I’ve just got home from my marketing job, because as very aptly stated by Sunday morning slot Terry, “After Meredith you’re all going back to your marketing jobs tomorrow”. It’s sobering being such a cliche. And let the wankerism continue as I review 2016’s Meredith Music Festival via, that’s right, an acrostic poem.
M is for Music
While the beauty of a weekend like Meredith lies in all the collateral factors that make it more than just a music festival, we should start with its bread and butter. As always, the artists zig-zagged in extremes, from international (like Washington goddess Kelela) to local (like the very close-to-home City of Ballarat Municipal Brass Band), from folk (like the acoustic Angel Olsen) to deeper house (like Mount Liberation Unlimited soundtracking our early Saturday morning). A grateful shoutout to all of the interstitial DJs as well, who provided delightful breathers in between sets.
E is for Ecoplex Cinema
Showing such blockbuster hits like a Turkish Star Wars and old Iron Curtain ads. With no runtime schedule, when having a chat to the organisers, we were told just to show up when it “feels right”. The films were all shown via old-fashioned film reels and were apparently carefully collected through many hours spent scavenging archives.
R is for Raise those shoes
For Japandroids, BadBadNotGood, Peaches and Jagwar Ma. The Canadians were clearly in full-force this year. For just two voices, a guitar and drums on stage, Japandroids made a hell of a racket. When you compare this to something like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard with seven members, you have to be impressed. Though King Gizz’s rowdy set meant they did have to tell their crowd to calm down a bit mid-way through their set. BadBadNotGood drew a huge day crowd with their very unique sound. For an electronic jazz quartet with zero vocals, they’re doing pretty well encroaching on the mainstream. Jagwar Ma also blew everyone away with a windingly long and dreamy set. And The Breadmakers delivered some surprisingly vivacious and danceable music to finish the weekend on Sunday.
E is for Easy
Because boy do Aunty Meredith and Uncle Doug make things easy for us. More events should employ the stripped-back one stage format. You won’t be able please everyone all the time so you may as well just lump them all into one space and let them run loose. Just another way in which Meredith achieves that communal vibe.
D is for Dick in the Air
Peaches was fabulous and no one can deny it. I don’t think anyone could have been disappointed or underwhelmed by the show that the 50-year-old icon put on. Giant inflatable penises, dancers dressed as vaginas and a lot of nudity. While it may all sound lewd, Peaches pulls it off with sophistication.
I is for Inspector Norse
Let this get stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Todd Terje’s synthy banger ‘Inspector Norse’ was the housekeeping segment winner. The final competition was between ‘Inspector Norse’ and ‘Wipeout’. But please, there is a clear winner there. Periodic communal rubbish collecting is a sweet idea, and one can only expect it from a stringent no dickheads festival. Picking up trash has never been so fun or dancey.
T is for Talk, talk, talk
Especially of the late night variety, amirite. But all friendly conversations, either with friends or with your couch neighbours, are in their element at a festival like Meredith, with its community spirit. When was the last time you had a positive memorable chat with a fellow punter at Stereosonic? Point made.
H is for the Human body
As in, “The human body was the real winner today”, as said following the otherworldly Meredith Gift. It also seemed apt to have a runner’s high as the final mind-altering substance of the weekend.
As we all return to reality this week, we can at least look forward to the beauty that is Meredith Music Festival’s little sister Golden Plains only a few months away. See you in the ‘Sup.