What to do on a long weekend? Go to a music festival, of course! Australia is famous for its eclectic and exciting festivals, which celebrate music of all genres in locations of all kinds. Destination music festivals are the perfect excuse to skip town on a long weekend in late summer. If you live in Victoria, check out these three festivals taking place over Labour Weekend. Choose which one you want to escape to, hire a car in Melbourne, fill it up with some friends and camping gear, and you'll be good to go. 

Destination music festivals are the perfect excuse to skip town on a long weekend.

Golden Plains Festival, March 11-13 2017

Golden Plains is a refreshing escape from reality (and by reality, we mean commercialism). This festival has a non-commercial policy, which means no commercial sponsors or signage on-site. There are no stalls and no one trying to sell you anything, leaving you free to enjoy the world-class music. Golden Plains describes itself as a haven, keeping small numbers for an intimate and stress-free event. 

The festival takes place in the naturally occurring Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, a huge and peaceful site punctuated with pines and giant ghost gum trees. As if that didn't sound tranquil enough, Golden Plains doesn't tolerate behaviour such as crowd-surfing, stage-diving, or moshing. They are all about keeping it chill and creating an atmosphere that everyone can enjoy.  

Golden Plains takes place roughly 90kms west of Melbourne, 13kms from Meredith, the nearest town. On the way there, you can stop by Geelong to soak up some history and port vibes 

Babylon Festival, March 10-13 2017

A self-described 'music, arts, and lifestyle escape', Babylon is a camping festival that transports you to an idyll in the Australian wilderness. For three days, you can surround yourself with music, arts, community exploration and mindfulness. The location in Carapooee West, cradled by the Kara Kara National Park, is spectacular. Three stages are separated from the camping area by a creek, and there are good views and good vibes all around. Babylon promotes wellbeing, with a focus on detoxing and recharging your body and mind. If city life is taking its toll, this is the spot you should run away to over the long weekend.

Babylon is about  two and a half hours drive from Melbourne. A slight detour will take you through Bendigo and Castlemaine, both great little towns well worth checking out. 

Port Fairy Folk Festival, March 10-13 2017

2017 will see the Port Fairy Folk Festival celebrate its 41st birthday. With so much experience behind it, it's no surprise this festival is a standout event on the international folk circuit. Bringing together folk, world, roots, jazz, and acoustic music, this is an outstanding festival that celebrates tradition as well as innovation in the music and arts scene. Both local and international artists join the festival in the tiny township of Port Fairy, on the dramatic Shipwreck Coast. Port Fairy was named one of Australia's Most Charming Beach Towns by TravelMag, thanks to its loveliness and established cultural scene. On top of that, Port Fairy is just plain pretty, so it's the perfect spot to relax, enjoy some fresh sea air, and make the most of the long weekend.

Port Fairy is about three and a half hours from Melbourne if you drive direct, or six hours if you take the Great Ocean Road (by far the more scenic route). 

Booking a car to drive to any of these festivals is easy – the hard part is choosing which one to go to!