The new frontier of Australian festivals


written by Elodie May, photograph courtesy

A current report printed an evaluation the Aussie pageant scene, documenting many mega festivals between 2014 and 2016, however a current upswing in newcomers created for the hungry eyes and ears punters throughout Australia.

With increasingly festivals oozing into the gaps in a as soon as sparse calendar (Hello newcomers Electric Gardens and extra) we cease and ask, what makes an excellent pageant?

Once, individuals used to ask you what your first live performance was. I’ve to say mine was seeing the Wiggles on the Sydney Opera House. I’m not sorry; Hot Potato was a banger then, and it’s a banger now. But for many younger individuals, the query has modified. Because relatively than attending a live performance, you’ll in all probability be at a pageant. It’s a complete immersive expertise, a playground, and an opportunity to stay heaps plastic jewels in your head.

My first pageant was Big Day Out in 2012, the center a golden age festivals. The day coincided with a blistering summer season heatwave in Sydney. Everyone was carrying these shorts that confirmed half your ass, and I fainted proper earlier than seeing Vampire Weekend. It was superior.

I may instantly see the attraction festivals. I noticed large acts just like the Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Childish Gambino (he was a a lot smaller fry again then) suddenly, for a fraction the worth attending their reveals individually.

But this was the golden age rock and Aussie hip hop, with a lot much less digital music within the mainstream (shout out to Nina Las Vegas for being actually the one one repping the scene at BDO ’12).

The new frontier  Australian festivals

It was a time when the Aussie pageant scene was rising, however altering. Monoliths like Big Day Out, Stereosonic, and Peats Ridge had been going sturdy for years … till they weren’t.

Often, firms went bankrupt attempting to pay artists and tour throughout the breath the Australian east coast; to not point out the associated fee going to WA or Adelaide.

Other festivals have gone from energy to energy, like Splendour within the Grass, Groovin’ the Moo, and Falls. These festivals, with the backing the nationwide broadcasting energy Triple J, have grow to be a millennial ritual.

Road journeys to Byron, Canberra, and Tassie have grow to be annual pilgrimages with mates you would possibly not often see in any other case. It’s a time to flee, throw f the stresses work, uni, or renting, and roll your self in glitter like a child once more. It’s this factor escapism that’s the actual magic festivals for me. And research again this up. One examine says that we expertise ‘temporal’ variations in festivals aka modifications in time. Spooky.

The new frontier  Australian festivals

Academics say a pageant is an area the place regular behaviours are without delay “represented, contested and inverted”, creating an otherworldly realm that exists inside regular life. That’s precisely how I really feel at Secret Garden pageant, a choose-your-own journey pageant set in a forest west Sydney.

Festival director Clare Downes curates some the very best and most revolutionary native artists and performers to create hidden, immersive experiences on her lush household farm. She says the important thing to an excellent pageant is variety in what’s on present.

At Secret Garden, the lineup is secondary to the general expertise (artwork, neighborhood, dress-up, video games), which is why it isn’t dropped till after it sells out — yearly.

Usually although, the lineup is the whole lot. Splendour pulls large crowds and buzz yearly as a result of the names it will get on the invoice. Artists who not often tour in Australia are thrown into the limelight Byron’s lovely pure amphitheatre, and it’s accessible for everybody.

Well, that’s, you probably have the cash and the non-public organisational abilities to do a Splendour weekend. We all know the stresses ‘Front left! Can’t you see my totem stick? ’ And the largest pageant stress all: clashes.

That’s why FOMO, established 2016, has come by way of with a one-stage showcase expertise. The neatest thing is, it’s not simply the identical bands we see at Splendour / Falls / Laneway. The FOMO lineup is on the market, with huge names like Nicki Minaj and Kali Uchis (No Sideshows), and heaps ‘the-next-big-things’ that we haven’t fairly heard but. They’re additionally serving us our personal home expertise like Just a Gent, Anna Lunoe, and extra. Fostering new expertise isn’t simply an afterthought.

The new frontier  Australian festivals

So, what makes an excellent pageant? Is it the outfits and the medication? Is it accessing sizzling showers and chilly beers, and perhaps (hopefully) not seeing human faeces at a 3 day camp out? Is it about getting so see large artists or making new discoveries?

Researchers at Western Sydney University surveyed festival-goers and located a ‘clear expectation the surprising’ in punters. So to me, what we have to ask, or demand our festivals, is shock.

A pageant can have a stacked lineup, clear bathrooms and good meals, but when it doesn’t offer you these jaw-dropping moments, it’s not going to be that memorable.

Because if we’re being trustworthy, we wish our festivals to be that different world: a spot the place loopy issues occur. It’s like a rip in time and area, a distinct temporal actuality, and an opportunity to overlook about laundry, payments, and duties. Don’t we only for a day, or a weekend, wish to be the very best, most childlike, foolish, loving variations ourselves?

Maybe it truly is all concerning the glitter.

Interested in holding events? we’ll have one thing for that shortly!