It's Been Ten Years Since The Best Soundwave Festival Of All Time

23 February 2023 | 2:00 pm | Mary Varvaris
Originally Appeared In

Looking back ten years later, Soundwave 2013 really was the best day of my life.

(Soundwave flyer)

More Soundwave Festival More Soundwave Festival

In today's news that might make you feel old, Soundwave Festival reminded us that the best-ever edition of the event - 2013 - happened on this day at RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane, ten years ago.

As the Soundwave Twitter account shared today, "10 YEARS AGO TODAY! 9 Stages. 75 Bands. 1097 People On The Road. 71 Trucks. 5 Cities. 330,000+ Fans. Biggest Travelling Festival In History." 

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Soundwave 2013 had something for everyone. Do you like heavy metal? You have none other than Metallica headlining, with another two bands from the Big 4 - Slayer and Anthrax - also on the line-up. Did you wanna see Bring Me The Horizon, Pierce The Veil, Ghost and Northlane before they blew up? They're all there. How about 90s icons like blink-182, Cypress Hill, The Offspring, and Garbage? Well, they're all on Stage 2A and Stage 2B throughout the day. The Soundwave 2013 line-up was bonkers in the best possible way.

I have fond memories of Soundwave 2013 - I still call it the best day of my life. As a then-16-year-old girl into metal, there weren't many places where I could see myself in music - I saw myself in Hayley Williams and Shirley Manson, who both rocked the Soundwave stages. 

That was my first-ever festival, and what a line-up to witness. We saw the line-up announcement drop on a school day and promptly freaked out. It didn't take much convincing for my parents to let us go to Soundwave - I reckon my parents slightly regret not going themselves. Attending with my best friend, who is still my best friend to this day; we talk about the festival almost every time we catch up. Looking back now, I wish I had seen the American post-hardcore outfit O'Brother, who are one of my favourite bands now.

I remember walking past the stages and just casually watching Bullet For My Valentine and Stone Sour, watching Northlane in a tent a few months before Adrian Fitipaldes would step down as the vocalist, watching Linkin Park from the Metallica pit with tears in my eyes from people of all ages singing along to every Linkin Park song, watching the masses of people gather across two stages to watch blink-182 and deciding we couldn't be bothered moving through that crowd and opting to eat dinner instead (we could still hear them!), and logging on to Instagram the next day to find THE James Hetfield liking my Soundwave photos. What a time. 

In April 2020, Kill Your Stereo looked back on Soundwave Festival, from its beginnings to the very end. On the 2013 edition, we wrote:

Looking back on it now, the line-up for Soundwave MMXIII looks like one of those fake, wish-list bills that over-excited fans mockup in under 30 minutes on Photoshop for the likes of Coachella or Reading & Leeds. But no, it was real, and my good lord was it BIG! Slayer, Periphery, Stone Sour, Anthrax, Bring Me The Horizon, Bullet For My Valentine, The Wonder Years, Gallows, All Time Low, Dragonforce, Paramore, Cypress Hill, Blink-182, A Perfect Circle, Garbage, and even Linkin Park, all topped off by the one and only Metallica. 2013 was a new level of massive, budget-busting booking for Soundwave. It was bigger and better than ever.

It was a "go big or go home" moment, and the promoters really went for it, going as big as possible. Switching out some of its venues, like moving from Melbourne Showgrounds down to Flemington Racecourse just next door, things hit a new peak. 2013 is one of my favourite Soundwave years, just for how unbelievably stacked it was.

Check out the full feature here.

Looking back ten years later, Soundwave 2013 really was the best day of my life.