V Festival’s foray into Australia was a success. Its first show, at Centennial Park in Sydney, drew 35,000 fans March 31st.
Headliners the Pixies, on the band’s first visit to the continent, created quite a buzz. Fans arrived from all over to see them, while their handful of club dates downunder were packed.
The night the event was held, Sydneysiders were asked to turn off their lights for an hour in the name of climate change. Beck played two songs by candlelight.
Others on the bill included New York Dolls – also on their first trek to Australia and who did "Piece Of My Heart" as they were inspired by Janis Joplin – the Pet Shop Boys, Gnarls Barkley (who did Queen’s "We Are The Champions" in tennis gear), Jarvis Cocker, The Rapture, Groove Armada, and New Young Pony Club.
The show got negative publicity, however, when some ad agencies thought there was too much corporate sponsorship for the festival.
Also, 38 were charged with drug offenses. A man on the run from prison was also nabbed, as was an illegal immigrant.