Smaller music festivals blossoming

September 11, 2015 11:24 pm 2 comments Views: 5
Carnival vibe ... American singer songwriter will perform at the Fairgrounds day in Berry

Carnival vibe … American singer songwriter will perform at the Fairgrounds day in Berry on the NSW South Coast. Picture: Supplied
Source: Supplied

THEY were the original Big Day Outers, the paddock ravers, the secret warehouse party gang. Inevitably they grew up, inked the mortgage and welcomed the children to the family. And stopped going to festivals.

The majority of those who moshed to Nirvana and sweated up a storm to the Chemical Brothers diverted their entertainment dollar to more family friendly outings.

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Side shows rather than an all-day and night festival became their preferred haunt, leaving the cops-and-dogs greeting party and marauding hordes of overexcited young people to well, the young people. As it should be.

Generation X are now at the top of the demographic wishlist of the festival market as more boutique and niche events spring up to cater for the original alternative music fans.

The national festival calendar has undergone a drastic downsize in recent years with several of the enduring events calling it a day and canny promoters, who also happen to be of a certain age, are creating smaller events tailored for the music fan who might be sporting some salt and pepper at the temples.

Green location ... the historic Berry Showgrounds with plenty of space and shade will hos

Green location … the historic Berry Showgrounds with plenty of space and shade will host the Fairgrounds festival. Picture: Supplied.
Source: Supplied

Welcome Fairgrounds Festival, Out On The Weekend and Vanfest among others including Gentlemen Of The Road, Small World Festival and the more established Bluesfest, Laneway and A Day On The Green gigs.

The reboot of the boutique festival focuses on the experiential elements which will appeal to an older audience. The location has to be somewhere different with a lot of greenery. The food and beverage offerings must be more than a bucket of chips, slice of pizza and mid-strength beer. Capacity should be comfortable and queues minimal. And you shouldn’t need four wheel drive capabilities on the pram.

Fairgrounds Festival takes the family-friendly element further than anything else on offer on this year’s weekend calendar.

The inaugural event will be held at the historic Berry Showgrounds on the NSW South Coast with an eclectic line-up which includes headliner Father John Misty, C.W. Stoneking, Jessica Pratt, Mercury Rev, RATATAT, Royal Headache and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Curated by Handsome Tours after a two-year hunt for the right location, Fairgrounds is tailor made for the older music fan.

Music discovery ... Father John Misty will find new fans at Fairgrounds. Picture: Supplie

Music discovery … Father John Misty will find new fans at Fairgrounds. Picture: Supplied.
Source: Supplied

There is no VIP area because everyone gets the VIP treatment. If you want to bring a rug or deckchair you can; just don’t expect to plant them in the moshpit because there will be moshing.

“There is no festival in Australia like this. It is for a demographic that is starved of an outdoor music experience,” promoter Colin Daniels says.

“The primary motivation behind this is us, the festival we want to go to with our friends instead of being surrounded by drunk 18-year-olds with their shirts off. You will be treated like an adult.”

Daniels and his mates, like most humans of a certain age, do not want to queue for the bars or the toilets, with or without their kids.

In fact, they may want to enjoy a set or two without their vintage rock T-shirt wearing offspring.

So the little ones will be catered for with a festival inside the festival.

“We will have everything from a planetarium and a hay bale maze and there will be childcare so if you want to drop off your little ones to go see Royal Headache, you can,” Daniels says.

“We want them to enjoy their own festival experience.”

And for the adults who want a bit of playtime which isn’t related to music, you will be able to play boules, badminton, croquet and Twister or compete in the sack and egg and spoon races.

Fairgrounds Festival, December 5, Berry Showgrounds, from $ 120, children under 12 free, moshtix.com.au

Americana vibe ... Brian ‘BT’ Taranto and Kasey Chambers check out the Bella Vista Farm v

Americana vibe … Brian ‘BT’ Taranto and Kasey Chambers check out the Bella Vista Farm venue for the new Out On The Weekend festival. Picture: Supplied.
Source: Supplied

Out On The Weekend, Bella Vista Farm, Bella Vista, October 24, from $ 99, oztix.com.au

A celebration of Americana music, good food and wine, the festival kicked off in Melbourne last year and now adds a Sydney date with Kasey Chambers headlining with Dawes, Ruby Boots, Mustered Courage and a bunch of musical discoveries made by promoter BT who knows this stuff better than anyone in the country. “Some of their names may be new, but their talent will make your musical day. Open your ears, minds and hearts to quality. We won’t let you down,” BT proclaims. And there will be luxury coaches with entertainment during the ride Newtown and the CBD to make the journey to the event part of the ride.

Go West ... John Butler Trio headline the second Vanfest in Forbes this year. Picture: Su

Go West … John Butler Trio headline the second Vanfest in Forbes this year. Picture: Supplied.
Source: Supplied

Vanfest, Forbes Showgrounds, December 5, from $ 79 (early bird rate), vanfest.com.au

Father and son team Grant and Matt Clifton recognised the gap in the festival market for a marquee event in the NSW west and smashed it in its first year with Chet Faker and Matt Corby leading the pack. This year it’s John Butler, Birds Of Tokyo, Illy, Sticky Fingers, Sheppard and more. Glamping will be available for those city folk who prefer comfortable festival swag.

Big band ... Steve Kilbey and The Church headline the Small World Festival in St Peters,

Big band … Steve Kilbey and The Church headline the Small World Festival in St Peters, Sydney, this month. Picture: Renee Nowytarger.
Source: News Corp Australia

Small World Festival, Sydney Park, September 19, from $ 64.50, 18 plus only, smallworldfestival.com

The line-up suggests this won’t be a wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care kind of day, headlined by The Church with DZ Deathrays, Palms, PVT, Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders and more. Food is by Marys Newtown, Porteno, Black Betty BBQ and beer by Young Henrys who are the brains behind this event now in its second year.

www.news.com.au/entertainment/music

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