Hip-Hop Is Taking Over Australia This Summer

The ground is thawing and summer is finally coming. For Australian music industry, that only means one thing: festival lineups and summer tours are being announced by the bucketload. We’re especially excited to see a small but exciting list of hip-hop artists coming down under for festival appearances and headline tours, and to make life easier for you, we’ve placed them all in one big convenient list.

We’ll update this as the announcements keep rolling out. For now, here are our picks for a summer of hip-hop via festivals and live music.

Falls Festival

Photo: Dani Hansen/H&E

Our picks: Run The Jewels, D.R.A.M., Vince Staples

Run The Jewels haven’t visited Australia since Falls Festival 2014-2015, and though Vince Staples visited twice last year, he’s since released a whole new album, Big Fish TheoryD.R.A.M., meanwhile, cancelled his Groovin The Moo appearance earlier this year, so we’re hoping he makes his debut Australian appearance for New Years Eve.


28 Dec – 31 Dec: Lorne, VIC
29 Dec – 31 Dec: Marion Bay, TAS (All Ages)
31 Dec – Jan 2: Byron Bay, NSW
6 Jan – 7 Jan, Fremantle, WA


Beyond The Valley

Photo: Dani Hansen/H&E

Our picks: ScHoolboy Q, Stormzy, Sampa The Great

One of Victoria’s favourite newer festivals has had a hip-hop-loving presence across each of its three years so far, and this year is no different. Both ScHoolboy Q and Stormzy just chewed up and spat out Splendour in the Grass, and will be visiting again in just a few months’ time. ScHoolboy’s last album, Blank Face, was one of our favourite records of 2016, while Stormzy claimed the grime throne with this year’s Gang Signs & Prayer. Joining these will be our favourite local artist Sampa The Great, who always delivers one hell of a show.


Dec 28 – Jan 1: Lardner Park, Vic


Meredith Music Festival


Our picks: Noname

The eclectic Meredith Music Festival lineup isn’t particularly hip-hop heavy, but it does include the incredibly talented, soulful artist Noname, who will be visiting Australia for the very first time. Originally emerging as Noname Gypsy, the Chicago singer was largely noted for her association with Chance the Rapper, namely for her guest verse on the Acid Rap track Lost.

Since then she’s well and truly made a name for herself, releasing one of last year’s best albums, Telefone, and establishing herself as a beacon of honey in a world


Dec 8 – 10: Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, VIC


Laneway Festival

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Our picks: Anderson Paak

The Laneway lineup hasn’t even been fully announced yet (we’ll update this when it is), but it’s already whet our whistles with the news that the amazing Anderson Paak will be on our shores once more in January and February 2018. The Malibu artist last toured for Listen Out 2016.

The Laneway lineup does traditionally feature a slew of great hip-hop acts, and we’re expecting a few more to join in – my guesses include Tyler, The Creator, if he’s actually allowed into the country this time, The Internet, Aminé (that’s just wishful thinking) and Frank Ocean (okay now I’m just fantasising, this guess has literally zero basis in fact).


Mon 29 Jan: Auckland
Fri 2 Feb: Adelaide
Sat 3 Feb: Melbourne
Sun 4 Feb: Sydney
Sat 10 Feb: Brisbane
Sun 11 Feb: Fremantle


Image: Live Nation TV

The Culture kings themselves are making their way down under for the very first time, and it’s going to be huge. The Atlanta trio have made tidal waves over the past couple years, not only dominating the hip-hop world in their own right, but collaborating with the likes of Katy Perry and Calvin Harris, while Quavo has gone even further extending his brand on tracks with Bieber, Thugga and Travis Scott.

Tues 10 Oct: Spark Arena, Auckland

Fri 13 Oct: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
Sat 14 Oct: Riverstage, Brisbane
Sun 15 Oct: Hisense Arena, Melbourne
Tues 17 Oct: Metro City, Perth


Image:  Woody Hugh/Tony Tran Photography

LVRN upcomer 6lack (pronounced “black” ) will be supporting Migos at their shows, but he’s also making his debut headline appearances, and well worth a mention on his own. His debut album Free 6lack was a dark, smooth display of things to come, spawning huge singles Ex Calling and PRBLMS. There’s something about 6lack that really sets him apart from many of his contemporaries, and we have high hopes for his headline sets.


Wed 11 Oct: Metro Theatre, Sydney
Mon 16 Oct: 170 Russell, Melbourne


Image: Rap-Up

Crooning R&B upstart Khalid has already had a killer 2017, delivering one of the year’s smoothest debuts with the amazingly earwormy American Teen. Following sellout tours in the USA and Europe, he’s just announced his debut shows in Australia, and it looks like fans can’t get enough – he’s already upgraded and sold out almost every show, so get in quick if you’re planning to catch the magic in action.


Tues Nov 7: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney (Sold out)
Wed Nov 8: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
Thurs Nov 9: Festival Hall, Melbourne
Fri Nov 10: Eatons Hill Outdoor Stage, Brisbane

The Weeknd

Image: Rap-Up

Abel Tesfaye himself is finally, finally bringing his mammoth tour down under for the very first time. The ludicrously successful Canadian singer, who tiptoes the line between pop and R&B with more Max Martin-produced finesse than a Cirque du Soleil performer, is coming in hot with a full round of arena shows this November.

Joining Tesfaye will be French Montana and Nav, whose recent album with Metro Boomin was one of the shittiest records of 2017 so far, but hey, maybe his live show will be more fun. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Wed Nov 29: Spark Arena, Auckland
Sat Dec 2: Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Sun Dec 3: Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Wed Dec 6: Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane
Fri Dec 8: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Sat Dec 9: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Mon Dec 11: Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
Thurs Dec 14: Perth Arena, Perth


Image: Jeff Filman

Wu-Tang Clan’s brilliant GZA is returning to Australia once more for a solo tour, having last visited with (most of) the full Clan in 2016. His last solo tour was way back in 2012 (I was there and can personally guarantee this is not a show you’ll wanna miss), so this is set to be pretty damn exciting, especially given how small the venues are. It’s not often you get to see a living legend in such intimate settings.


Sat 11 Nov: The Studio, Auckland
Sun 12 Nov: San Fran, Wellington
Wed 15 Nov: Fowlers Live, Adelaide
Thurs 16 Nov: Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane
Fri 17 Nov: Manning Bar, Syd
Sat 18 Nov: Max Watt’s, Melbourne
Sat Nov 19: Rosemount Hotel, Perth