Opera House's 40th) so there'll be a lot to celebrate this year. Tickets are around $120, which has become pretty average for a day festival. The festival is spread over three summer afternoons and evenings, includes fantastic musicians and has the iconic Sydney Opera House as the backdrop – sounds like a winning combination to me.

The verdict: 3.5 flower headbands.

Homebake Festival

A: A Day On The Green:
When: Throughout the summer 2013 – 2014
Where: Selected wineries around Australia and New Zealand

Line-up: I’m yet to go to A Day On The Green, but this year’s line up sounds so great that I still feel obliged to write about it. Whitley, Bernard Fanning, Fleetwood Mac, Sarah Blasko – that isn’t even the whole line-up, but I think I’ve made my point. The music I'm enticed by is primarily folk-indie, and Whitley would be absolutely amazing to see live. His voice is mesmerising.

Highlights: The picturesque countryside of the winery venues, great live music and warm weather. Count me in. Ticket prices vary for each venue, day and specific event package, but in my opinion this festival seems like money well spent. I can’t wait to buy my ticket.

The verdict: 4 flower headbands.

A Day On The Green

The Two hope this post inspires some to loose their festival virginities. We assure most festivals are worthwhile experiences.

Alexandra McManus & Brittany Stewart



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