Illustration 3: Refugee migration

Curriculum overview

The Australian Curriculum: Geography and (its various HASS-based iterations) content description addressed in the illustration is:

  • The effects of people’s travel, recreational, cultural or leisure choices on places, and the implications for the future of these places

Learning goals

The illustration-specific learning goals are:

  • investigating music festivals and their specific location and purpose in Australia and around the world
  • describing some of the features of these festivals
  • identifying the types of environment and location features of these festivals
  • considering the advantages and disadvantages these festivals bring to local towns and regions 
  • observing some of the issues and problems for event organisers in relation to sustainability
  • developing presentation and digital mapping skills.

Geographical understanding and context

Music festivals are significant national and international events, and have long been part of the lifestyle experience of people in many parts of the world (for example, Glastonbury in England and Womadelaide in Adelaide). Most students will become fans of music festivals in the coming years and travel the world to experience them.

Like national and international sporting competitions, music festivals attract massive numbers of people to sometimes small and remote locations as well as to big cities. Those cities and towns which host the festivals promote them as important economic and social events for their communities. Today, with the advent of multimedia advertising and social media, music festivals have become even more popular. They can, however, create issues and problems for local residents, authorities and the environment. Often it is the environmental problems that need attention. In recent times organisers have made considerable progress in making all aspects of festivals' ecologically sound and sustainable. 

This illustration will help students to evaluate the significance of music festivals and the attempts by organisers and authorities to make them sustainable.

Teaching approaches

  • Identifying known festivals

With your class, brainstorm the known music festivals and popular concerts in Australia and the world. Compile a list of their locations nationally and globally. You could discuss details of these festivals as well, to generate some understanding prior to undertaking specific activities.

The resources provided in Where is the music? (PDF) include information and three activities for students to undertake. The activities are described below.

  • Conducting research

Direct your students to undertake the directed Internet research inquiry (Activity 1) in Where is the music? (PDF). Students could work as a class, in small groups or individually.

This inquiry relates to the geography of music festivals. It looks at the location of the festivals, their purpose, their management and the impact that they may have on the environment and local communities. There are many inquiry questions for students to look up and discuss as a small group or class.

As an extension task, ask students to locate the festival places using Google Earth or Google Maps. They could develop appropriate placemarks, add information to the 'Get info' boxes and look at the landscape and places nearby the festival site. They could (as a class) save the information into one 'Keyhole Markup Language - Zipped' file (.kmz file extension).

Further analysis could then be undertaken on the global distribution, timing and any other common features of the festivals.
Students could use quikmaps to draw their own digital map of the locations and add annotations in text boxes. These can be saved online, used as a screen grab image in their report or embedded into web pages.

This activity encourages responsible behaviour and sustainable use of materials and the environment, and students are encouraged to look at the impact of festivals around these issues.

  • Developing promotions

After the research task you can direct students to the other two activities in Where is the music? (PDF).

Activity 2 provides students with an opportunity to create a promotion package or brochure advertising one of the festivals. There is a list of possible information that could be included that will encourage students to look at the geography of the festival. There are brochure templates in Pages and MSWord that allow very attractive presentations.

Activity 3 asks students to produce an email invitation to a friend. The purpose of this is to encourage the students to think about responsible use and sustainability of the environment in and around the events.

What you need

Access to the Internet.
Where is the music? (PDF).

Curriculum connections

This illustration links with the content descriptions of the following Phase 1 Australian Curriculum.


  • Understand that roles and relationships are developed and challenged through language and interpersonal skills
  • Explore and reflect on personal understanding of the world and significant human experience gained from interpreting various representations of life matters in texts


  • Investigate reports of surveys in digital media and elsewhere for information on how data were obtained to estimate population means and medians


  • Analyse patterns and trends in data, including describing relationships between variables and identifying inconsistencies


Websites that have a wealth of information on Australian festivals: 

The following three references direct you to the websites of specific 'famous' festivals from around the world:

All other required resources are listed in the 'What you need' section above.