Stab Magazine | Stab's Guide To Summer Festivals

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Stab’s Guide To Summer Festivals

Live music and the sun shining through a golden beer? The curves of the perfectly blistering orbit of summer. When you’re done bouncing your fish through swimmers on a breezy shorebreak, and the afternoon reaches its more seductive throes, there’s few things more fun than immersing yourself in a crowd of lathered, electrified people, alive […]

style // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Live music and the sun shining through a golden beer? The curves of the perfectly blistering orbit of summer. When you’re done bouncing your fish through swimmers on a breezy shorebreak, and the afternoon reaches its more seductive throes, there’s few things more fun than immersing yourself in a crowd of lathered, electrified people, alive to the warmth and the beer and the music. I speak, o’ course, of the summer and late-summer festival circuit.

Like anything that starts out (kinda) niche and completely rad, festivals in Oz quickly became over-saturated, climaxing this year when the cup boiled over and a (surprising, or perhaps not so?) number of them went south. While the choice has certainly been slimmed down, it’s still quite varied. What follows is a handpicked selection of some Stab favourites, each of which will offer different flavours depending on what kinda kicks you come wild for…


Falls Festival (Byron Bay, NSW)

Thank the sweet baby jesus that people from NSW no longer gotta travel below the border into the icy crisp of Victoria, or across the Bass Straight to Marion Bay, to get their new year’s festival fix. Falls is a gem of a party and the lineup for Byron Bay’s first ever instalment is kinda steaming. Chk Chk Chk (!!!) are pick of the bill – a NYC punk funk supergroup (members of Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem) who’s music inflates the Stab office airwaves regularly. Johnny Marr, who’s string tones you’ll hear on every piece of recorded material by The Smiths, is a must, as is Beyonce’s equally hot sister, Solange. More locally, Touch Sensitive brings 80s sleaze, and Pond vibes 90s shoegaze. This thing rolls for three days if you gots the gusto. But if you ever went to Splendour In The Grass when it was still in the heart of Byron Bay, or even if you’ve been around Byron Bay during New Year’s Eve, you’ll know how much the place bumps when there’s a circus in town. Get to know the best New Years of yo life.

Site here.




Field Day (Sydney, NSW)

The fact that everyone at Field Day is dusty as sin kinda gives it a weird sense of togetherness. Y’see, this festival goes down on New Years Day. In Sydney’s Domain, surrounded by the Botanical Gardens and beneath the shadow of high-rises and the towering spectre of Centre Point, the sunset time slot on Main Stage is a visual and visceral dee-lite. This festival is a beautiful mess, and the best part about it is that it’s brimming with either hospitality folk who worked the night before, or those who’ve pinned their ears back to usher in the new year with prolonged enthusiasm. And bravo to both schools. Artist-wise, perhaps you wanna get down with Wiz Khalifa or A$VP Rocky. But if you don’t dig such things, then Stab insists on surrendering your fist pumps to house guru Julio Bashmore, the French disco of Jacques Greene, Chet Faker’s crooning, and if you’re one of the, like, every Australian under 30 who adores Flume, then, uh, Flume. Probs don’t expect too much in the way of afterparties, however.

Site here.


Golden Plains (Meredith, VIC)

I’m gonna use the word party here, instead of festival. We up in the hills for this one. Golden Plains is a self-described “Premium Experience on an Epic Long Weekend in the Greatest of Outdoors.” The ticket sales are more maxed than Nike Air 90s, but if you get to the end of this blurb and decide your interest is piqued, then Aunty’s Last Golden Chance is your side entry. The lineup is a totally alive, “four-dimensioned mix of technicoloural glory… while Mother Nature graciously evolves the supernatural atmospherics.” Sorry for the cheat codes, but whoever writes the copy for this festival is in danger of being head-hunted by Stab. Anyhow… No commercial sponsors, no commercial signage, no market stalls, with the ability to camp wherever you want and bring whatever you want. Plant it in the Amphitheatre and soak it all in. Acts? Public. Goddamn. Enemy. Yes, thanks. Flying Lotus, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Cut Copy, Gold Panda, Tornado Wallace and Andras Fox are Stab‘s other passionately ticked boxes. If boutique festivals were actually ever boutique (they’re not), this’d be front and centre.

Site here.


Laneway (Melbourne, VIC)

Laneway’s premise is brill. The whole joint started in a literal laneway outside St Jerome’s Bar in Melbourne, and grew wildly (with much help from The Avalanches). Like anything worth snowballing, it kept snowballing and… All of a sudden, the concept is lighting up Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Detroit (whut whut?!), Fremantle, Singapore, Sydney and, of course, Melbourne. Starting from U and working back, you’ll wanna feast on Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Kirin J Callinan, King Krule, Jamie XX, Jagwar Ma, Earl Sweatshirt, Danny Brown, Chvrches, and Cashmere Cat. Sure, you won’t be watching any of those acts in a laneway anymore, but you will be bumping riverside with 9,900 of your closest pals. The best thing about Laneway is that it started with a good ethos and has done its best to maintain it – this ain’t all about money making. And who doesn’t love a little soul in this vintage?

Site here.imp


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