Entertainment Music Festivals to make you sing
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Festivals to make you sing

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· You will never be as cool as Lou Doillon

So Frenchy, So Chic

This delightful day in the sun is sadly limited to Sydney and Melbourne, but if you’re in either the NSW or Victorian state capitals in mid-January, this is a rather refined and gently decadent day out for all the family. A live extension of the much acclaimed So Frenchy, So Chic album series, the event is as much a celebration of broad French culture as the music. Gourmet food stalls sell Gallic fare, French beer and champagne is available all day and there are even French games for the kids (who attend free of charge  if under the age of 12).  This year’s music line up is really diverse. Lilly Wood and the Prick won Best New Act award at the French Grammys and will be bringing the finest moments of their new album The Fight. Elsewhere, Lou Doillon will be making her debut Australian appearances, with some audience members already au fait with her deservedly acclaimed new album Places. But our live pick is undoubtedly the infectious jazz/gypsy/punk maelstrom that is Lyon’s Babylon Circus, a band who deliver a live experience somewhere between unfettered joy and complete delirium. The delightful surrounds of both venues should prove the icing on the cake.

Dates:

Jan 12, Werribee Park Mansion, Vic
Jan 18, St John’s College, Camperdown, Sydney University

Before you go, listen to…

Lou Doillon‘s Places, Babylon Circus’ La Belle Etoile, Lilly Wood and the Prick’s The Fight.

Tickets: $83 from Ticketmaster

Laneway Festival

With Mr and Ms Australian festival-goer facing festival fatigue in no uncertain terms, the best bills are winning the battle for the ticketing dollar. 2013’s Laneway bill was strong enough, but hardly as groundbreaking as previous years. 2014 rectifies this with a bill that delivers acts right out of the zeitgeist (Lorde, Drenge, Haim) and a mother lode of local talent with well received albums of late (Adalita, Cloud Control, Kirin J Callinan). Add to this the sheer diversity of Four Tet (production wiz Kieran Hebden), Jamie XX (he of The xx), the live return of AMP winners The Jezabels and the hip hop wizardry of ELP and Killer Mike (performing as Run the Jewels) and you’ve got a pretty unbeatable day. The folk planning Laneway have often displayed the knack of pairing big acts on the cusp of global dominance with acts adopted as critics darlings; where else will you see Haim and Jagwar Ma on the same bill as indie darlings Dick Diver and Parquet Courts? Add to this some rather picturesque settings at the height of summer and you’ve got a pretty sweet day out.

Dates:

Jan 31, Brisbane RNA, Fortitude Valley

 Feb 1, Footscray Community Arts Centre/River’s Edge Melbourne

 Feb 2 Sydney College of the Arts, Rozelle

 Feb 7 Adelaide Harts Mill, Port Adelaide

 Feb 8, Esplanade Park/West End, Fremantle

Before you go, listen to…

Lorde’s Pure Heroine, Cloud Control’s Dream Cave, Haim’s Days are Gone.

Tickets: $120 and up from Moshtix

Future Music Festival

With the Future Music Festival coming back for 2014 after a major ownership change (with Frontier Touring taking the reins), the bill remains the business for the dance fan. With new venues in Adelaide and Brisbane and a massive renovation completed at Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse (thus accommodating a 440 sq bumper screen), audience experience is definitely enhanced. Site mapping has been employed (to ensure clear sound from all stages) and the state-of-the-art laser light shows will make the experience top of the line. So, the bill? While Frenchmen Phoenix do stray into the realm of finely attuned pop music (albeit with an electronic bent), for the most part this is a vanguard dance bill. Deadmau5 returns to deliver a no doubt spectacular set, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis may prove to be this year’s Psy, the legendary Eric Prydz is making his debut Australian appearance, mainstays Paul van Dyk and Sven Vath will deliver polished and contemporary techno sets and Cut Copy will be flying the flag for Australia, no doubt debuting some cuts from their new album Free Your Mind.

Dates:

March 1, RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane

March 2, Arena Joondalup

March 8, Royal Randwick Racecourse, Sydney

March 9, Flemington Racecourse Melbourne

March 10, Adelaide Showgrounds

Before you go, listen to…

Phoenix’s Bankrupt, Deadmau5’s Album Title Goes Here, Rudimental’s Home

Tickets: $173 from Moshtix

Golden Plains

Yes, this festival is Victoria only, but with international acts of this calibre in the country, interstate shows for some big-hitters are inevitable. Public Enemy (above) are cultural icons and their shows are deservedly legendary; their inclusion alone is a drawcard. Other must-see acts include LA producer/beatmaker/genius Flying Lotus, late-breaking soul legend (and 2012 touring sensation) Charles Bradley, sometime New Pornographers member Neko Case playing Australia the first time in several years and New York indie icons Yo La Tengo making one of their always anticipated Australian appearances. This year, the local content is superb. The Drones are still riding a wave of acclaim for I See Seaweed and their signature intensity writ large will be something to behold. Elsewhere, Cut Copy and Adalita have new albums to play, Cosmic Psychos and You Am I never let us down live and Chet Faker and Seekae add eclectic and electric spice. NZ soul dubbers Fat Freddy’s Drop and freshly minted Melbourne soul sensations Hiatus Kaiyote seal the deal. Don’t dig that? You’ll never dig anything!

Dates:

Mar 8-10, Meredith Natural Amphitheatre, Vic.

Public Enemy sideshows:
Mar 2, HQ, Adelaide. Mar 4, Corner Hotel, Melb.
Mar 6, Panthers, Newcastle. Mar 7, Hi-Fi Bar Bris.

Neko Case sideshows:

Feb 27, Fly by Night, Perth. Mar 2, Corner Hotel Melb.

Mar 3, Sydney Opera House. Mar 5, Hi-Fi, Bris.

Before you go, listen to…

Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet, Charles Bradley’s Victim of Love, The Drones’ I See Seaweed

Tickets: Sold out

Big Day Out

After two long years of sometimes painful re-invention, many thought The Big Day Out – now over two decades old –  was back on a more even keel.  This year’s bill has an eye on vanguard acts of the past (Mudhoney, Cosmic Psychos) and big ticket headliners with devoted fanbases (Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire) , with a decent balance between the new and edgy (Portugal. The Man) and the faintly ridiculous (and fun) Major Lazer, Snoop Dogg/Lion.  But the cancellation of Britpop legends Blur – replaced by the entertaining but hardly remarkable Deftones and The Hives and faintly ridiculous Liam Gallagher-fronted Beady Eye – may yet create ticket return headaches for the former doyen of the modern Australian music festival. Founder Ken West (following fellow co-founder Vivian Lees’ departure two years back), has reportedly left BDO after a buy-in by Soundwave’s AJ Maddah and the second Sydney day was cancelled some weeks ago. The future of the iconic festival remains cloudy, if not in doubt. However, BDO has always presented outstanding local acts and this year is no exception. Tame Impala and Flume will draw big crowds in their own right.

Dates:

Jan. 19, Metricon Stadium/Carrara Parklands, Gold Coast
Jan. 24, Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
Jan. 26  Sydney Showgrounds
Jan. 31 Bonython Park, Adelaide
Feb. 2 Claremont Showgrounds, Perth

Before you go, listen to…

Arcade Fire, The Suburbs, Pearl Jam, Lightning Bolt, Tame Impala, Lonerism

Tickets: $185 from Big Day Out’s Official website

This article appears courtesy of STACK Magazine.