Archive for the ‘ event ’ Category

Splendour up my ass, in my tent, down my shorts.

// Money buys experience, that’s for sure. $445 for the actual ticket, $188 to have my tent conveniently prepared in Tent City, $160 on alcohol. $9 per vegie burger (x3), $4.50 per organic donut (x4). Fuck me, it’s all worth it (x1000). 

Having never even sniffed the entrance of Australia’s staple music festival Big Day Out, I was a touch apprehensive about whether I would appreciate the various elements of Splendour In The Grass, the largest festival to grace our shores (although I did manage to sneak into the Hilton’s main bar after Big Day Out one year, without even attending the actual event – had a cute chat to Bob Evans about pot). Would I despise tent living and stink mercilessly as a result of avoided shower queues? Would I resent the invention of hopps and yeast as an ingredient for which my fellow festival-loving-peers use as juice to invariably turn them from usually just annoying wasps into downright douchy-dickheads? Would I lose my mind and get incredibly lost in a sea of tents and cars and gumboots? Jesus, man, get a grip. And a map. 

Given Splendour’s new location in Woodfordia, Queensland (home of the smaller Woodford Folk Festival), majority of the crowd consisted of Gold Coast beach babes + friends. Everywhere I turned, I bared witness to the tiny dresses and big cleavages. Think bleached blonde meter maid, if you will allow me such a generalisation. Having said that, the Melbourne hipster fold was also well and truly accounted for. Let’s face it, Splendour’s a place to see and be seen. And seen dead unbathed or disheveled would have been festival suicide. The electrical space for Tent City residents to charge their mobile phones was mainly a source of power for beforementioned beach babe/hipster to connect her/his GHD and set about straightening her/his long luscious extentions/quiff for forty minutes (note that given the humid weather, curls began to resurface in less than half that time). 

But enough about the crowd, who were more often than not quite lovely and honestly in attendance for one thing and one thing only: the music. Because when push comes to shove; when hipster meets beach babe, when bogan meets braun, when skank-slut meets flower child, we are all one when singing in a 20,000-person unison to The Dog Days Are Over. And that’s all that mattered. The music is the only thing that does. 

Mumford & Sons (right before the crowd dramatically clear as The Pixies take the stage)

Kate Nash: A cunt is a useful thing.

So, you wake up. You climb out of your balmy, sun filled tent. You stretch in the long, dry grass, sit down with a triple-choc biscuit in one hand and a vodka-orange in the other, and you plan your day. Will it start at the Mix Up tent for Bluejuice, a quick sprint up the hill to the amphitheater to catch The Drums and Tame Impala? Will you grab a quick dippy-dog while walking back over to Mix Up for Kate Nash, before catching the last few minutes of Laura Marling at the GW McLennen Tent and quickly back up to the amphitheater (before a much needed dash to stock up on drink tickets) for Florence and The Machine and The Strokes back to back? Every night wraps in any number of on-site clubs (Ibeefa, anyone?) dancing to an array of local and international DJ’s, or one can opt to chill out back in Tent City and begin the way you started, of course with your carefully stashed vodka. Now, decisions are made factoring in a few annoyingly frustrating clashes, and your always aware that a prime position is not going to be possible for each and every act. But hey – the main amphitheatre is surrounded by a sloped hill which offers optimum visability from even the back corner. 

What? This is what a musical festival is like? As above and repeat for three days straight? Where the fuck do I sign up for more and how on earth have I missed out on this festival experience until now?

Dame Florence positively had the crowd in the palm of the perfectly manicured hand. I’ve never seen an audience as captivated. 

Sir Casablancas. 

To be a part of the ‘couldren of humanity’ (as the Splendour crowd was so accurately labeled by The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas) was amazing and delightful and inspiring. Get your priorities in check and get on the Australian festival band wagon. We do it well. 

// Dan Z

Another week, another festival.

// As a tricky industry to break in to, the The 2010 Emerging Writers’ Festival will do its best to lend a hand at making sure Australian writers are down with the process. 

Running from May 21 – 30, the festival will hold a number of events that promote the interests of emerging writers, from a spotlight into non-fiction in Write What You Know, to a Triple J presented expose’ on how the disco movement has affected literature, there is something for every niche writer. Of particular note is the world’s first mobile magazine fair, which travels via bus to visit zine markets and chat with various artists (guerilla style, of course). 

I gotta say, I love creative forums. We all know putting pen to paper can be difficult (or putting finger to keyboard for that matter) – but thanks to a few passionately charged individuals who cared enough to share their knowledge and arrange for others to do the same, writers of all shapes and sizes can learn how to design plotlines, write dialogue, find a voice, find an agent and get published. All for around $10 a session. 

The festival includes a wonderful selection of events at the Melbourne Town Hall; grab a weekend pass for $30 and experience the lot. Check out the program of events here.

// Dan Z

Musical Love Affair.

// Australia has always been a huge fan of live music. Whether it be a small gig at the local RSL or a huge festival that takes up the entire CBD, Aussie’s always seem to get into the spirit of things and rock out with their respective cock’s out.

Music festivals have started to grow in scale and popularity within the last few years to an astonishing size. Throughout the nineties, Australia really only had a small handful of events to pick from. Big Day Out began in 1992 as a Sydney only festival and expanded after a few years to become a national festival. Falls Festival started in 1993 in Lorne and only expanded to Marion Bay in Tasmania in 2003. Despite their success, and despite their growing popularity, sadly some festivals haven’t been as fortunate. Livid, Overcranked and Summersault have simply passed us by.

I mention Summersault in particular because it was organised by Steve Pavlovic, one of Australia’s biggest importers of music. He was the dude who organised Nirvana to come out to Australia just before Nevermind broke out and in turn Nirvana exploded. Locally, he is the head of Modular records and has built the career of acts like Wolfmother, The Presets and Cut Copy. After the success of Big Day Out, he decided to start his own festival. Considering he brought Big Day Out one of it’s first big bands, he figured it highly possible on reputation alone. Summersault boasted a lineup that both then and today would be smiled upon by alternative fans. Such acts as Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, Beck, Pavement and Foo Fighters graced the stage that year, but a follow up festival was never arranged, and it became simply a once off festival that never returned.

These days, punters are inundated with choice. We have Big Day Out, Falls Festival, Splendour In The Grass, St Jeromes Laneway Festival, Future Music Festival, Pyramid Rock, We Love Sounds, Creamfields, Soundwave and Summadayze just to name a few. But as is with everyday life, is quantity better than quality? Australian festivals have never quite reached the status of other overseas music festivals. Names like Glastonbury, Coachella and Roskilde are instantly recognizable around the world. The festivals are known for their amazing lineups which boast exclusive acts or bands that don’t usually tour but have made an exception. For example, Coachella celebrated their 10th birthday last year, and formed a most impressive lineup to celebrate. The closest that Australia has ever got to this was when Big Day Out secured Rage Against The Machine as their first gigs outside of America. Usually, Australian audiences have become accustomed to seeing acts months and months after a new release. Bands will release an album mid year and will not tour with it till early the next year, due to festivals being either behind the pulse of current music or poor scheduling.

It seems that, like Coachella, Australia’s own Splendour In The Grass has stepped up to the challenge of celebrating its 10th birthday in style. What started out as a 2 day festival with roughly 30-40 bands has this year been turned into a 3 day camping festival featuring over 90 acts. No waiting for  two North American tours and an European tour this time, LCD Soundsystem, Broken Social Scene, Midlake, Goldfrapp, Kate Nash and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are all celebrating the release of their brand new records. Splendour has somehow managed to defy this rule and produce an extremely wide palette of artists. Bands such as Grizzly Bear, Florence + The Machine and headliners The Pixies have all toured Australia already this year and are coming back again due to increased popularity. The Strokes (also headlining) have only secured two other festival gigs worldwide and don’t have any new music out to support their touring, but Splendour has captured them. 

Friday

The Strokes, The Temper Trap, Empire of The Sun, Band of Horses, Grizzly Bear, Hot Chip, Midnight Juggernauts, Kate Nash, Lisa Mitchell, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Magic Numbers, Bluejuice, The Middle East, Delphic, Alberta Cross, Miike Snow, Phiadelphia Grand Jury, Two Door Cinema Club, Violent Soho, Last Dinosaurs, Jonathan Boulet, Cloud Control, Ernest Ellis, Tijuana Cartel, Gypsy & The Cat, Zennith, Van She Tech, Purple Sneakers, The Only

Saturday

The Pixies, Mumford & Sons, Scissor Sisters, Goldfrapp, LCD Soundsystem, Wolfmother, Jonsi, Laura Marling, Midlake, Broken Social Scene, K-OS, Little Red, Whitley, We Are Scientists, Surfer Blood, British India, Clare Bowditch, The Drums, Miami Horror, John Steel Singers, Dan Sultan, Fanfarlo, Horrowshow, The Joy Formidable, Money for Rope, Tim & Jean, Kid Kenobi, Levins

Sunday

Ben Harper & Relentless 7, Florence & The Machine, The Ting Tings, Richard Ashcroft & The United Nations of Sound, Angus & Julia Stone, Passion Pit, Paul Kelly, Fat Freddys Drop, The Vines, Tame Impala, Operator Please, Ash, Yeasayer, Foals, Space Invadas, Washington, Band of Skulls, The Mess Hall, School of Seven Bells, Yacht Club DJs, Oh Mercy, Boy & Bear, Frightened Rabbit, Skipping Girl Vinegar, Jac Stone, Bag Raiders, Yolanda Be Cool, Anna Lunoe.

Splendour In The Grass could well very be Australias answer to the big worldwide festivals and give other Australia festivals some motivation to work harder in impressing audiences with their lineups. We’re looking at you Lee’s and West.

// Simon-Z

Wellie’s out.

// With a new location and up to 10,000 more tickets available, all Splendour needed was a killer line up to ensure the biggest party in Australia this year. 

2010’s line up was leaked last night to overwhelming glee: THE STROKES / MUMFORD AND SONS / THE TEMPER TRAP / BAND OF HORSES / PIXIES / PASSION PIT / FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE / LAURA MARLING / GRIZZLY BEAR / BAND OF SKULLS /SURFER BLOOD / ALBERTA CROSS / MIIKE SNOW / THE DRUMS / TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB / LCD SOUNDSYSTEM / BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE /MIDLAKE / FOALS / FRIGHTENED RABBIT / GOLDFRAPP / KATE NASH / JONSI / BLACK REBEL MOTORCYLE CLUB  / SCISSOR SISTERS / THE TING TINGS / HOT CHIP / YEASAYER / ASH / BEN HARPER AND THE RELENTLESS 7 / WE ARE SCIENTISTS / RICHARD ASHCROFT AND THE UNITED NATIONS OF SOUND / K-OS / DELPHIC / FAT FREDDY’S DROP / SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS / THE MAGIC NUMBERS / ANGUS AND JULIA STONE / EMPIRE OF THE SUN /WOLFMOTHER / THE VINES / TAME IMPALA / PAUL KELLY / OPERATOR PLEASE / LISA MITCHELL / MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS /  LITTLE RED / SPACE INVADAS / BRITISH INDIA / OH MERCY / THE MIDDLE EAST / BLUEJUICE / WASHINGTON / WHITLEY / DAN SULTAN / CLOUD CONTROL / MIAMI HORROR / CLARE BOWDITCH / PHILADELPHIA GRAND JURY / JOHN STEEL SINGERS / VIOLENT SOHO / THE MESS HALL / JONATHAN BOULET / BOY AND BEAR / GYPSY AND THE CAT / LAST DINOSAURS / ERNEST ELLIS / TIM AND JEAN. The DJ line-up includes BAG RAIDERS / VAN SHE TECH / ANNA LUNOE / KID KENOBI / YOLANDA / BE COOL / THE ONLY / PURPLE SNEAKERS DJS / MIAMI HORROR DJS. 

The festival has moved from it’s iconic Byron Bay setting to Woodford, Queensland, only twenty minutes from the Sunshine Coast. And for the first time, the festivities will run over three days. The new spot increases the number of punters by up to 10,000, allowing those who’ve never been to Splendour the opportunity to sieze tickets in the 75 or so minutes it usually takes for them to sell out. The deal is this, people who have attended up to four Splendour’s previously (members) have the opportunity to purchase tickets first. Without the use of a ballot system like so many other festivals, the concept strikes me as a little unfair, but loyal nonetheless. However, with the extra tickets provided, it’s not guaranteed that only previous attendees will snatch up the allocated amount. It’s simply gonna be a matter of first in, best dressed. Campers bunk down from Wednesday 28th July to Monday 2nd August ($464); those who purchase concert only tickets get access to the festival from 30th of July to August 1st only ($360). 

Tickets will go on sale at 9am EST on Thursday May 6. 

FUCK.

// Dan Z

Influence, among other things.

// Time 100 voters get the chance to name 2010’s most influential player. 

Time Magazine has conducted a listing of 100 most influential figures for the past six years. Beginning in 1999, the ‘zine polled readers on figures which have demonstrated utmost influence in the 20th century, the populairty of which paved the way for an annual listing in 2004. 

Split into five catagories (Leaders & Revolutionaries, Builders & Titans, Artists & Entertainers, Scientists & Thinkers, and Heroes & Icons), Time makes a point of noting that influential status is not necessarily positive, but rather people that have changed the world with a very public possession of power. George W. Bush, for example, has made the list four times, negative opinions not withstanding. Standing her ground in every poll to date, Oprah reigns as most frequently named influential figure. Winning an international poll such as this warrants considerable merit, and it’s taken quite seriously among various platforms. 

The 2010 Time 100 poll is currently open for public vote here. This years nominees include Anna Wintour, Neil Patrick Harris and the never to be de-throned, Lady Gaga. 

// Dan Z

Mag Nation made me strip for goods.

// Desperate for the new Frankie but just don’t have the funds? Simple solution, really. Walk into any Mag Nation (air-freight and niche magazine specialty store) in your undies and receive a free item up the value of $50. 

But seriously, easier said than done, right? I mean, how many people were really gonna be interested in stripping down in public, especially considering that the MN stores are situated in busy city and city-fringe thoroughfares.

Well, the Undies Monday promotion (which ran every Monday in March, 2010) almost sent them bankrupt. As the realistion grew that there were unquestionably more exhibitionists in Australia and NZ than previously predicted, thousands and thousands of dollars worth of free vouchers later, MN were forced to refine the rules. It’s all very psychological too. They discovered that the buzz of taking one’s clothes off paired with remuneration directly linked to the risk factor really gets people’s adrenalin rushin’. They set about raising the bar. 

In a truly nutz way of maintaining momentum and charming customers, MN claimed they were back with Booby Tuesday. Yep. Anyone willing to flash their titties (if you will) would be rewarded. The latter rather daring marketing ploy was unfortunately nothing more than an April Fools joke, but MN had undoubtedly caught many magazine-thirsty people’s attention. It’s clear these guys not only have a passion for the glossy appeal of ye ‘ol ‘magazine’ (including the offering of magazine subscriptions online) but also quite a knack for ensuring they’re leading the pack. And so they damn well should — walk into MN and see for yourself, this place is pretty special. 

Feast your eyes on their website – it’s a beauty! 

// Dan Z

J-Mraz gives a damn about equality.

// Singer/songwriter Jason Mraz has spoken out in support of marriage equality for the Give a Damn Campaign. The campaign, which was started by Cyndi Lauper and her True Colours Fund, focuses on encouraging people from all walks of life to raise awareness about the injustice behind lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. Brilliant. It really is important that it’s not just the gays piping up all the time! Watch the video below.

// Bear-Z