Why didn't anyone think of this sooner? Only in it's second year, the Airlie Beach Music Festival stands in the ineffable surrounds of, well, Airlie Beach in the famed Whitsundays. Yes, that's right - a music festival in The Whitsundays. Already you're beginning to get a picture of something much different than what festival regulars are used to, and you'd be right. The festival is not only unique in atmosphere, but also structure and style; the direction the line-up points in is quite obvious when headliners includes The Screaming Jets, John Paul Young, and The Eurogliders.
Back in the first half of the year, I thought WAM did a pretty crazy thing with the State Of The Art Festival that hosted dozens of local singers and bands and scattered them around the Perth Cultural Centre. Last Saturday they outdid themselves once again, extending their reach beyond the Perth Cultural Centre and transforming Northbridge into a communal music fest. Centred around a carpark, the event lived up to its title of the Saturday Spectacular; gear up for the home-grown warm and fuzzies.
As advertised, 2014 Harbourlife was all about the House music. Packed from the moment it started to the moment it finished, the influence of bass was ever present. The venue was as per usual absolutely stunning. The backdrop of Sydney harbour is iconic and the weather was top notch to support it, making for a great day to host a party.
After a lukewarm start in Sydney due to atrocious sound issues, I was a bit nervous with my decision to fly down to Melbourne and do it all again. This was a line-up that was quite literally a dream for me and felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so to be underwhelmed twice would not only be soul crushing personally, it would have been indicative of what Australia and New Zealand could expect from the rest of the long-awaited tour. But all those angry tweets and general complaints that arose out of Sydney and the lack of sound checking seemed to benefit Melbourne; this time the crew behind Soulfest were on the ball. This led to a festival that felt like an entirely different, better experience than Sydney, and felt much closer to what the promoters intended the festival to be.
On Sunday October 21st Brisbane’s The Blurst of Times Festival hit Melbourne for the first time. Held at Seaworks in Williamstown, the day featured a line up of excellent Australian talent, across three stages.
Melbourne turned on the goods for the second last leg of Listen Out on Saturday. The sunshine bought out winning attitudes and a veritable goodie bag of trendy headwear. There was a static vim in the air that kept my head darting around at the seemingly endless wave of bucket hats and dreamily kept facial hair. The notable lineup inflicted a world of pain for this punter, in that I had to decide upon which acts to sacrifice for the greater satisfaction of my ears. Dense bass lines, hip cranking rhythms and banging samples had Listen Out goers is a whirr.
When Fuzzy promotions first announced a new boutique EDM festival was to be replacing Parklife, my stomach sank with dismay. Parklife had given the fondest memories and still sits in my heart as being my favourite festival experience. Yet walking up to the gates of Listen Out I was filled with excitement, the bill held some damn decent names, the rain had mostly held off, and I knew within seconds it still boasted that same indescribable atmosphere as its predecessor.
After a successful first year, Fuzzy's Listen Out continues to put forth the case for festival down-sizing, standing with just three stages and a cleverly curated line up to ensure that we got just as much variety as a more excessive festival. A bit more niche and thoughtful in it's structure, the day played out with very few hiccups and once again focused on quality over quantity, exposing the direction of the summer festival season and the styles which are getting the most shine this year.
In part two of our BIGSOUND Live Highlights from night one, Kimberley Salmond looks back at the six bands that made her night in Brisbane - from Brisbane's own The Furrs to Canadian rockers July Talk.
BIGSOUND Live is always a great opportunity to catch some of the best bands in the business while also discovering new favourite acts you didn’t even realise exist! It is such a vibrant event full of networking and all round joy.
The final day of Splendour In The Grass 2014 saw some of the weekend's best performances, with each of the main stages capped of in very different ways. The Ampitheatre closed for 2014, sent off with a colourful performance from subversive pop star Lily Allen, and leaving us with the weekend's stand-out performances to reminisce on. Elsewhere the GW McLennan Tent was sent swaying to the warmth of Ben Howard (pictured), and the Mix-Up Stage saw it's first dose of slow-burning, artful electronica – as compared to the usual speaker-assaulting trend tracks – with Darkside, who brought a much more unexpected sound to the tent.
Weather kept smiling upon us as we navigated North Byron Parklands for the second official day of Splendour In The Grass, with the expected rain lasting all but a few minutes, aside from the occasional, insignificant drizzle. As such, the bulk of the crowd remained at the open-air Ampitheatre for the final moments of the day, with a fantastic closing line-up of The Jezabels, Foals, and City and Colour, who each came close to stealing the show from Friday headliners OutKast. Very close, in Foals' case.
The official first day of Splendour In The Grass 2014 set things into motion quite quickly, with punters flooding into the sun-kissed North Byron Parklands as soon as the gates opened, quickly spreading amongst the pop-up community which this great festival has now become. From The Preatures and Ball Park Music to the 25th anniversary of Spiderbait and the 20th anniversary of the almighty OutKast, we were treated to a consistently excellent stream of live performances, and this was only on the main stage.
After a rainy day and night, the sun peered through the clouds in Scotland for the third and final day of T in the Park, which would see Arctic Monkeys close the festival's main stage in typically rockin' fashion, while Example, Disclosure and Sven Vath ensured there were ways to end the weekend for everyone. Earlier in the day, performances from Australia's own Tame Impala, Kaiser Chiefs, Australia bound Sam Smith, Metronomy, Jake Bugg and many more proved that the festival, the final ever to be held at the current venue, would be sent off with a bang.
After a day where the gods beamed their sun on the festival site, an ominous overcast morning proved that T in the Park's second day wouldn't be as kind. But with punters eagerly awaiting entry well before the gates opened, it doesn't seem to be the Scottish way to let wet weather get in the way of a good time.