Return to Rio Halloween Festival Announced


Return To Rio has announced an incredible all-star, all-local lineup that’s guaranteed to send chills down your spine at Del Rio Riverside Resort this February 18 -20. Originally scheduled to be held over Halloween, the spooktacular soiree will now be seeing out the Summer of 2022 with a fun-fueled weekend of dancing, dress-ups and classic Rio-reveling.

In celebration of its highly anticipated return, the Rio crew has assembled some of the biggest and best names in dance and electronic music. Leading the charge are Australia’s dance-pop legends, Sneaky Sound System. ARIA award winners, UK & USA chart-toppers and purveyors of some of the finest house/disco/pop crossover hits, Sneaky Sound System are the quintessential summer festival act. Expect feel-good vibes when Connie takes over the mic on the River Stage. Backing it up by bringing the finest disco and house vibes is none other than Adelaide maestro, Late Nite Tuff Guy. DJ extraordinaire and superhero of soul, LNTG is synonymous with the best disco edits in the game. Rest assured, he’ll destroy the floor.

Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Dirty South is also locked in for the Rio festivities. Having dominated festival crowds across the globe since 2004 and remixed the likes of U2, Snoop Dogg and Depeche Mode, Dirty South will be whipping up punters into a hi-octane lather. On the progressive house and breakbeat tip is one of Australia’s most successful underground dance music exports, Anthony Pappa. Revered as “The DJs’ DJ” and master of the mix CD format (see his entries into the Global Underground and Balance series), Pappa is one of the most respected DJs on the international circuit.

Lovers of melodic techno will be treated to the epic sounds of DJ, producer and breakthrough artist Made In Paris. One of the country’s top underground stars and a firm Triple J favourite, Made In Paris certainly won’t disappoint. The All-Day I Dreamers can look to Double Touch for magical electronica blending live keys and organic percussion, backed by the haunting vocals of Reigan Derry (featured on Double Touch’s No. 1 hit ‘Greatest Day’). Also, representing from the All Day I Dream fam, are non-other than Nukreative and Luka Sambe.

Rounding out the top-tier of names on the stacked lineup, Melbourne progressive icons Kasey Taylor, GMJ&Matter and Karl Pilbrow promise plenty of cutting-edge underground sounds. And, for those seeking a little slice of the Balearic Islands down under, Ibiza staple Mo’Funk will deliver with his unique brand of summer eclecticism.


More than just a music festival, stepping inside the weird and wonderful world of Rio, punters will come face-to-face with flea circuses, alien stilt walkers, psychic drag queens and more devilish delights. Wellness and arts enthusiasts haven’t been forgotten either – with riverside deep house yoga classes, immersive indigenous clay workshops and drum and bass Pilates also featuring in the program.

With ‘Halloween’ the theme of the ultimate weekend away, rest assured that Return To Rio’s reputation as “Australia’s most vibrant fancy dress party” will be upheld, albeit with a freaky, funked-up twist. Get ready for the lush surrounds of Del Rio Riverside Resort to be given a weird and wonderful overhaul, transformed into an enchanted playground primed for devilish debauchery and spellbinding delights.

In addition to being one of the country’s liveliest and fun-filled gatherings, Return To Rio also prides itself on top-notch festival amenities. Expect a queue-free bar stocked with delicious drinks and mouth-watering eats from Sydney’s best street food with the site boasting premium facilities, from plenty of shaded spaces to a riverside dining destination. On the accommodation front, Del Rio Riverside Resort enjoys riverside air-conditioned cabins and hassle-free camping and luxury glamping options courtesy of Wow Tents.

Return to Rio party starter Ricky Cooper comments: “With two years off thanks to COVID, we’re back in Feb for a Rio reunion like no other.  We’ve had plenty of time to put some serious love into this one, so it’s going to be extra spooktacular. After the years we’ve all had, it’s extra important to spread happiness around. We’re asking everyone to get involved in our Random Act of Kindness initiative and are encouraging spontaneous selfless acts to make people smile.”

Only a 90-minute drive from the Sydney CBD, this long-awaited edition of Return To Rio is shaping up to be the biggest and best post-lockdown celebration Sydney has experienced in years.

Return to Rio’s Halloween Weekender will be a COVID-safe event with all local government guidelines being followed.


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