Best of Outdoor Concerts

Last Updated: 17 Dec 2014
Localista Team

There’s only one time of the year when you can watch concerts while dancing barefoot on the grass, the summer sun on your back.


It's been 16 years since Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel performed an incredible nationally telecast concert at Leeuwin.
This year, the venue finally managed to align with his schedule and lure him back. He'll perform alongside Rachelle Durkin and the Perth Symphony Orchestra. Leeuwin Estate, March 7.


After their legendary coupling proved an incredible success in North America (was anyone really surprised?), Paul Simon and Sting are heading our way. We're really not exaggerating when we say this double bill is once-in-a-lifetime good. Sir James Mitchell Park, February 21-22.


Leave Matilda Bay to the throngs of drunken teens, and escape to Leeuwin Estate to see Bernard Fanning perform for the Australia Day long weekend. The familiar face is a fitting choice – who could forget when his song Wish You Well won Triple J's Hottest 100 on Australia Day 2005? – but Bernard, who's just returned from a stint in Madrid with his acoustic guitar, is bringing home songs Australia has yet to hear. Leeuwin Estate, January 24.


We imagine Sarah Dennehy, the contemporary culture program manager at PIAF, was faced with a Sophie's Choice-style dilemma when asked to give Scoop her top Chevron Festival Gardens acts. Indie pop outfit London Grammar, or Chet Faker's sultry electronica? Megastar Sinead O'Connor, or cooler-than-thou rockers Parquet Courts? Turns out, none of the above. "I have tried to choose acts that are completely different in genre, style and energy," she says. Whichever way your music tastes skew, she's got you covered.

1. Daniel Rossen
You'll recognise his work as the singer/songwriter and lead guitarist for Grizzly Bear and Department of Eagles. But when you hear this seated acoustic solo, you'll feel like you know him personally. February 17.

2. Charlie Musselwhite
"He's a legend," says Sarah. She ain't lying. The harmonica-playing blues star has scooped Grammys, been inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame, and was even rumoured to be the inspiration for Dan Aykroyd's character in The Blues Brothers. Hit it! March 2.

3. Neneh Cherry & RocketNumberNine
Sarah can barely contain herself while describing the category-smashing star. "She's so hip it hurts," she says. "Spanning electronica and pop with an alternative twist, this is so goddamn cool." February 28-March 1.

4. Tinashe
Industry insiders have suggested the 21-year-old R&B singer is the next Beyoncé – and we can see why. "It's sexy alternative R&B with the right mix of hip-hop attitude and pop diva. And those dance boys – oh boy!" says Sarah. February 19.

5. Soil & 'Pimp' Sessions
"Energy, energy, energy!" exclaims Sarah. These Japanese nu-jazz and experimental funksters know how to put on a live show, with frenzied piano percussion and feverish horn-play. You'll be more revved up than the Energizer Bunny. March 5.

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