Are Australian festivals in decline?
Australia has put on some legendary festivals throughout the years. Something is amiss at the moment though. Good Vibrations and V Festival have been put on hiatus, the Big Day Out has been struggling to sell out after years of punters snapping up tickets and obscene ticket prices have people searching overseas for their music fix.
Splendour in the Grass, despite the world class line up, was beyond the reach of many music fans with prices reaching $AU500 if you wanted to camp. Also with many festivals charging jacked up prices for a beer and a hotdog many music fans are choosing Japan, Indonesia and Europe for music festivals.
Sure you might be paying extra for an airline ticket but compare the wide range of music at international festivals and throw in a holiday and it starts to make sense. Additionally these festivals are more relaxed with people allowed to BYO their drinks and food. Australian ones are renowned for strict licensing laws and attracting the crowd which seem more interested in getting their shirt off and being seen rather than enjoying the music.
Let’s hope this is only a temporary problem because not only do the festivals bring the top names Down Under, they also give emerging Australian bands their first experience at playing the big outdoor gigs.
Jack’s got talent
Another year, another Australian rises from bedroom obscurity to instant fame, just add TV. 14 year old Jack Vidgen charmed the judges and public to be crowned the 2011 winner of Australia’s Got Talent.
Proving Australia still has an appetite for talent search shows, the final drew in 2.8 million viewers to watch Jack beat the magician Cosentino for $AU250,000. Nice pocket money for the young guy but it could just be the start with Sony signing him for his first record and American audiences taking notice after celebrity blogger Perez Hilton highlighted the singer’s talent.
Did we mention Jack has a Justin Bieber haircut and sights the Canadian heart throb as an inspiration? Australian mothers you have been warned, lock up your daughters. Well at least until he releases a flop album, fades into obscurity and perhaps resurfaces on Celebrity Big Brother.
What would you do?
You’re in one of Australia’s hottest bands, overseas beckons, album’s going down well and everyone wants to be at your live shows. Hitting the stage at Splendour in the Grass last weekend QLD band The Middle East decided now would be the perfect time to announce this would be their last show.
Was it drugs or artist differences? No one really knows; since their announcement they haven’t given any clues as to what caused the curtain call. A Facebook post said: ‘We don’t feel like playing anymore for a whole lot of reasons… Thanks for all who came to our shows.’
That’s it? Pretty mystifying. They haven’t even hit their peak yet nor nearly reached their potential. Around since 2005, their album I Want That You Are Always Here released this year was given wide positive reviews and comparisons to Arcade Fire were being thrown around.
Bands come and go but why not enjoy the ride and see what happens? Their album is a great listen and we hope they’ll be back. We’re not angry Middle East, just disappointed.