Festival News: Return to Rio is back! – October 2023

After a four-year hiatus, this Halloween Return to Rio is well and truly BACK for an otherworldly affair. It’s time to dust off the cobwebs, put on your dancing shoes, and prepare for a spinetingling weekender like no other this October 27 – 29 at Del Rio Riverside Resort, Wisemans Ferry.  


To celebrate its resurrection, the Rio team have assembled a spellbinding world of wonder, alongside a concoction of the most cutting-edge names in dance and electronic music from far and wide. 

With the likes of Patrice BäumelSneaky Sound System, Late Nite Tuff Guy, Nick Warren and Mark Farina topping the musical bill, devilish drag icons, a freak circus and Frankenstein and his bride are just some of the more eclectic entertainment that awaits at Australia’s most spooktacular fancy dress party.  

Headlining the Halloween antics is Pickle’s Family Funerals, who will be hosting an immersive theatrical experience where Rio revellers will be able to take part in their very own funeral. So, pull up a pew and say a prayer or two. 

With a pool party to die for, the weekend’s colourful shenanigans will see the Day of the Dead take hold of the Del Rio piscina. The margaritas will be flowing, and the tunes will be pumping. 

On the spiritual side, our Voodoo Fortune Teller will be delivering premonitions about your future, while an experienced shamanic practitioner, alchemist, and pranic healer will be hosting Himalayan breathwork and cacao ceremonies.  Promising to activate a sense of clarity and bliss, these sessions will reignite the nervous system to keep the vibes high for the entire weekend. 

To add to the absurdity and party raunch, Hot Mess in the Flesh will be hosting a decadent life-drawing experience to ignite your creative fire, release you from normality and create a bit of heat in your seat. Meanwhile, Mindful Clay experiences will connect you to the Earth and empower you to create a collective masterpiece alongside your fellow Rio crew. If you’re looking to exhibit more classic Halloween creative flair, pumpkin carving will be available for guests looking to pimp their lair. 

For a bit of heaven in hell, The Sanctuary Wellness Space will be offering a tantalizing range of healing, reiki, massage and energy work to relax and recharge. Or if it’s more your style, take flight with Zoe Braithwaite’s Acro Yoga Classes to bond and flex with like-minded creatures. 

Keeping the pulse of the crowd’s beating hearts racing, are a series of international DJ heavyweights including, Patrice Bäumel, Mark Farina (Mushroom Jazz), The Soundgarden label boss, Nick Warren, Reznik, Amonita, Mr.C, Bushwacka!, and Lost Desert

Australian legends Sneaky Sound System, DJ’s DJ Anthony Pappa and king of the disco edit Late Nite Tuff Guy will power Riopians through to the twilight hours. Heroes backing it up include Kasey Taylor, GMJ & Matter, PARIS, The Journey, Samantha Loveridge, Danny Bonnici, GABBY, Double Touch, Mo’Funk, and Karl Pilbrow.

Outside of being one of Australia’s most fun-filled and lively congregations, Return to Rio prides itself on only the best festival amenities. Enjoy bars stocked with the finest drinks, a host of delicious feeds supplied by Australia’s best street food and a festival site unmatched in accommodation options from basic to ballin’. 

Return to Rio head honcho Ricky Cooper comments: “This year, our focus isn’t just on bringing you the best underground sounds from around the world, we’ve also dreamt up and hand-crafted our own Halloween adults’ playground that will transport you to another world. This festival is so packed-full of experiences we can guarantee your senses will be stimulated and you’ll have shivers down your spine. Our advice is to expect the unexpected.” 

A mere 90-minute drive from Sydney’s CBD, the anticipation for the next chapter in Return to Rio’s tale finally lands this October, and is sure to be another one for the history books.