Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Does it Really Feel like Christmas?

Is it because I am sick or is it because there are sales at every store in Australia 24/7 these days that Christmas just doesn't feel like a thing in 2015.

With the news reporting on budget issues, this year more Australians are in debt and will get themselves into greater debt over Christmas & that housing prices (for those are in the market) are finally slowing right down.

The main positive I see during the Christmas period is the forced shutdown and quiet time in the city. Sydney is not exactly the most 24/7 city in the world I have visited but still to be able to walk down the street and there is some peace in the air.

I have been wanting to write about Stereosonic but now Soundwave is equally in as much trouble as the troubled dance music festival.

Now I don't like to kick a sick dog while it's down but Stereosonic and Soundwave are both completely dead in the water. Unlike the niche music festivals and regional festivals which are still drawing a crowd.

Laneway Festival, Groovin the Moo, Falls Festival and Blues & Roots all seem to be on the up and up however the lose of Big Day Out, Homebake, Future Music Festival & Harvest leave city markets with a lot less choice of the festival season.

Unfortunately music festivals (sad news during the festival season) seem dead once again, news of no Soundwave in 2017 and troubles in 2016 with Bring Me the Horizon not really confirmed and no signs of sold out signs for any cities, could this once HUGE festival really lost it's appeal? I heard rumours of unpaid bills from last year and AJ Maddah seems to create more drama than necessary so this is no surprise really. With music festivals no longer selling out, failing to snag a great headliner it's a tough game and then you add in deaths to the mix.

Steresonic once was a two day epic which was at the top of the game of selling tickets and bringing out the hottest on the dance scene. Unfortunately this year along with other dance events there have been causalities. Stereosonic's PR department and handling of these were less than average.

I would be largely surprised if this festival would return to the festival circuit in 2016. Downsizing from two days to one day this year, not selling out in key cities like Sydney would be hurting and the two deaths and multiple hospitalisations can not be helping their cause.

It has been described in the media that Steresonic has become a drug festival with music in the background. This is alarming. Can I say as a 33 year old who has done almost every brand of music festival (most of which are dead and buried now) I have never read some much negativity about the events and how they have been run.

I was at Big Day Out Sydney when Jessica Michalik passed away in a horrific mosh pit. Back in 2001 it was more about the music and less about the drugs. Drinking has always been huge at the festivals but hess new and dangerous drugs that have reared there ugly heads and potentially helped kill off more music festivals.

My favourite experience at a festival did have to be the once and one time only Tibetan Freedom Concert back in 1999 which was a completely drug and alcohol free event. I have to say this event had one of the best vibes ever I have attended and as I said before I had done almost every brand of festival:

Future Music Festival
Groovin the Moo - Maitland
Livid - Brisbane
Splendour in the Grass
Dogbite (Now Groovin the Moo)
Laneway Festival
Shore Thing
Park Life
Good Vibrations (Now over, sad face)

So what's this got to do with Christmas? Nothing really, but it does show that Australia we need to look at where we are going, all this drinking, drug use around holidays. So please this Christmas/Holiday period, take care of your friends, families and fellow festival goers.

All the best these Holidays...

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