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Sunbury Festival (1972)

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The Sunbury Music Festival – which took place from 28 – 30 January 1972 – was the turning point in Australian music.

Thousands at the Victorian gig saw Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, Chain, The La De Da’s and Tamam Shud perform, with (for the first time) no international acts to bolster the bill and guarantee the crowds.

Though not the first major music festival in Australia, the Sunbury Music Festival was the first to turn a profit and to run consecutively for several years. For 4 years from 1972, the festival was held on the Australia Day long weekend at a private farm on the outskirts of Sunbury near Melbourne, attracting around 30,000 punters each year.

Likened at the time to Woodstock, today Sunbury can be seen as a forerunner to big festivals like Big Day Out, Falls and Splendour in the Grass.

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