Staff Writers

Staff Writers

Unless you’re deaf, hearing all the hype about Splendour in the Grass is pretty much unavoidable, but no one ever prepares you for the after effects. And by that I’m not referring to the hangover or depressing bank balance you’re left with. I’m talking about the overwhelming sadness that hits you Monday morning; after months of preparations, saving and trying to contain the growing excitement, it’s all over in what feels like the blink of an eye.

The Beautiful Girls were well within their element on Saturday, sharing their smooth, summery laidback grooves with us for one of the last times. Their deep but upbeat reggae dub vibe perfectly complimented the early evening Splendour atmosphere with each song consistently offering the audience a fun-charged roosty-rock or mellow beat to dance along to.

The whole set was filled with heavy bass and tight dub drumming, transitioning from chilled out acoustic numbers to more hyped electric rock songs, and each providing Mat. McHugh with an opportunity to show off his underappreciated guitar skills and unique voice. It was another beautiful groove-laden set of memorable music from the Girls.

Swedish dance/indie ensemble Miike Snow got the part re-started that night with their masterful instrumentation impressively choreographed with an illuminating light show. From the moment these guys walked onto the smokey stage, both visual and aural pleasure ensued.

They moved through earlier hits from their 2009 self-titled debut album giving each song new life, with a mix of relaxed tempos, electro tweaks and extended choruses. But it was their latest songs that dominated the set list. After three years of honing and polishing their sound, their new album ‘Happy To You’ went down as well as the drinks at Splendour.

On Sunday evening, urban roots rockers Blue King Brown brought us their chilled-out jazzy blues and fit right in doing so. The atmosphere was set almost instantly.

The music began and beautiful front woman Natalie Pa’apa’a’ walked onstage waving the Blue King Brown flag above her head and, surprisingly, singing through a megaphone. With her smooth but powerful voice and inspiring lyrics she carried a formidable live presence. In fact, each instrument as well as the two vibrant backup singers delivered their own delicious smatterings of soulful ambiance. Each musician took turns in bursting out funky solos and there were plenty of sing-along moments that got even the few dance floor-shy spectators involved.  

Together Blue King Brown performed an equally chilled out and highly energetic collection of songs that literally moved the crowd as the flowing music cascaded down from the stage.  

I was a bit sceptical about seeing headline act The Smashing Pumpkins play live, hearing mixed reviews about their live shows. But disappoint they did not. Five years on since their reformation and with another album under their belt, the band was in fine form to say the least. They have once again refined their heavily layered and guitar-dense alternative rock sound, setting in an intense energy amongst the audience.  

The band covered a range of older favourites as well as a number of tracks off their latest offering ‘Oceania’. Even during slower songs they stayed engaged with the audience and maintained a gripping intensity in classic Pumpkins style.  

The Oceania tour seems like it could just be the opportunity the band need to revive a loyal following that has been considerably tested in the last few years. If front man Billy Corgan is looking to usher in a new era of The Smashing Pumpkins then, judging by Sunday night’s performance, he’s doing just that.

Despite the hail, mud and freezing temperatures, Splendour 2012 was three days of aural magnificence. Let the countdown begin again: 365 days until Splendour.
Liesl D'Rozario

DZ Deathrays set up their own equipment before taking the stage, the music industry's tell that the band is yet to make it big. Ironic really, seeing as opening track Cops/Capacity had the thousands of punters present behaving like they'd been listening to DZ since their mothers stopped breastfeeding them. The entirety of debut album 'Bloodstreams' pelted from Shane Parson's tormented respiratory system harder than the torrential rain that fell throughout the set. Kind of like Richard Kingsmill's tears.

With Spiderbait's Kram finally dragged off stage away from the drums, James Mercer brings The Shins on stage and you realise that every other band you've seen was merely a sound check. It was the band's first opportunity to road test new album 'Port of Morrow', and to Mercer's delight the market testing delivered some pleasing results. The polish that we have come to expect from this outfit was duly applied to renditions of 'Simple Song' and 'The Rifle's Spiral', with 'Australia' also getting a healthy dosage of Mr Sheen.

For festival organisers, bands like Tame Impala must seem a pretty safe bet. The lads are consistently brilliant when playing their guitar-shaped instruments live, the trend continuing once more at the fields of Belongil. New song 'Elephant' sparked a frantic reaction from the crowd, the excitement causing one older festival-goer to drop all of her medication on the ground, while a nearby teenager dressed in an actual elephant suit seemed to be having some sort of profound religious experience. In a weird coincidence, Tame Impala seem like a band that the Pope would dig.

Speaking of the Pope, Jack White should be referred to as 'His Holiness'. A question on everyone's lips had been whether the man could match the hype that had followed him on the road to Splendour - even for someone like Jack White, tall tales had been told. Yet as his band emerged to play 'Dead Leaves On The Dirty Ground', those lucky enough to have spines immediately felt chills creeping up them. Regardless of your opinion of White's solo album 'Blunderbus', seeing the man perform over a decade's worth of material from a music empire spanning The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather is the equivalent of an auditory pilgrimage. He concluded the set with 'Seven Nation Army', a song that 15,000 people continued to chant long after he'd left the premises.
James Pearson

The water came from above and proceeded to soak us through from below as all punters were soon reminded of the fact that Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay meant mud; lots of mud.

Playing the penultimate slot on Friday, At the Drive-In were perhaps worthy of closing the night – given how many people seemed to have come solely to see them perform their reunion show. Although the reasons behind why they reformed after so many years may have varied (to re-patch their friendship and money) – the band nonetheless put on a searing performance once they hit the stage. Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Jim Ward were especially animated – from their opening rendition of ‘Arc Arsenal’ right through to their closing track and success ‘One Armed Scissor’.

Also on a reunion tour of sorts (having gone on a break while Kele Okereke dabbled with electronica), Bloc Party looked to be having a great time on stage. Mixing old crowd favourites from debut album ‘Silent Alarm’ like ‘Banquet’ and moving through their subsequent albums to include the opening cuts from their new album ‘Four’; it felt like a celebration for both the crowd and the band.

At the GW McLellan Tent – Dirty Three again showed why they are continually raved about live. Although the crowd was criminally small – (perhaps people are still unaware of just how good instrumental rock can be?) it was also wonderfully intimate and probably added to the appeal. Warren Ellis is a distinctive figure, with immense talent and while the music he and his band make is undeniably beautiful – Ellis is willing to play against it, with the most irreverent banter you are ever likely to hear.

Young up-and-comers The Medics have been quite active on the touring circuit and have been building up a steady buzz around their indie rock sound. Brisbane-based via Cairns, the quartet showed that rock can have a sensitive side. With their tracks they have managed to combine breathy vocals with all out rock – with their final track ‘Griffin’ a perfect showcase of their sound.
Colleen Edwards

We've seen some big Parklife lineups in recent years — last year's bass-heavy lineup was nothing to be sneezed at — but this one might take the chemically enhanced cake. The 2012 bill includes:

The Presets
Justice (DJ Set)
Passion Pit
Plan B
Nero (Live)
Tame Impala
Chiddy Bang
Parachute Youth
Benga (Live)
Charli XCX
St Lucia
DJ Fresh (Live)
Jack Beats (Live)
Softwar (East Coast)
Alison Wonderland
Art Department
Lee Foss
Jacques Lu Cont
Rizzle Kicks
More to be announced...

They'll play the following venues:

Sat Sep 29 — Riverstage and Botanic Gardens (Brisbane)
Sun Sep 30 — Centennial Park (Sydney)
Mon Oct 01 — Wellington Square (Perth)
Sat Oct 06 — Sidney Myer Music Bowl and Kings Domain (Melbourne)
Sun Oct 07 — Botanic Park, Botanic Gardens of Adelaide

For more info, head to
Long-running Falls Music & Arts Festival, held in Marion Bay, Tasmania, and Lorne, Victoria, have announced a new major sponsorship by philanthropist Graeme Wood AM.

Graeme Wood said: “The Falls Music and Arts Festival is a case study of the tangible economic impact that creative events, and cultural and ecotourism, can have for the Tasmanian economy. As a philanthropist and businessman, this inspirational combination of creative endeavour and sustainable economic return is something I’m very keen to support.”  

Founder of The Falls Music & Arts Festival Simon Daly said: “I feel honoured to be working with a great team and amazing supporters to deliver these festivals year in year out, but particularly in this milestone year as we reach our tenth birthday celebration in Marion Bay and Lorne’s twentieth.  

“I’ve seen the difference the festivals have made to their communities, not just in economic terms, but just as importantly, the social and cultural impact, particularly in Tasmania. We created the festival in Marion Bay for Tasmanians, all Tasmanians. We’ve consciously made it the best value and most accessible festival in Australia and it’s rewarding to see such a broad mix of people, of all ages, connecting and having a great time together.”

Mr Wood has a track record of philanthropic commitment to the arts. He founded Artology, a not for profit dedicated to developing creativity in young people. His other philanthropic involvements in the arts include the Fresh Ink young playwrights’ program at the Australian Theatre for Young People and the Red Room poetry initiative.  

The Falls Music & Arts Festival is held annually in Lorne, Victoria (Dec 28-Jan 1) and Marion Bay, Tasmania (Dec 29-Jan 1). The artistic program will start to be revealed from July

Early bird tickets are now on sale for the 2013 edition of Bluesfest. The 2013 festival is to be held from Thursday March 28 until Monday April 1 at the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, in the beautiful Byron Shire.

For a limited time, ticket buyers also have the option to purchase the discounted early bird tickets on a ‘Time To Pay’ plan over five months! 2013 will mark the 24th anniversary of Bluesfest and it is promising to be another big year, with an exciting first artist announcement planned as early as September!  

Festival Director Peter Noble comments: “We have found there is an incredible interest in our Early Bird and ‘Time To Pay’ tickets from our ticket buying public. Well known events like US based Coachella Music Festival is not the only festival that goes on sale many months out, Bluesfest does it too.

“My humble thanks go out to our festival goers for once again placing their trust in us, as they do each year, to deliver a stellar array of artists for Bluesfest 2013. Judging from who is already on offer, we are on track to deliver a formidable line-up for Bluesfest 2013 — it really is looking like possibly our best bill yet!”

16 May

Harvest 2012 Dates

Published in Harvest

The datses for 2012's Harvest Festival have dropped.

Saturday November 10 - Melbourne
Saturday November 17 - Sydney
Sunday November 18 - Brisbane

There'll be no Adelaide and Perth gigs this year.

That's all folks!

We'll tell you more when more is announced.

Stereosonic have unveiled their 2012 dates.

The electronic festival will play the following cities:

Saturday November 24 — Sydney
Sunday November 25 — Perth
Saturday 1 December — Melbourne
Saturday 1 December — Adelaide
Sunday 2 December — Brisbane

Line-up and venues will be announced on 5th July, with tickets on sale 2nd August.

Splendour In The Grass has completely sold out.

In what has been the fastest sell-out ever, all tickets to Splendour sold out in just 43 minutes.

Event Producers, Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco said “This tops off an amazing week for Splendour. Massive thanks to everyone who has supported our event this year. We love every one of you! We can’t wait to see you all at Belongil Fields in July.”

To break down the speed of the sell out this year …

• Camping tickets sold out in 5 minutes
• 3 Day Event tickets sold out in under 30 mins
• All tickets were sold out in just 43 mins

Click for Photo Gallery:
Images: Tim Whitby and Ian Gavan/ Getty

Titanic Sounds – the free, live pop festival took place against the backdrop of the iconic Titanic Belfast attraction on London / Belfast, Saturday 14th April 2012.

16,000 music fans braved the cold to enjoy show-stopping live performances from multi-million selling artists Pixie Lott, Katy B, Olly Murs, Sean Paul and Rizzle Kicks.

Pixie Lott – dressed head to toe in Dolce & Gabbana – opened the show with a high energy, performance of 'Boys and Girls' followed by chart smash 'Mama Do' from her debut album 'Turn It Up', which originally catapulted her to fame in 2010.

The soulful R&B influenced songstress wowed the crowds with further performances from her triumphant second album 'Young Foolish Happy', including 'Kiss The Stars', 'Everybody Hurts Sometimes' and 'All About Tonight'.

UK duo Rizzle Kicks got the crowd going 'down with the trumpets' with the hotly anticipated smash hits 'Mama do the Hump', 'Youngster' and ultimate crowd pleaser 'Trumpets', before returning on stage later in the night.

As the sun set over Titanic Belfast, international dancehall superstar Sean Paul – who landed in Belfast earlier that morning by very own private jet - performed a raft of smash hits including 'Get Busy', 'Got to Luv U' and infamous smash hit 'Gimme Di Light'.

Against the backdrop of the incredible Titanic Belfast light-show, Katy B set the stage alight with a powerhouse performance of chart hits from her debut chart-topping album 'On A Mission', including 'Lights On' and new single 'Anywhere in the World' – her collaboration with Mark Ronson.

Finally - with his nine-piece band at the ready - UK singer/ songwriter Olly Murs kept the party jumping with performances of chart smashes 'Dance With Me Tonight' and 'Please Don’t Let Me Go', before being joined on stage with good friends Rizzle Kicks to bring the show to a close with chart anthem 'Heart Skips a Beat'.

The Cuban Brothers are what can only be described as a ‘one-of-a-kind’ talent.  Guaranteed to have you singing along, crying with joy and shaking your moneymaker — the boys are now bringing their unique flavour to Playground Weekender. Putting a whole new meaning in to “rock out, with your cock out”, the boys have forged a fortunate career partying around the globe. They will host this year’s Fancy Dress Saturday catwalk whilst, no doubt, donned head to toe in tight Lycra!

1.     Why are you looking forward to playing Playground Weekender?
Because I’ve heard it’s the dopest Aussie fest atmosphere\people wise and the beauty' site with bona-fide croc rooting in the creek plus Pretty Ricky and Andy Riggers are some my oldest friends in Oz and venerated in the international society of ‘Wrongmen’ of which I am patron.

2.     What’s the best thing about playing in Australia?
Fuckin’ everything the sheilas, the blokes, the weather, la playa [the beach], surfing the pass at Byron for the slow take off brethren like myself, roos, possums, next level road kill, the seafood and of course hermanos (brothers) names like Gibbo, Fitzy and Shocker! ... Did I mention the bloody sheilas?

3.     What are your top 5 festival tips?

1. Keep hydrated 2. Don’t lick anything off fingers of cats you’ve just met ... next thing you know your do’n dressage around the site cos of the horse tranquiliser... Telling you! 3. Bring your own toilet roll, wet wipes and greenery 4. Regardless of inebriation factor DO NOT PISS YOURSELF!! Unless through laughter which is recommended 5. Bring a smile and she’ll be right maestro.

4.     Who else are you looking forward to checking out on the bill?

1.Nile Rodgers is a friend of mine and musical genius a living legend, Rodney Roots Manuva is the most consistent Hip -hop artist to come out of U.K always on point...WITNESS!! Looking forward to the Black lips as haven’t seen them for 2 years, Bonobo, Greg Wilson, Art Department. The whole line up is exciting actually...let the bumming begin ...figuratively of course.

5.     What can festivalgoers expect as part of your performance at the festival?

The greatest show on earth! 'Time magazine', Masculine and sexy times 'Prince' We’re gonna be do’n tracks from brand new album The Cuban Brothers ‘YO BONITA’ released in May on Jam City, we’ll be throwing down in many styles...MANY STYLES!! As ever and who knows I might even keep my gear on...Yes friends!!

6.     Saturday is fancy dress day – who or what will you be coming as?
It’s a god damn secret bitches think....retardation.

7.     What’s been your biggest rock ‘n’ roll moment?
Dunno, arrested and pistol whipped up a dancing pole naked in Larry Flynt’s strip club in New Orleans with Ryan Dunn [RIP Brother] and Knoxville. Or maybe 2009 we headlined Bestival Saturday night came off stage at 10pm and got straight in a chopper for hour long flight to Richard Branson’s private festival in his garden in Oxfordshire, we went onstage after the Foo Fighters before jumping back in Chopper and closing down the Bestival big top on in Barry Peters guise...all done under the influence of Philosopher Stone Mushrooms, that morning I was found in the woods with 2 women in their 50s burning my socks to keep warm and chanting Fog on the tine. Or there was this one time at Man Camp…

8.     Are there any bands you would like to meet on the line-up and why?
Always open to meeting any cat regardless of them being musicians or whatever Being honest; the most entertaining and warm people I’ve met on the road very rarely have anything to do with the music industry, this job gives a unique chance to touch cats regardless of gender, race or social status, whether it’s a gentle fingering or a massive bear hug...every bastards valid isn’t it?

9.     What are your top 10 ultimate festival tracks?
1. Toots and the Maytals — Pressure drop
2. Eddie Kendricks — Change of mind
3. Tribe Called Quest — Award tour
4. KRS One — sound of da police
5. Fat Freddy’s Drop — Roady
6. Groove Armada — Superstylin’
7. Masters at work — It’s alright, I feel it
8. The Cuban Brothers — The underdog or Misdemeanour
9. David Bowie — Lets dance
10. The mighty Ryeders — Evil vibrations
11. Queen — Don’t stop me now
12. Diana Ross — I’m coming out
13. Roots Manuva — Witness
13 is my lucky number friends cant work in tens .... you get me? Blessings Playgroundafarians !!

10.  What are your best festival chat-up lines?
Lets fuck!!!
My fave Occa chat up line — Wanna root?
Halfers on a bastard?
Muy feral amigos...Muy feral but any port in a storm isn’t it?

Can’t wait for the mania Aussie brethren!

Festival Channel has 2 x double tickets to Playground Weekender. Click here to enter.