The GFC Is Affecting Australian Festivals, Part I of XXVIII
Over the last 5/10/15/20 years, one-day festivals have been becoming a larger and larger part of the local live music scene. Led by the summer-bestriding Big Day Out and Antipodean-act-only Homebake, bubbles form and burst, but more and more continent-travelling packages have been gaining traction and attempting to “build their brands.” Tonight’s event is an example of the overall bubble wobbling with too much water and not enough soap, if not the bubble actually caving in and the blowpiece having to be redesigned: a first-time travelling dance fest from a newish promoter, what was the Stereosonic Festival in other states had to be broken down into four separate gigs in Sydney due to a OVERLOAD of fests competing for the same market, in the same venues, on the same weekends.
Paul Van Dyk at superclub Home, Carl Cox at fancy bar that put big speakers in for fluoroelectro on Saturday nights The Arthouse, Booka Shade at the Enmore Theatre……and basically “all the leftovers” were shunted into the closest thing remaining to a festival, but actually turning out for the potential better as a late-running rave on a uni campus. With a 3am close rather than a 2pm-10pm running time like most competing dance events, we roll up to this after a day of work, company Christmas drinks, and a 21st in a nearby pub/cocktail bar. Tommie Sunshine, Vitalic and DJ Hell get to use the actual live room, one of the best laid-out in Sydney; Crookers and DJ Funk take over the main cafeteria downstairs (with extra space in the dining room/viewing balcony above and courtyard outside), but apart from the underwhelmingness of their mersh styles, the sound is completely shithouse – not doubt largely due to being open a whole floor above the stage and through half a dozen glass doors at the back… Headman and Dave Nada get a cozy space in the one-time FilmSoc room on the top floor, but being RIGHT BESIDE the live room and TOP AND TAILED speakerwise, it can be hard to find a sweet spot soundwise. Headman makes the most of it with some fizzy trebles, but it’s an uphill battle.
Really though, who gives a fuck, because there’s only one act that’s really brought us here: the Frenchman having blown out a club tour about two years ago, this writer’s been waiting for Vitalic to cave heads out of a laptop for too long, and apart from wishing for 10 minutes of Fanfares instead of a minute or two of Valetta Fanfares, Pascal brings the desired boom. The following gif should illustrate the effect:
Afterwards Crookers continue to eat a big muddy dick downstairs, the Spank Rock DJs are playing a warmup set as a closer in the sideroom and Hell fucking pounds it like a monster (Sunshine moshing at side of stage), but about an hour and a half in, the week, the night, the booze and the muscles combine to pull me away to crash on a mate’s floor.