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The music festival business has taken a lot of hits of late, with many well-established brands bighting the dust. Big Day Outs have become better spent indoors at home, Peats Ridge hit a flat spot, and in the US and the UK things have been similarly dire. For every Glastonbury, there are a dozen other failures around the British Isles in terms of music festivals. Many promoters and organisers of music festivals blame the glut of events which followed the mega success of some of these happenings. Too much of a good thing has, possibly, poisoned the business.
World’s Biggest Music Festivals In 2017
These things are big bikkies, with the Isle of Wight festival costing some 10 million pounds to stage and not always getting into the black at its conclusion. Security alone at these big events can cost a million pounds. Sponsorship is a must for these festivals to pay for themselves and be able to keep going in the longer term. In Sydney, Australia, the Field Day attracted around 28 000 attendees; and was in the news for the number of drug related arrests made by police. The party atmosphere was reported to be a big success and revellers were reasonably well behaved according to police sources.
Lollapalooza continues to be a big event in the US, and will feature The Killers, the Cure, Mumford & Sons, New Order, Nine Inch Nails, Eric Church and Steve Aoki, this year in August. Other topline music festivals in the US include: Made In America in Philadelphia (all that brotherly love folks), Outside Lands in San Francisco, Bumbershoot in Seattle, Austin City Limits, the Newport Folk Festival and Firefly in Dover, Delaware. Coachella in Indio, California is fast becoming an institution on the music festival calendar. The clean up crew will be busy this year.
In Oz, the BigSound Festival rocks Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley for the 16th year. Sounds of the Suburbs at Sutherland Carpark returns in Sydney’s south. At the Gold Coast, Queensland, Bondstock Music Festival entertains at the NightQuarter in 2107. The Wave Rock Weekender is on at Wave Rock Caravan Park. The Airlie Beach Music Festival is three days of magical music in a sublime setting. SummerSalt 2107 rocks Margaret River in Western Australia. There are many great music festivals to attend in 2017 in the Great Southern Land. The world’s biggest music festivals in 2017 will continue to attract the young and the young at heart for some great party action.
Some say that rockin roll is dead and that it died a long time ago. Depending on your generation that might have been with Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, that guy from that punk band (take your pick really) or Nana bloody Mouskouri. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, music appreciation lives in the slightly deaf ears of the listener. Black Sabbath on the turntable pumping out Paranoia. That weird bloke Tip Toing Through the Tulips, there must be some artistic Amsterdam connection there folks, I reckon.
Best Rock N Roll 2017: Who’s Performing & Who To Look Out For
So, getting back to the job at hand, who’s performing and who to look out for in 2017? David Bowie, despite being dead, had a very big year, this year. It remains true that the rockin roll business is still mired in the past and that there is a dearth of new bands who are genuine performing stars. The made for TV pop stars have trashed the live gig business to some extent. Standouts include Coheed and Cambria who are prog rock stars. The 1975 have captured the teenage girl market and I like It When You Sleep For You Are so Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, continues to dominant the longest album title awards this year.
John Mayer remains a highly credible performer in the rock business and his gigs are always a standout. Heavy Metal bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Poison will all tour in 2017, putting the stomp into marching music once again. Hall of Fame inductees: Journey, ELO, Yes, Pearl Jam, Joan Baez and Tupac Shakur will all, most likely, tour to cash in on their 15 minutes of re-fame. The ceremony itself was a highlight for many music fans, as not many fans would have known that Joan Baez was that funny (or who she was at all…).
Lorde will be touring in 2107, as will Tool, Solange, Future Islands and Frank Ocean. Noname is another anti-pop star who has what it takes to shake the apple tree. She will be performing live in 2107 around the US. Billy Joel gets out the walking stick and will be banging those ivories into submission this year on stages across the globe. Ariana Grande is the new pop diva to dominate proceedings and will be singing up a storm, and organising a tour, possibly, in your neck of the woods.
What is a poor pop star to do, with all that downtime? Poor is possibly an ill-suited word to use when describing these youthful wunderkinds. It is their material wealth that, often, get them into trouble in the first place. Too much money and too much time on their hands, they are similarly positioned to sports stars and other modern celebrities in this regard. Their intense activities in the public eye are overcompensated a million-fold and, then, they are left to their own devices for far too long and in the company of other rich kids and wastrels.
When the Star Pops: Celebrity Vices Bring It All Crashing Down
When the band are not playing or rehearsing, when business is in the hands of managers and record companies, what is a poor pop star to do? They are involved in the recreational business of fulfilling their duties as a bonafide celebrity. This means parties, lots of parties, and being seen in cool places like restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the company of other celebs and famous folk. Having to say yes to, yet, another, excess is all part of the performance.
Drugs are usually the preeminent choice for pop stars, as they explore alternate realities to stimulate their creative lives. Creativity is their pathway and this means getting high and out of it. Booze and drugs are staple items on their menus. You could say that these things are the meat and potatoes for your everyday pop star. Peaking on performances and strutting their stuff through the purple haze. Lucy in the sky with diamonds and dancing in heaven. Eventually, of course, everyone has to come down. The hangover must follow the intoxication, like gravity pulls that sweet juicy apple to the earth.
Next, the thrill of winning, and gambling can rear its Janus like head. At once smiling and grimacing like the rictus faced defecator in the smallest room in the house. The now, reformed, 12 step program graduate pop star has given up the pills and alcohol and looks around for a new kind of thrill. The smooth operators at the track in their bespoke suits encourage a flutter and organise an early win or two for our celebrity punter. They want them to get it on the action available, big time, before removing the bumper lanes. When the star pops: celebrity vices bring it all crashing down for these overpaid innocents of our age.
Live music in Sydney has been on life support for some time now and, although, things are beginning to look up, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Stormzy feature at the Enmore Theatre in Newtown in July. Tove Lo at the Metro Theatre in Sydney. K. d.lang graces our stage at the Sydney Theatre, also, in the 7th month of the year. Velvet pack a punch at the Roslyn Packet Theatre in Walsh Bay. Fiona Joy Hawkins plays at the Intercontinental Hotel with her Blue Dream Ensemble. Great gigs are happening, just peruse our definitive gig guide for the second half of 2017.
Our Definitive Gig Guide for the Second Half Of 2017
In August, Sydney’s shores are visited by Ill Nino with Terror Universal at the Metro Theatre. The Radiators crank out some old tunes at the Miranda Hotel. Ian Moss turns back the clock at The Bridge Hotel in Rozelle. Mark Seymour is still at it at The Basement in Sydney. Ross Wilson is likewise a cool retro choice playing at The Juniors. Self Talk, Okin Osan and Zen Haircuts at The Record Crate. Arusha at the Brass Monkey in Cronulla. Sarah McLeod features at The Factory Floor in Marickville.
At the end of August at the Enmore Theatre you can catch a feast from the past, with Hoodoo Gurus, You Am I, Jebidiah and Adalita. September sees Chase the Sun at Leadbelly in Newtown. Alex Lloyd is at the Brass Monkey in Cronulla. Gang of Youths headline at the Hordern Pavillion in September. Christopher Cross soars on stage at the Enmore Theatre. Placebo does its stuff at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. Richard Clapton keeps his shades on at the State Theatre and relives those Girls on the Avenue. Hugo Race gets down and dirty at Leadbelly in Newtown. Music is alive and well in Sydney in 2017.
Sydney cultural groups will enjoy ODESZA, The Kite String Tangle and Running Touch at the Enmore Theatre in September. Midnight Oil rediscover the magic a The Domain in November, with John Butler Trio and AB Original. Lorde is at the Forecourt, Sydney Opera House. UB40 spills some Red Red Wine at the Hordern Pavilion in November too. Dragon are at the Brass Monkey (I thought they were all dead). Sia, Charli XCX and Amy Shark at Allianz Stadium in December. Yusuf/Cat Stevens explodes at Qudos Bank Arena. Paul McCartney also appears in Sydney in December 2017. Evan Carter and DJ Argy at Qudos Bank Arena. These are some of the best gigs happening in the second half of the 2017.
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