19 May 2009

Overpromised, Underdelivered


How was the weekend. Overhyped in my opinion. I only have myself to blame - I had built this show up in my head into being a full day and night of super awesomeness. And while it was good, it wasn't that good.

I remember now why I stopped going to Big Day Out shows - specifically in Victoria. Onerous licencing laws that require all bars to be in enclosed areas. So, you can have a beer, or you can listen to some music, but you can't necessarily do both at the same time. Usually at the BDO they have intelligently positioned the bar precisely between two stages, so that you get a wierd mishmash of two bands playing at once, one in each ear.

Same rule applied at GITM, although bar positioning was slightly more intelligent, with it at least vaguely possible to listen to a band and have a drink at the same time.

Bar prices. I understand I am at a music event. I understand I am at the mercy of the promoter. What I don't understand is the necessity to pay $11 a can for premixed spirits. A little social engineering project was being trialled as well, with the bar charging a $1 per can deposit, redeemable only at the bar. Great in theory for keeping the area clear of cans, and making sure they get recycled. Thumbs down for implementation though - you had a choice. Either leave your cans on the ground, walk away, and forfeit the deposit, cart around sticky empty spirit cans all day on the off chance that you would buy another drink, or head straight back to the bar, buy another round to get rid of the cans, end up with two more sticky spirit cans to cart around, and start the cycle again. Inebriation - at least for me personally - was fairly severe by the end of the day.

Sound mix. Admittedly difficult with a 40kmh wind blowing across the stage - but strangely enough, when the wind was strong was when the sound was the best. Getting close to the stage, which I attempted on a couple of occasions, resulted in massive bass, no treble or melody at all, and fuzzy hard to understand lyrics.

Bands. Saw some great bands - Children Collide, The Drones, and Mammal were just straight up brilliant. De La Soul had potential to be great, but the suckful sound quality really spoilt it. Hilltop Hoods should have just pressed 'play' on the CD player, after looking forward to them for so long, I walked away half way through the set. Muscles finished the day with a blinder of a set.

Other Punters. Damn damn damn I feel old. Bendigo, being a Uni town, attracted a lot of young Uni students. Lots of gaggles of children (I use that word loosely) roaming around in matching outfits. Bad, bad fashions. Novelty oversized sunglasses. Patterned gumboots. Ironic 80's sunglasses - Raybans (yes, the tortoiseshell ones) and Oakleys abounded - the only irony I saw was the irony of wearing ironic sunglasses, when there were 1000 other people wearing exactly the same ironic sunglasses.

Bold call - but this may be my last festival. Too much going on. Bands only playing bite sized 'greatest hits' sets. Too many people.

I think my live music from here on in is going to be proper, full length gigs, pub shows or DJ sets.

Signed, cranky old fart.

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