Harvest. Stereosonic. Meredith. Homebake. Falls. Pyramid. Summadayze. Big Day Out. Future. Laneway. Soundwave. Golden Plains. Shitloads more. and More shit, loads of it.
The most exciting international artists to be touring Australia this summer would be The Arctic Monkeys, TV on the Radio and Fleet Foxes. Throw in Bon Iver for good measure even though I find his music about as interesting as soggy weetbix. Also The Flaming Lips are crazy cool.
Most years a trip to Future can be replicated by a train trip to any Northern/Eastern suburbs with a playlist of all of Nova’s greatest remixes of the year (Read: Guetta, Aoki, Random Nostalgic Act, Flavour of the month DJ’s, We Speak No Americano anyone?) for $150 less. Buy a few pulses and get a wog on pills to yell at you and you’re pracically there. However this year the Future Entertainment crew have gone out and gotten pretty much the same shit, but tried to creep across the genres/gain some credibility a bit by including acts like the Wombats, Die Antwoord and Azari & III. Unfortunately, no amount of interesting or varied acts would ever compell me to risk the hoards of idiots simply hanging out for One by Swedish House Mafia or waiting for a glimpse of Skrillex. I went to Splendour and endured the newly minted bogan/indie hybrid; that dumb kid emerging from the primordial ooze of Gotye, ‘Aussie Pride’ and drinking Woodstocks, yelling Swag every ten minutes and only there to see “YEEZY” OMG. Just no.
Same trouble brewing over at Big Day Out, while they may have been able to secure a few more interesting acts like Battles and Odd Future; there is an over-arching reach toward the middle with their lineup. Kanye West and Soundgarden guarentee a sell-out but at the expense of a more interesting lineup. I understand fully that money is the main motivation, but such a mediocre set of artist for Australia’s original festival is bitterly disappointing.
St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival takes poll position as taste-maker in indie music, (read: copying Pitchfork’s playlists) with established acts like The Horrors, Girls and The Drums touring new albums, up and comers Toro Y Moi and SBTRKT coming out and as always, too much chillwave. Sigh. My main problem with this lineup is the lack of Australian bands. DZ Deathrays and The Panics are the only Antipodean representatives, except for Tim and Sharon Finn who will undoubtedly lead to pointless nostalgia resulting in cringe-worthy disappointment as always. For an Australian festival, there should be at least a modicum of support for the Australian music scene. Out of all the recently announced festivals, Laneway is the only one I would consider attending and even then I would prefer to see the few acts I like at a side-show, instead of being wedged between ‘artist from Flemington’ and ‘interpretative musician from Brunswick’ I love stereotyping.
Personally, I am most excited about the Harvest Festival, although I will admit I bought tickets at half price and otherwise wouldn’t have been convinced. The National, Flaming Lips, Portishead are brilliant, critically acclaimed acts. Also TV on the Radio is one of my favourite all time acts. It will be interesting to see how the festival goes, given AJ Maddah (the man who brought us Soundwave and the aborted Soundwave Revolution) has a history with terrible failure of festivals.
These are just general thoughts on the festival atmosphere this summer, nothing conclusive, but stay tuned for more mis-informed and pretentious opinions soon!