Where can you find all the glitz and glamour of Australia's iconic horse racing events, the laid-back chill zones of coastal country music festivals, and the colourful spectacles of seaside fireworks displays? If you guessed the Gold Coast (what gave it away?) then you're correct.

As our sun-soaked shores beckon and the clocks tick closer to a brand new year of thrills, we've curated a list of the top five Gold Coast festivals that will add a burst of vibrancy to your 2024 to-do list.

Get ready to mark your calendars, because our gorgeous beachside home is gearing up for an explosion of colour, rhythm, spectacles, and excitement in 2024!

Inside This Blog

Gold Coast Festival



Distance from Dorsett Gold Coast

The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday and Carnival

Gold Coast Turf Club, Bundall

13th–16th January 2024

15-minute drive

Juicy Fest

Doug Jennings Park, Main Beach

20th January 2024

20-minute drive

Blues on Broadbeach

Venues throughout Broadbeach

16th–19th May 2024

From a 5-minute walk


The Esplanade, Surfer’s Paradise Beach

June 2024 (exact dates TBC)

10-minute drive

Groundwater Country Music Festival

Venues throughout Broadbeach

18th–20th October 2024

From a 5-minute walk

2024 Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500

Gold Coast Highway, Surfer’s Paradise

25th–27th October 2024

15-minute drive

Credit: The Weekend Edition

1. Magic Millions: The Ultimate Horse Racing Extravaganza

Where: Gold Coast Turf Club, Bundall

When: 13th January 2024

*Additional events are held across the Gold Coast from the 3rd–16th January 2024.

Put on your heels, fasten your fascinators, and place your bets – Australia’s biggest, brightest, and rambunctiously richest raceday hits the Gold Coast shores in January 2024.

Horsepower meets high fashion at The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival.This most renowned of Gold Coast festivals transforms the beachside city into a thrilling race and show celebration as horses, jockeys, and spectators gather for a host of unforgettable events.

Now worth $14.25 million in prize money across eleven different races, Magic Millions showcases the most exquisite thoroughbreds and champion jockeys from around the world.

Feel the exhilarating pound of hooves drum the ground on raceday, and watch thoroughbreds gallop with champion jockeys along the golden sands of Sufer’s Paradise beach. Dress to the nines and mingle with the best while watching the stunning showjumping events, or take a seat at one of the many dinners, galas, and luncheons on this year’s line-up.

Alongside the flagship The Star Raceday spectacle on the 13th of January, Magic Millions has a host of dazzling events during January, including:

From the trackside thrills and polo matches to pristine showjumping and a dazzling social scene, the Gold Coast Magic Millions races are a must for those who appreciate the intersection of elegance and excitement.

2. Juicy Fest: Where Music Meets the Beach

Where: Doug Jennings Park, Main Beach

When: 20th January 2024

Calling all '90s babies and '00s spirits – have we got a throwback in store for you! If you're a fan of hip-hop and R&B legends like Ashanti, T-Pain, Trey Songz, and The Game, it's time to snag your tickets for Juicy Fest.

This hip-hop and R&B extravaganza is straight out of the 2000s and is set to light up Doug Jennings Park at Main Beach this January. Fresh off a stellar debut in 2023, the 18-plus festival is embarking on a whirlwind tour with nine shows across New Zealand and Australia.

The Gold Coast finale guarantees an unforgettable performance from a bombshell line-up of everyone's favourite hip-hop artists. Second and third admission tickets are still up for grabs, so get in quick to secure your spot at what promises to be one of the best Gold Coast festivals of the year.

Blues on Broadbeach live music show at dusk

Credit: Blues on Broadbeach

3. Blues on Broadbeach: Let the Rhythm Take Over

Where: Various streets and venues throughout Broadbeach

When: 16th–19th May 2024

Get into your bluesy rhythm and prepare for a stellar line-up at Blues on Broadbeach 2024. This free four-day festival favourite promises a plethora of live rhythms and blues, surrounded by all the best Broadbeach dining options, cafes, and bars.

The 2024 rendition promises to be the best yet, as Blues on Broadbeach gears up for its 23rd annual celebration. Last year’s line-up saw the likes of local blues legends Tommy Emmanuel, Don Walker, the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, and Emma Donovan & The Putbacks.

Plenty of star-studded international acts also graced the stages, including Marcus Scott & The Bo-Keys and Tommy McLain featuring C.C. Adcock.

While the 2024 line-up is yet to be released, we’re sure this most cherished festival will showcase the best in blues music worldwide. As one of Australia's largest free music festivals, you’ll want to be in Broadbeach to catch all the action this May!

4. SeaFire: Fireworks on Surfers Paradise Beach

Where: The Esplanade, Surfer’s Paradise Beach

When: June 2024 (exact dates still to be confirmed)

If you’re anything like us and find yourself turning into a giddily delighted child during fireworks displays, you’ll be in for the treat of a lifetime at SeaFire 2024. Think New Year’s Eve shows are good? Just wait till you witness this mid-year extravaganza.

SeaFire is a free-entry international fireworks competition (yes, there are actual fireworks competitions – they’re a thing) that draws thousand-strong crowds to the Surfer’s Paradise Esplanade every year.

2023 saw fierce competition between two Swedish and German pyrotechnics teams, which culminated in an explosion of lights that filled the night sky. Team Germany ultimately took the coveted title thanks to their fabulous display set against a retro-inspired soundtrack.

We know that the 2024 display will be just as dazzlingly fabulous. As for the teams, they’ve yet to be announced, but keep a lookout on the SeaFire website for all the exciting updates.

Groundwater Country Music Festival performer

Credit: Groundwater Country Music Festival

5. Groundwater Country Music Festival: Country Vibes in Broadbeach

Where: Various streets and venues throughout Broadbeach

When: 18th–20th October 2024

When it comes to Gold Coast festivals, no one does it quite like the iconic party-rocking boot-hopping bonanza that is the Groundwater Country Music Festival (CMF).

This renowned country music festival will once again transform the streets, beaches, and venues of Broadbeach into a country music lover’s paradise. The event assembles an impressive lineup of top-notch country artists, offering three days of sensational live music on the Gold Coast—all for free!

The name Groundwater also has an interesting backstory. ‘Groundwater’ reflects the close spiritual connection of the Aboriginal people and the farming community's reliance on groundwater for survival. At its essence, Groundwater CMF is a celebration of community, uniting individuals through their shared passion for country music.

Following a spectacular 10-year celebration in 2023 that showcased nearly 60 artists, a blend of homegrown and international talents, delivering 1300 songs across 135 live shows, it's safe to say those three days of country music magic are etched in the history books.

So, don your cowboy boots, dust off your hat, and get ready for the ultimate party at Groundwater CMF 2024 happening just outside Dorsett Gold Coast’s walls. While you’re here, be sure to check out these other top live music venues on the Gold Coast to create an unforgettable experience.

6. 2024 Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500: A Supercar Spectacle

Where: Gold Coast Highway, Surfer’s Paradise

When: 25th–27th October 2024

Rev your engines for the adrenaline-fuelled 2024 Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500. This high-octane three-day event completely takes over the streets of Surfer’s Paradise for a whirlwind racing experience that will blow you away.

Roaring through the streets, the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship is set to bring the world's best drivers and their turbocharged machines to the Gold Coast.

Making their debuts on the Gold Coast circuit in 2024 are the impressive Chevrolet Camaro and Gen3 Ford Mustang. Car and racing enthusiasts will appreciate the sure-fire elevation these powerhouses will bring to the competition – as if there wasn’t enough in previous years!

Beyond the Supercars adrenaline, the Gold Coast 500 offers a plethora of entertainment options. Enjoy support category racing, off-track spectacles, and plenty of food and drink options surrounding the venue.

Dorsett Gold Coast exterior

Stay Close to the Action at Dorsett Gold Coast

As you gear up for a festival-filled year on the Gold Coast, ensure your stay is as remarkable as the events themselves. Nestled in the heart of the action in Broadbeach, Dorsett Gold Coast offers the perfect blend of stylish comfort and breezy convenience.

Get ready in style in one of our plush rooms (and pop down to Jin Café & Bar for a pre-event drink and nibble). Immerse yourself in the festival fervour, and when the day's excitement winds down, retreat to the comfort of Dorsett Gold Coast for a truly unforgettable stay. Book your stay now, and let the festivities begin!

Looking for more things to do on the Gold Coast? Turn your festival activities into a weekend to remember with our ultimate long weekend guide.