The new frontier of Australian music festivals


Written by Elodie May, photograph courtesy

A current report printed an evaluation the Aussie competition 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 more festivals oozing into the gaps in a as soon as sparse calendar (Hello newcomers Ultra Music, and extra) we cease and ask, what makes a very good competition?

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 moderately than attending a live performance, you’ll most likely be at a competition. It’s a complete immersive expertise, a playground, and an opportunity to stay tons plastic jewels in your head.

My first competition was Big Day Out in 2012, the center a golden age festivals. The day coincided with a blistering summer time heatwave in Sydney. Everyone was sporting 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 enormous 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 exhibits 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 music festivals

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

Often, corporations went bankrupt making an attempt to pay artists and tour throughout the breath the Australian east coast; to not point out the 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 turn into a millennial ritual.

Road journeys to Byron, Canberra, and Tassie have turn into annual pilgrimages with mates you may hardly ever 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 aspect 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 adjustments in time. Spooky.

The new frontier  Australian music festivals

Academics say a competition is an area the place regular behaviours are directly “represented, contested and inverted”, creating an otherworldly realm that exists inside regular life. That’s precisely how I really feel at Secret Garden competition, a choose-your-own journey competition set in a forest west Sydney.

Festival director Clare Downes curates some the perfect and most revolutionary native artists and performers to create hidden, immersive experiences on her lush household farm. She says the important thing to a very good competition is range 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 every part. Splendour pulls enormous crowds and buzz yearly as a result of the names it will get on the invoice. Artists who hardly ever tour in Australia are thrown into the limelight Byron’s stunning pure amphitheatre, and it’s accessible for everybody.

Well, that’s, when you have the cash and the private organisational expertise to do a Splendour weekend. We all know the stresses ‘Front left! Can’t you see my totem stick? ’ And the largest competition stress all: clashes.

That’s why FOMO, established 2016, has come by means of with a one-stage showcase expertise. The smartest thing is, it’s not simply the identical bands we see at Splendour / Falls / Laneway. The FOMO lineup is on the market, with large 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 music festivals

So, what makes a very good competition? Is it the outfits and the medicine? Is it getting access to scorching showers and chilly beers, and possibly (hopefully) not seeing human faeces at a 3 day camp out? Is it about getting so see huge artists or making new discoveries?

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

A competition can have a stacked lineup, clear bathrooms and good meals, but when it doesn’t provide you with 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 house, a special temporal actuality, and an opportunity to overlook about laundry, payments, and tasks. Don’t we only for a day, or a weekend, need to be the perfect, 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!