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Trackside Festival, Thoroughbred Park, Canberra, 22/11/08 – A review

By Marianne - 25 November 2008 15

[First filed: November 24, 2008 @ 15:54]

“Oh my god, bogans in fluros – how cute!”, a girl in pink tights next to me yells, at the wet Trackside Festival on Saturday.

Cold and wet were most, as mother nature decided to take part in the all-ages festivities. The rain and soft storms brought out an interesting display of gumboots and ponchos. More fashionable things were happening too, including a lot of matching bright-coloured t-shirts and singlets of punters who cared more about their appearance than their health.

Bands from across Australia, as highlighted on Triple J, trekked to our grand capitol. These include; The Living End, Cut Copy, Gyroscope, The Panics, Bliss N Eso, British India, Something With Numbers, The Getaway Plan, Carpathian, Sparkadia, Muph N Plutonic, Bluejuice, Grafton Primary, Little Red, Sam Simmons, D’Opus and Roshambo and locals Los Capitanes and Hancock Basement, plus more.

There certainly was no lack of enthusiasm, and this was particularly highlighted during Little Red’s high energy and fun performance. This pop-rock band, reminiscent of the Beach Boys and the Beatles, stood out from the rest of the line-up of hardcore/metal/punk/indy bands.

Standing in the middle of a crowd of hard-core sing-along Little Red fans is probably the most fun one can have at such a festival. Halfway during their third song the beautiful sun slowly slipped away and the rain came out. Whispers among the crowd went something like: “Oh no rain… hang on, is that rain? What are those sparkly glitters in that girl’s hair? What is that tapping sound on the hood of my awesomely stylish poncho? Is that…. HAIL? No worries, let’s sing even harder for the band and dance faster to keep warm…”

(More and a slideshow below)

The crowd’s spirit was high when Melbourne’s British India got up on-stage, only to to find that the main speakers had been shorted out by the previous down-pour. They played their first song with all their might only through only their fold-back speakers, but all you could hear was the angry chants from the crowd, “louder, louder, louder”. The sound did come back, half hour later, but sadly half the crowd had left too. But India played to their fullest and every song was a hit and the crowd madly sang, screamed and moshed. The energy from both
the band and the crowd was enough to dry anyone’s hair, or at least feel like it was drying, even though the rain just kept pouring down.

Some other attractions included an inside bar and comedy stage that was constantly too packed to even look inside, a side-show alley of rides, various food stalls and lots and lots of bands.

As the festival continued into the night, the majority of over-age patrons (the people with the red wrist bands) had been drinking for some hours. Considering it was a twelve-hour festival – 11am till 11pm – quite a bit of alcohol had been consumed and this could have been enough to make any mob just a tad aggressive, even without rain. Nonetheless, there were no major incidents of aggression, other then some pushing and shoving to get to the front, shoes, thongs, cans and uh… people thrown through the crowd and onto the stage.

All in all, there certainly were some special moments which truly proved that there’s nothing that can stop a dedicated crowd of fans, not even rain, hail or shine.

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
Trackside Festival, Thoroughbred Park, Canberra, 22/11/08 – A review
fnaah 8:45 am 26 Nov 08

Indeed. Maybe in a few years time – BDO Canberra? (I won’t hold my breath though.)

Canberra81 2:28 am 26 Nov 08

It’s brilliant that an event like this can be such a success in Canberra! A lot of bands overlook the ACT when planning gigs/tours, hopefully the success of festivals like this will mean that we get even more quality acts coming to visit.

Eyeball In A Quart J 11:27 pm 25 Nov 08

Obviously the sound engineer did the crowd a favour by sabotaging the speakers prior to British India’s set.

I’m sure I could pull out a glockenspiel and play the solo to “Hotel California” while vomiting in your ears and it would sound like Bach in comparison to that horrible band.

Grrrr 2:43 pm 25 Nov 08

Beer queues were pretty short. Food queues were rather long – even longer than queues for the girl’s toilets apparently. The poor guy selling the Slushies had about 5 customers for the entire day.

It’s a shame it took them maybe 3 hours to replace the outdoors PA after the problems first started (sounded something like Mids and/or various channels would randomly drop out.) The cause was “water got into it” apparently. Perhaps next time they’ll bring along a hundred dollars worth of extra tarps to cover the hundred grand worth of gear.

On the up-side, the indoor stage looked like it would have lousy acoustics but (at least with the hall full of people) it sounded great. TLE were tops.

Also, the comment about the Little Red fans and the hail is totally true!

Avy 2:13 pm 25 Nov 08

…or really good beer?

poptop 11:21 am 25 Nov 08

If you believe that Kizzle, you’re doing the wrong ones. 😉

Kizzle 11:10 am 25 Nov 08

Was the beer line as crazy as last year?? that’s the reason I didn’t go this year.. beer > drugs.

seekay 10:50 am 25 Nov 08

Oh is this the way they say the future’s meant to feel?
Or just 20,000 people standing in a field.
And I don’t quite understand just what this feeling is.
But that’s okay ’cause we’re all sorted out for E’s and whizz…

grunge_hippy 7:27 pm 24 Nov 08

it was an awesome day. one of the best festivals i have been to, despite the weather! my friend and i had a game plan of having to scull everytime we saw an inappropriately dressed punter for the conditions. we would have been pissed in the first 10 mins!

living end, bluejuice, british india (when they got their act together) were awesome. all the bands i saw were great, but they were highlights!

i even got up on stage with sam simmons for some shitty trivia!!! woo! the comedy stage suffered a bit with loud drunken obnoxious punters, but when you could hear them they were good… well some. the dude who still uses cue cards needs to go back to his day job. i saw him at green faces this year and he hasnt gotten better!

a really good day… and a massive hangover the next day to prove it!

Granny 6:18 pm 24 Nov 08

It’s a shame about bluejuice, but it does sound like you had a bit of an adventure out there! Good on you for turning up and braving the rain.

: )

ultramelon 6:12 pm 24 Nov 08

I wore clothing suited to the weather so i wouldn’t get hypothermia or pneumonia.

I feel sorry for the peeps who had to clean up after us. so many cans . . .

me gots front row for Sparkadia and murf and plutonic. me, being just a tad bit over 5 feet almost got squashed between a drunk guy and girls who were also drunk and dirty dancing. Had to start jumping or face being knocked out. too many songs dammit. i just wanted to see bluejuice . . . but i got pushed back into the crowd before murf finished 🙁

carpathian put on an awsome show. detracted me from their scremo music. seemed like fun in the circle. . .

Granny 5:34 pm 24 Nov 08

What did you wear, ultramelon?

Marianne 5:31 pm 24 Nov 08

Yeah a lot of people did, which was a shame as British India was totally worth the wait. I saw the end of Gyroscope, they were actually not bad – not what I’d expected anyway. hehe yeah, I laughed at a lot of things too, especially what some people wore! 😛

ultramelon 5:12 pm 24 Nov 08

I laffed at those oompa loompas, sorry i mean tanned girls who wore gladiator sandals and denim skirts. and they also brought their pretty handbags. looked like they were going out shopping

Trackside was awesome . . . the hail enhanced it

i really wanted to see British India. sung one song then stopped. so i decided instead of waiting for them to fix the sound, to go inside to see Gyroscope

fnaah 4:06 pm 24 Nov 08

D’Opus and Roshambo are locals too. 😉

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