It’s a big weekend for music in Victoria, and particularly for festival-goers, with no less than three to choose from as the sun sets on the summer festival season. This Sunday, 50,000 punters are expected to flood Melbourne Showgrounds for Future Music Festival, now one of the biggest music festivals in the country. An estimated 240,000 tickets will be bought to the five shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, in a testament to the pulling power of the festival’s eclectic bill, designed to appeal to at least three generations.
Headlining the festival are pioneering „Madchester“ rockers of Britain’s 1980s, The Stone Roses, who appear alongside ’90s dance-rock rabble-rousers the Prodigy, and modern music sensations Psy, from South Korea, and Swedish mega-DJ Avicii, 23.
Future promoter Brett Robinson says the festival is an evolution of the all-night dance parties that were held at the Victoria Docks in the ’90s. „The catalyst for change was there was a broader market that wanted to attend… but people didn’t necessarily want to go out all night,“ he says.
But the festival is a very different beast to the Docklands raves of yore, which were exclusively dance-music oriented. The Future lineup features artists from nearly every commercial genre imaginable, necessitating a multi-stage, daytime-to-evening format to accommodate bulging schedules, and to make the event more appealing to punters who don’t want to party into the wee hours.
Not everyone’s a fan of the new format, however. Notoriously combustible frontman of the Prodigy, Keith Flint, is nostalgic about the late-night party culture of his heyday.
„We used to break into warehouses and we’d have police helicopters above us, riot police turning up kicking in the doors of grimy warehouses while we were inside partying and taking some of the best drugs in [Britain],“
„It’s become a joke – where is the personality in it? It all happens in the safety of daylight and every emergency service possible is there to look after you.“
Fortunately for the sun-shy Flint, the Prodigy are playing the closing set at Future, starting after dark and finishing at a relatively modest 10.30pm.
„If we were playing in the daylight all the time we wouldn’t keep doing it… we would rather go down in size and venue and keep playing for the vampires,“
Further afield in Meredith, between Ballarat and Geelong, is the sold-out Golden Plains festival; the slightly smaller sister event to December’s Meredith Music Festival (MMF).
Limited to just 9000 punters (2500 fewer than MMF), the boutique festival features predominantly rock and indie acts, with a smattering of artists representing other genres.
US indie-folk sweetheart Cat Power and Sydney electronic whiz-kid Flume are the star attractions on the Saturday, while George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic play the headline set on Sunday evening.
Meanwhile, in the state’s south-west, the Port Fairy Folk Festival is celebrating its 37th anniversary, with music spanning folk, roots, blues, jazz, bluegrass, Celtic roots, country, rock, and music of the world. Ireland’s Glen Hansard, indigenous Australian musician Gurrumul, and legendary American folkie Arlo Guthrie are among the national and international acts who will play to a sold-out crowd of 15,000.
Port Fairy Folk Festival spokeswoman Carolyn Logan says an additional 15,000 people will visit the coastal town over the weekend to enjoy the free festivities and events.
by : THE AGE