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Music in Australia: A Guide For International Students

Photo by Jack Fenby

No matter what genre of music you love, there’s a big, exciting music scene in Australia just waiting for you to discover it. You won’t have to look far, as you’ll easily find it in the clubs, bars, pubs, stadiums, concert halls and outdoor venues of your new city.


Australia has a rich music history. Just like our lands, culture and people, Australian music is a collection of diverse styles and sounds that includes rock, pop, indie, classical, hip hop, electronic, country and many more. 

Whether it’s the music of First Nations peoples or the country folk songs passed down from our migrant history, music in Australia is deeply rooted in tradition. This has evolved into the wide array of contemporary sounds we listen to now.

triple j 

Fast forward to today, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find an Aussie music lover that won’t tell you about the triple j Hottest 100. This annual music poll hosted by the radio station triple j is an iconic Australian tradition dating back to 1989. 

Each December, the Australian public is invited to vote for their favourite songs of the year in an online poll. The results are counted, and the 100 most popular songs, as chosen by the people, are counted down on the radio in late January. 

Lots of Aussies get together to listen to the Hottest 100 every year. This provides them with a great opportunity to get together and celebrate good tunes, friends, food and drinks. Songs that are ranked 101-200 are even played the following day and called the Hottest 200, so the party can keep going.

Festival culture

If you’re into festival culture, you’ll also find plenty to love in Australia. We’re home to a number of incredible major festivals, like Splendour in the Grass, Groovin The Moo, and Bluesfest. Even if festivals aren’t hosted in your city, you don’t have to miss out. It’s common for groups of people to travel interstate to these venues and even camp on the grounds to catch a glimpse of their favourite artists. 

While festivals don’t come cheap, there are some ways you can attend music festivals without blowing your budget, such as by travelling by car, bringing your own food, and scoring early-bird tickets. 

Though they do stop by frequently, Australian festivals don’t just rely on international artists. Australia has a large and growing pool of talented homegrown artists, including big names you may have already heard, like Sia, Tame Impala, Baker Boy, The Kid LAROI, and Gang of Youths.

Music in your city

Ready to start tapping your feet, singing along to your favourite songs and getting your groove on? Check out your city’s music guide below, grab a few friends and get ready to enjoy Australia’s amazing music scene!

Sydney | Melbourne | Perth | Brisbane | Adelaide | Canberra | Hobart | Darwin