With the recent flooding that has affected the Hunter Region for the past month, enthusiastic punters should have arrived at Maitland Showground with their wellies pulled up and ready for mud. The flooded paddocks alongside the highway just out of town bode for a messy occasion but it was a pleasant surprise to find upon entrance a solid dry ground with nary a fleck of mud in sight...
Headlined by Swedish pop star Tove Lo, Perez Hilton's 'One Night In Austin' closed out the Saturday, and essentially the last night, of SXSW for 2015. His eighth year of hosting the showcase, with all proceeds going to charity, Hilton personally chooses the lineup himself, based on artists that he's featured on his website - and artists that he thinks are about to break.
Going down to Wollongong University to attend Farmer and The Owl is an absolute joy. The trip which is only a touch over an hour’s drive from Sydney is an ease and the festival is filled with laid-back easy-going coastal vibes. That is despite the healthy helping of raucous rock that filled out the line-up.
Future Music Festival has returned to Brisbane as part of its 2015 circuit. This year the big three were The Prodigy, who are busy sorting out a new album for this year, while serving hard rave and jungle style beats in the live arena. Then there was Avicii, the name everyone knows and finally the heartthrob of the lineup, Drake, who came all the way from Toronto to accost the hearts of Aussie girls everywhere.
With the sweltering final day of the 2014-2015 summer period beaming down upon Randwick Racecourse, Sydney welcomed another edition of Future Music Festival with a crowd of around 50,000 strong fully taking in one of the festival's biggest line ups in years. Future is now the first Australian festival to deliver world-dominating hip hop artist Drake, giving him a 75-minute headline set that sat neatly in a schedule with other big name acts like The Prodigy, Example, Aviici, Die Antwoord, Knife Party, Hilltop Hoods, and Sven Vath.
With Soundwave Festival commandeering one of the most loyal fan bases to a festival in Australia, it's always a slight disappointment to see the focus on overseas acts rather than some of the rising stars of the local heavy scene - thankfully, the 2015 season has addressed this, bringing Melbourne grinders King Parrot, Smith Street Band fellows and 420-friendly jamsters The Bennies and the avant-garde take on black metal of Ne Obliviscaris.
Deadlines and multi-day festivals do not mix. Day 2 of Soundwave should really feel like a slog, but after getting into the grounds and witnessing the onslaught of King Parrot, you can't help but feel reinvigorated. Check out them and the other antipodean offerings for this years edition of the festival in the featured photo gallery/review "The Locals".
A magical, wild and completely creative festival of music and art, Secret Garden Festival 2015 once again proved itself to be an event well worth experiencing. A camping festival that spans from Friday 27th to Saturday 28th February, Secret Garden is on a beautiful farm out in Cobbitty NSW, just an hour’s drive from Sydney yet well and truly removed from the city scene.
Soundwave, the undeniable king of summer festivals, has stepped it up a notch this year with the expansion of two days and a vertible slay of headliners including Slipknot, Faith No More, Slash, The Smashing Pumpkins, and the finest undercard for quite a few years.
Despite being a massive fan of the sum of the parts in Killer Be Killed (aka The Dillinger Escape Plan's Greg Puciato, Soulfly's Max Cavalera, Mastodon's Troy Sanders and The Mars Volta's Dave Elitch) it was one of those things that kind of passed me by - thinking that it would be the standard side project-slash-supergroup that always tends to be more of a ego-boost than anything really resulting in anything worth listening to.
Fucked Up are one of those special experiences - one of those perfect festival bands, with the dedicated fanbase turning out wherever they pop up, and the absolutely amazing performance that will draw in any curious bystanders and immediately convert them.
Oh man, Soundwave Day Two just kicked Soundwave Day One right in it's 40 degree face. Don't get me wrong, Saturday was fun, it was a good time, but man. Sunday just knocked it right out of the park.
So here it is. The first day of the last ever Soundwave Adelaide – and, coincidentally, the first time Soundwave has had a first day. The decision to split Australia's biggest music festival across two days was met with kind of...mixed reception. Some people were excited about having a festival stretch across a whole weekend, and some thought Soundwave might struggle to pack out two days with quality bands.
Timetable clashes are always going to be an issue going into this year's Laneway Festival, an event that is now renowned and trusted for it's well-curated and diverse line ups. Punters were then left with some fairly tough choices all throughout the day, but had that nice guarantee that whoever they chose to see, they were sure to be in for a satisfying performance.
More Australian music followed Courtney (read about her in part one) with Angus and Julia Stone taking the stage to play tracks from their latest self-titled album and old favourites like "Big Jet Plane" and "For You". The duo played well, accompanied by a four piece band. But their down tempo tracks didn't quite match the loud, raw energy of the band that followed. Brighton duo Royal Blood cranked everything up to 11 in what was the best performance I've ever seen from them - they really are at the top of their game right now. After a year of non-stop touring, that comes of little surprise.