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AUSSIE SUNSHINE = FESTIVAL FRENZY!

 

You can feel the heat already as another long hot Aussie summer approaches – and that means a long hot summer rock festival season, with 2010/11 shaping up to be one of the hottest yet.

 

SOUNDWAVE has all the bases covered for metalheads, with legends Iron Maiden and Slayer, Queens of The Stone Age and Slash making this a must-see event. The rest of the line-up is certain to mean a lot of running between stages too, with Primus, Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, The Sword, Monster Magnet and many more all appearing.

 

The festival which started the travelling outdoor stage revolution in Australia, the BIG DAY OUT, has made a welcome return to edgy and loud rock after a couple of years featuring softer and more mainstream artists. Tool, Rammstein, Iggy & The Stooges and Wolfmother led the charge to hard rocking bliss, alongside Airbourne, Grinderman, The Deftones, Andrew WK and Primal Scream.

 

SOUTHBOUND, Western Australia’s only regional festival to feature major international acts, has an eclectic line-up this year with only Joan Jett & The Blackhearts really tweaking the hard rock interest. Sure to sell out with headliners Public Enemy, Interpol and many more on board, at The Rockpit we are all desperately hoping Ms Jett will announce a side show up here in Perth.

 

The Byron Bay BluesFest have announced a stellar lineup of legends, capped off with the mighty Bob Dylan and BB King! Also featuring will be Ben Harper & The Relentless 7, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and many more blues n’ roots artists.

 

There’s been no announcement yet from the Fremantle Blues & Roots Festival organisers, but you can safely bet they will present as star studded a lineup as they have in recent years, with their 2010 killer lineup of Buddy Guy, John Mayall, Taj Mahal, Dave Hole and more proving a great hit.

 

New boy NO SLEEP TIL… pitches in with a very diverse roster of artists. Megadeth and Gwar are sure to attract plenty of fans, with support from The Dropkick Murphys, NoFX and Parkway Drive. It’s an eclectic line-up to say the least, so it will be interesting to see how this event performs in its first year.


Of course with so many festivals and so many artists doing their own tours, the average punter’s bucks will only spread so far, but with the first Sydney Big Day Out selling out in minutes and a second day announced this week, the glut of gigs doesn’t seem to be affecting the selling power of established events.

 

What’s less certain is whether any new festivals will ever get off the ground. I’ve already mentioned we are watching No Sleep Til with interest, Homebake on the East Coast has taken 2011 off, and several new smaller festivals have aborted before they even happened, racking up hefty debts along the way.

 

If ever there was a gap in the market it is for Australia’s very own Eighties metal festival a la Rocklahoma or Rock N America, but so far this has only been mooted once, with the Rock-Out Festival in 2009, but this was postponed and never reappeared so until someone else fronts the cash to make this happen, we will go wanting. Naturally The Rockpit will gladly be involved in making such a festival work, if any budding promoter’s are reading this, and the raging success of similar events across America and Europe should only be seen as encouraging.

 

Shane Rockpit
November 2010