Photo: Yael Stempler
It’s official, it’s over, and I’m sad. No, I’m not talking about Jose Mourinho’s tenure as Chelsea manager – I think that’s hilarious – I’m talking about the other significant termination that’s happened in the last 24 hours; Soundwave.
While people continue to die or get hospitalised at rave-dance-festivals like Stereosonic and Defqon, the headline casualty of Australia’s last big alternative festival, Soundwave, is the event itself, cancelled due to poor ticket sales. I’ve seen some people revelling in the news, calling the organiser AJ Maddah a host of names and criticising his personality while seemingly disregarding the fact that this bloke did everything he could to deliver world-class line-ups that this country wouldn’t otherwise get.
I’d imagine it’s comparatively easy to bring tens of thousands of munted deadshits to watch some DJ’s perform at festivals like Stereosonic; the equipment and production costs are insurmountably smaller, there aren’t full bands, tonnes of equipment and crews that need to be hauled from state to state, and let’s face it – every one of those artists gets mainstream exposure, from Top 40 radio shows to ads for cars that you’ll never drive, which increases advertising opportunities and helps ticket sales. These factors ensure that the aforementioned festivals will stay around for a while and be replaced by carbon copies under a different name no matter how many people overdose.
Soundwave now goes to the festival graveyard with the likes of Big Day Out, Livid, Harvest and more, festivals that were committed to bringing out actual bands – which has always been no mean feat for a country as expansive and isolated as our own.
So while the haters revel in the fact that we lose another reason to go out and catch some awesome bands this summer, I’m choosing to remember the festival fondly, and the whole host of bands I might never have had the opportunity to see live (because I don’t like going to gigs on week nights anymore) had it not been for Soundwave and AJ Maddah. Continue reading