Bleats

Your Favourite Festivals Are Showing Static For NSW's Dogmatic Anti-Fun Laws

They're joining forces to halt the ongoing Footloosification of Sydney.

As the NSW state election season staggers to its exhausting conclusion you’d likely be aware of the number of weird own-goals the Coalition government of Gladys Berejiklian is currently scoring.

And among the replacement of stadia, the collapse of public transport and weird last minute scandals around its members, there’s the whole harsh-new-conditions-for-festivals thing.

And a bunch of them have decided to cut through the, ahem, static.

The government’s attempt to be all Tough On Drugs and show action over pill overdoses that doesn’t involve the introduction of the supported-by-evidence process of pill testing (which Ms B really, really does not get) led to new last minute licensing requirements for festivals, literally days before some of the festivals were booked to take place.

Check.

And while that forced a couple of festivals to cancel at the last minute after being unable to comply with expensive and unclear new regulations, there are still 14 festivals designated “high risk” although neither they nor the government know what the criteria actually are.

Check!

And while the legislation is NSW-specific, the lion’s share of festivals around the nation have joined in solidarity with their NSW colleagues. Splendour in the Grass! Groovin’ The Moo! Falls Festival! God, that sounds like a

It’s all part of the #votemusic campaign which seeks to encourage NSW voters to take the future of live music into account when casting their ballot.

Because let’s be honest, live music is still about the best thing on this godforsaken orbiting rock-lump and a world without it isn’t worth bothering with, consarn it.

Checkity-check-check!

Interestingly Bluesfest have not come on board at the time of writing, despite their being all bolshy about Australian festivals when it appeared that they were under threat.

C’mon, guys. Everyone wins with saving live music events, or everyone loses. After all, today’s millennials are tomorrow’s boomers…

Music Is So Under Threat In Sydney That They've Been Forced To Deploy Former Wiggles To Save It

Not all heroes wear cap… um, well, red shirts.

With the NSW election campaign reaching the completely cooked point, the local music industry has never been in such dire straits. The lockouts killed venues and nightspots throughout the CBD, turning Oxford Street into a series of empty shopfronts and Kings Cross into a ghost town, and now the new restrictions on music festivals threatens to turn Sydney into that town from Footloose.

And the biz isn’t taking it lying down, young people, for they are rallying for action today – Thursday 21 February – to allow people to, you know, have fun.

And you know it’s serious because they’ve deployed Murray “The Red Wiggle No Not Simon” Cook to be one of the speakers, alongside the likes of Dave Faulkner of the Hoodoo Gurus,  Justin Hamilton of the Presets, and many other articulate funthusiasts.

Cook, it should be pointed out, isn’t merely an ex-Wiggle: he’s also guitarist in the Soul Movers, has guested with DZ Deathrays and is known to generations of Sydney gig goers as The Really, Really Tall Man You Need To Avoid Getting Caught Behind At Every Show.

He’s a dude who knows a thing or two about the music game, is what we’re saying.

And look, without putting too fine a point on it, the Wiggles are not only a huge live draw – they’re one of the entry points for kids to discover the magnificence of live music.

Take a moment to look into your own soul, gentle reader. Who among is isn’t attending shows in adulthood reaching for that transcendent first moment we heard ‘Hot Potato’ live? None of us, that’s who.

There’ll also be live performances from a festival’s worth of NSW talent: Hottest 100 winners Ocean Alley, the Rubens, Olympia, Urthboy with Bertie Blackman, Cloud Control, and Polish Club (augmented with that charismatic Melbourne blow-in Dan Sultan).

At any rate, if you’re in the Sydney area you should ensure that you’re at Hyde Park North at 6pm tonight for the rally to show your support for a vibrant live scene and a return to the sort of nightlife scene that made Sydney such a great place to be in those pre-lockout days, when things that weren’t casinos were still able to trade until late.

If you can’t make it, sign the petition and let your opinion be heard. But if you can make it, you’ll have a Wiggly good time.

Tell ’em GOAT sent you. We loves the live music around here.

The Announcement That The Cure Are Playing Disintegration Sent The Opera House Website Into Meltdown And Look, Is Everyone Feeling OK?

Hey Australia, instead of listening to Disintegration again maybe we should have a talk about our feelings instead?

Disintegration is generally regarded as the Cure’s masterpiece, a sprawling testament to how certain Robert Smith was that his life was over since he was turning 30.

For context, this was 1989 and Smith will turn 60 this April. So maybe a tad premature, really.

In any case, the album was about his life falling apart due to his advanced age and the fact that time was clearly running out. It also marked the end of the relationship between the Cure’s remaining founding members, with drummer/keys player Lol Tolhurst unceremoniously given the boot during recording. Man, that title works on so many levels!

Anyway: it’s pretty much the most depressing album of all time.

It’s 72 minutes of Smith articulating just how pointless and empty everything is, filled with nightmares and loss and regret and lethargy and impotence and depression – oh god, the depression! – where even the happiest moments are about joys long since gone.

Even the classic ‘Lovesong’, written as a wedding present for his partner Mary, is a melancholy minor-key song about longing rather than a big jolly celebration of lurve.

Anyway: the annual Vivid Live festival at the Sydney Opera House has launched with the announcement that the Cure will be performing Disintegration from start to finish in May 24-25 and 27-28 (that’s four gigs, not that the album’s that long).

The six day long ballot has just opened where punters can apply to buy tickets, and… well, it’s been popular.

Look, I turned 17 in 1989. This album was my goddamn life. Don’t judge me.

And given that so very many people are clearly willing to hang on the internet for hours to see a bunch of old men play some of the most miserable music ever… um, if everyone OK out there? Nation, do we need a hug?

And look, maybe whack on The Head On The Door or Japanese Whispers instead, that’ll cheer you right up.

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