There isn’t really much more a music fan could ask for than to spend a summer in Australia. While we often feel like the ugly stepsisters of the internationaltouring scene and complain mercilessly about being so far away, nary a scoff is acceptable once the warmer climes of summer roll around. For what musician worth their salt wouldn’t want to visit us down under? The skies are blue, the weather warm, the people scantily clad and most importantly, after a long cold winter – everyone is well up for it (you only need to look at how quickly tickets sell out for proof). So what do we have in store for us this summer? An absolute avalanche of amazing talent- that’s what!
The monolith of all Australian music festivals is certainly the Big Day Out, which starts its trek across the country from the Gold Coast on January the 17th. The outrageously fantastical Muse are headlining and they are joined by a slew of fabulous artists, including; Lily Allen, Groove Armada, The Mars Volta, Dizzee Rascal, Peaches, Kasabian, The Horrors, Calvin Harris, Mastodon, The Decemberists and Girl Talk. Locally, Powderfinger join Grinspoon, Ladyhawke, Eskimo Joe, Karnivool, The Temper Trap, Midnight Juggernauts and Bluejuice. There are still more announcements to be made, so keep your ear to the ground!
Australians revel in the opportunity to get out and dance and there is certainly no shortage of incredible DJs visiting our shores. Over the next few months, there’ll be more international superstars per square kilometre than all of the clubs in Ibiza combined. Sasha, Fedde Le Grand, Martin Solveig, Carl Cox, Tom Novy and Laurent Garnier are some of the big names heading our way, headlining events like Harbourlife; the quintessential Sydney event- a day of dancing in the sun, with a spectacular vista to make most jealous. Stereosonic is hard to look past, with an eclectic line up that simply screams summer lovin’. The beats keep coming with Summadayze, the once exclusively Melbourne event that rings in the New Year with panache, goes 100% national this year, featuring a huge line up including 2manyDJs, Carl Cox, Sharam, Eddie Halliwell and Infected Mushroom. As part of the national roll out Sydneysiders are being treated to Summanights on New Year’s Eve at Home Nightclub. Good Vibrations and Future Music Festival are back again in 2010; whilst the Good Vibrations line up is announced next week (at time of print) we did get a sneak preview at the Future Music Festival line up which again features some heavy hitting acts including The Prodigy, David Guetta, Erick Morillo, Booka Shade and Franz Ferdinand, just to give you a taster. You don’t need to jet across to an unpronounceable island in Spain for your DJ kicks, this island is more than serviced!
If good old Aussie rock and roll is more your bag-strap yourself in for a summer of mayhem! Homebake hosts the very best in Australian music, in a one-off Sydney event that is as legendary as the acts that take its stage every year - this December Jet, Daniel Merriweather, Sia, Sarah Blasko, Short Stack and Tumbleweed are flying the flag for the green and gold. A Day In The Park also serves up an impressive array of Aussies, albeit with a more vintage edge. Hoodoo Gurus, Richard Clapton, You Am I and The Beautiful Girls will provide the perfect afternoon picnic mixtape.
The great outdoors beckon in the warmer months, and what better way to enjoy them than to camp? All around Australia, festivals make use of all that free space we’ve got, by putting on a fabulous show while letting you get back to nature (well, sort of). Falls Festival, which takes place in Marion Bay, Tasmania and Lorne, Victoria over the New Year’s period are the perfect festivals for the naturists amongst us, also serving up a stellar line up that includes Moby, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Grizzly Bear, Andrew Bird and many more! Keep the tent handy for Peats Ridge just north of Sydney if you are in NSW for New Year’s, and next year as the sun begins it migration north, you can bask in the last warm glows of the year at Playground Weekender, famous for its all-out fancy dress party at the lakeside retreat of Del Rio Resort, situated right on the Hawkesbury River. In the appropriately named Supernatural Amphitheatre, Meredith and Golden Plains festivals host some of the coolest indie tunes in a wondrous environment. Meredith has Animal Collective, Jarvis Cocker, Akron/Family, Paul Kelly and Patrick Wolf and Golden Plains are announcing theirs soon. Hot tip: it’s going to be awesome.
Being the country that birthed AC/DC, we’ve clearly got a love of the loud, balls-out rock n roll. Thankfully, a number of new festivals catering for the black t-shirt wearing brigade amongst us have emerged. Soundwave Festival is bringing the riffs with the mighty Faith No More, Jane’s Addiction, Eagles of Death Metal, AFi, My Chemical Romance and Paramore while The Boys Of Summer tour hosts hardcore acts Carpathian, Comeback Kid, Verse and Against!
For those who like their festivals boutique and eclectic, Australia’s got you covered. Of course. Laneway Festival is amongst the coolest in the world, taking place in the nooks of the metropolis, it brings a delightful mix of genres and artists for a truly fun party – it’ll be announcing soon so keep your ear to the ground. Days Like This festival is mixing it up, with Roots Manuva playing alongside Cat Power, Pivot, Micachu and Quantic. Pyramid Rock Festival at Phillip Island over New Years’ has a melting pot that features Empire of the Sun, Biffy Clyro, Krafty Kuts and Tame Impala. North, in Sydney, people will be kicking on from the final night of 2009, by seeing in 2010 at Field Day, an urban oasis in the middle of the city. It’s got all the bases covered with Major Lazer, LCD Soundsystem, The Phenomenal Handclap Band and Amanda Blank.
So next time someone furrows their brow and complains that there are never any good tours to go and see, stick this list in their face. Australia, even though it’s a bloody long plane ride away, is consistently delivering the hottest talent from all over the globe. Like meals-on-wheels for music, just sit back, relax and gorge at the dinner table while it’s still warm…