Australia: Falls Festival, Red Hot Summer & More

The Falls Music & Arts Festival – The Falls Music & Arts Festival

The Falls Festival in Lorne, Victoria, will not face action over a Dec. 30, 2016 stampede.

After an 11-month investigation, WorkSafe Victoria stated, “All the conditions imposed by various bodies in relation to the event, such as crowd control, crowd size, and positioning and size of exits, had been met. As a result, WorkSafe found there was insufficient evidence to establish any offence under the 2004 OHS Act and no further action will be taken.”

The crowd was leaving through two exits after a performance by Australian band DMA’s to catch British band London Grammar. Police said people slipped on gravel and panic ensued.

Medics treated 76 people on site, 19 of which were sent hospital. A Supreme Court class action suit filed by a local law firm on behalf of 75 individuals against promoter Ash Sounds Pty Ltd, claimed that the problem was caused by “configuration the area” and “the scheduling of the successive acts.”

One of the most popular festivals during the Christmas break, the Lorne event drew 16,500 in 2016 with tickets selling out under 45 minutes. It is not known if the class action suit, set for hearing early 2018, will proceed. 

Another Australian festival, Red Hot Summer Tour, is expanding into Asia.

Announced Nov. 12, it will stage outside Australia for the first time next year at Bali’s Finns Recreation Club April 22.

The festival has struck pay dirt over the years in Australia, with the format of taking star-studded legacy acts to entertainment-starved regional areas. Next year it makes ten stops around the country Jan. 6 to Feb. 10.

Planning to tap the huge Australian tourist and expat community in the Indonesian resort area, its Bali bill will be all-Australian, featuring Daryl Braithwaite, country music performer Shannon Noll, Ross Wilson of Mondo Rock, pop rock band 1927, electro-pop outfit Pseudo Echo and former Taxi Ride frontman Jason Singh.

Tour promoter Duane McDonald of Regional Touring said the festival’s international expansion has been in the cards for some years.

“Part of our commitment with the tour is taking music to areas that are not usually part of the general touring circuits, so music fans in regional areas – and now international hotspots.”

Johnny Hall /
– Korn
Jonathan Davis of Korn gets into it during KRockathon at Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse, N.Y., July 19.

After months of speculation, Live Nation announced that its U.K. festival Download will make its Australian debut in partnership with two of its associated firms, UNIFIED and Secret Sounds.

Korn return after four years to make an exclusive appearance at the March 24 event at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse, home to past major festivals as Soundwave, Big Day Out and Future Music. Prophets of Rage and Limp Bizkit are also getting top billing.

American bands are heavily represented, including Good Charlotte, NOFX, Suicidal Tendencies, Of Mice And Men, The Story So Far, Nails, Issues, Bad Cop / Bad Cop, Hot Water Music, and Falling In Reverse.

So are some of the best hard rock/metal bands from Australia, as Northlane, Trophy Eyes, Ocean Grove, Psycroptic, King Parrot, Chase Atlantic, and Alpha Wolf. Some of these have already established global followings.

The European and U.K. contingent includes a selection of rising bands, as Gojira, Amon Amarth, Neck Deep, Arch Enemy, and Sabaton.

Download founder Andy Copping related, “Since the inception of Download UK in 2003, we have been looking for other territories to launch the festival and having successfully found a home for Download in France and Spain, we felt that the next country had to be Australia.

“Many rock fans from Australia have been in contact with us asking us to bring the festival to them – we have finally heard their calling and I cannot wait to put Download Australia on the map!”

Neil Diamond
Owen Sweeney / Invision / AP
– Neil Diamond
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

Neil Diamond’s 50-year anniversary tour heads for Australia with nine dates March 20 to April 14 through TEG Dainty.

The trek will include “cities and venues he has never played”, said president and CEO Paul Dainty.

It includes outdoor stadiums on the Sunshine Coast and Townsville in regional Queensland, three wineries as well as the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena, Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena and Adelaide’s Botanic Park.

Live Nation and Unify have Paramore back doing headliners after four years, at three arenas Feb. 8-11.

Luke Bryan, already making his first appearance at the sold-out March 5 & 16 CMC Rocks Queensland festival, will do two arenas in Sydney and Melbourne for Rob Potts Entertainment Edge & Chugg Entertainment. Dustin Lynch opens for both shows.

Also making their Australian debut are UK outfit Chameleon, with three clubs along the East Coast January 11 to 13 booked through Metropolis Touring.

New Orleans collective Tank And The Bangas will have their first experience of Australia and New Zealand first-hand March 4 to 11 with slots at the Perth Festival and Auckland Arts Festival book ending club shows in Sydney and Melbourne via Penny Drop and Chugg Entertainment.

Former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora and Adelaide-born guitarist Orianthi do six dates behind their RSO project. The visit, January 6 to 13, takes in open air shows and clubs.

Glasgow’s Mogwai will expand Perth and Victorian festival commitments in March. They do their first headliners in three years with theatre dates in Sydney and Melbourne for Penny Drop, Laneway Presents and Chugg Entertainment.

Love Police continued its support of the Americana scene by teaming up Alabama’s Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit and Providence, Rhode Island four-piece Deer Tick for a return run, slotted in to Palais Theatre, Melbourne (March 24) and Enmore Theatre, Sydney (March 25).