Sunbury Pop / Rock Festival 1972 to 1975

The Sunbury Pop Festival, also known as the Sunbury Rock Festival ran from 1972 to 1975, is a milestone in Australian music, gave Sunbury legendary status in Australian Rock history, and has allowed future generations of Australian artists to have worldwide respect and international success.

In 2015 The Age Music Victoria Hall Of Fame inducted the Sunbury Music Festival, a fitting tribute and acknowledgment of the place Sunbury has in Australian Music history.

The Sunbury Pop Festival was an Australian rock music festival held on a 620-acre (2.5 km2) private farm in Sunbury, it was staged on the Australia Day long weekend from 1972 to 1975, attracting up to 45,000 patrons each year.

The land was owned by George Duncan, and the site chosen had a natural amphitheatre, he provided the land free of charge as he believed in the youth of the day. The organisation started when Peter Evans, who in GTV9’s Lighting Department, returned from attending the Wallacia Festival in NSW and he raised the idea of a similar festival in Victoria with his boss John Fowler, and the Sunbury Rock Festivals were born.

Both John Fowler and Peter Evans were employed at GTV9, who were the premier production of live entertainment in Australia at the time. Live variety shows starring Graham Kennedy, Ernie Sigley, Don Lane etc. have legend status in Australian TV and live entertainment. John Fowler formed a company Odessa which was to produce the festivals, and being in charge of producing the best live entertainment, had all the contacts to bring the best industry professionals together to organise the Sunbury Rock Festivals.

The Sunbury Rock Festivals were unequalled in anything that had been produced before it, and set the standard for every Rock Festivals that followed. If it was not for bad weather and circumstances out of their control 1975 may not have been the last of the Sunbury Rock Festivals.

According to a document on the website of Hume City Council, little remains there now but there are still the remnants of the toilet facilities and bins, along with echoes of the event that linger to this day with ‘small artefacts such as items of footwear and drink can pull-rings’ scattered over the area.

SunFest 2015 celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Sunbury Rock Festivals and had a reunion of the organisers and a memorabilia display. SunFest relationship with the orgainsers has brought them back to SunFest and you may be able to meet at SunFest any of these wonderful people who put Sunbury on the map of Music History. We also have limited quantities of original 1972 and 1975 posters which can be purchased from SunFest, if interested contact info@sunfest.org.au.