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Wallapalooza Fest Turns Mudgeeraba Pub Into Gold Coast’s Best Live Venue For 12 Hours

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PHOTOS: On Saturday night the typical pub scene of pokies, TAB TV screens and a bistro binge often seen at Mudgeeraba’s Wallaby Hotel gave way to the annual onslaught of metal, punk and rock for another instalment of Wallapalooza – and this one was easily the biggest and baddest yet.

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This old pub’s walls shook for over 12 hours as three stages delivered non-stop wall-to-wall and top-shelf live music, much to the pure stoke of the at-times standing room only crowds.

Joining some of the best local bands the coast has on offer were interstate and national acts of notoriety including headliners King Of The North, along with legendary acts such as metal lords Azreal, Melbourne glam rockabilly shredders The Mercy Kills, Smoking Martha, Lillye, Hammers, Redstarborn, electro robo-drummer trippers Free The Genie and our own wicked locally-spawned goth metal creation Darkc3ll.

We stuck it out and caught a few bands and a few beers, at prices that made this free music fest the best bloody thing we have seen in a VERY long time on the Gold Coast. If you weren’t there, give yourself a swift uppercut, hit up the official event Facebook Page and make sure you get down for pub prices and 12 hours of mayhem next year when the event returns. Proper as fuck, this was fun!

Here’s a gallery of what we shot in between schooners and yarns and dance floor antics.

Please credit if shared / reposted
Pics by @liquifymag www.facebook.com/liquifymag

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The Avalanches Play Secret DJ Set At Falls Fest Launch Party – Lineup Announced

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Byron Bay’s Secret Garden played host yesterday to a private launch party for the 2016/17 Falls Festival Launch, with special guest DJs Tony Di Blasi and Robbie Chater of The Avalanches playing a sultry stripped-back DJ set for a boutique crowd of select local personalities, music icons and media.
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The Avalanches – Tony Di Blasi and Robbie Chater – dropped a smooth 1-hour vinyl set of laid back swinging tunes at yesterday’s launch party // Photo Luke Sorensen

Fine Mexican finger foods and fresh cocktails flowed into the evening, broken only by the official first announcement of the lineup for the coming 2016/17 Falls Festival – as read out live on Triple J.

Joining The Avalanches at the top of the bill will be the likes of Childish GambinoLondon Grammar and Violent Soho along with a vibrant splattering of DJ and live band acts like Matt Corby, Alison Wonderland, Catfish and the BottlemenTa-ku, The RubensBernard Fanning, Grandmaster Flash, Illy and many more – FULL LINE UP HERE

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The Avalanches at yesterday’s launch party // Photo Luke Sorensen

Also taking in the sounds and sights of yesterday’s event was ex-Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning, who stopped for a one-on-one chat with LiQUiFY about his new album, and his new home – now living in Byron Bay (for an upcoming interview feature).

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The Secret Garden in Byron Bay played host to some huge music and media identities for yesterday’s private launch party // Photo Luke Sorensen

We ran into classic Byron surf legend Rusty Miller and also squizzed the wicked custom Clearwater Surfboards stick with fresh custom Falls Fest graf from Louis Gervais (Happy Birthday mate!).

Falls Festival has been running from strength to strength each year, offering one of the best music-fan experiences of any festival in the nation, and the last 2015/16 event was no exception.

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Artist Louis Gervais and his wicked Falls Festival art piece on display at yesterday’s event in Byron // Photo Luke Sorensen
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Fun – that’s what it’s all about and Falls Festival always delivers

A couple of LiQUiFY crew spent a few days trawling the Byron Bay event chasing imagery and audio experiences, scoring some of the most refreshing, banging and enjoyable tunes around.

Added to each event is a full spread of arts and adventure, last time it included everything from massive Carnivale-style parades, markets, theatre and even a custom-built waterpark for punters to hit the 30-foot slides or bask on white sandy beaches by the pool in between sets.

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Hilltop Hoods shook the earth as they rang in the new year in Byron Bay at the 2015/16 Falls Festival // Photo Luke Sorensen

Looks like New Years Eve is serving up another tasty round and we’re sure the 2016/17 events that are staggered between Victoria, Tassy, West Oz and here at Byron Bay’s North Byron Parklands will deliver yet again.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday August 30th 2016, 9am AEST – More info at www.fallsfestival.com.au 

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Falls Festival, returning to Byron Bay at the end of this year! // Photo Luke Sorensen

Splendour Bender Sees Festival Push Site Capacity To Limit – But It Was Damn Fun!

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Snakes In The Grass … well it could have been considering the frickin heatwave that hit the North Byron Parklands in the middle of bloody winter, likely confusing a few scaled slitherers out of early hibernation.

Yet, not surprisingly, on the way in to the site the only things spotted lurking in the long grass on the hillside peppered with multi-coloured giant letters spelling out Splendour In The Grass were hugging, chanting, laughing colourful punters after that mandatory awesome group shot for their algorithmic social media pages before all things got sweaty and sideways inside the actual festival itself. At least they weren’t chasing spurious Pokemons, so there’s still hope for them yet.

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At The Drive In made a triumphant return to the Australian festival stage, and delivered a scorching set that lit the event up. Powerful, enigmatic, thrilling and explosive at times, they did not disappoint // Phot Ian Laidlaw

At least one person didn’t get through the gate who was walking behind us, due to the fact that they dumped their bag of filthy amphetamine down trouser and onto the ground as sniffer dogs approached – the dogs then confirmed the prize to their blue uniformed handlers, looking more than chuffed at their seizure despite missing their man. Surely at a place like Splendour you should be able to operate for three days without drugs given the sheer volume of solid music, food and social integration going on. Word has it that 323 souls were arrested for drugs and drug related offences as a result of the furry quadrupeds and covert undercover operation.

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It was more like summer for the first couple of days with searing heat, flurries of breeze and spectacular sunsets. For once, the mud was nowhere to be seen and the level of hype amongst the crowd jumped up a notch // Photo Luke Sorensen

With all the pre-entry entertainment going on along the kilometre-long trek from the drop-off point to the main gate, it only got better once actually inside the site. This was one huge gathering of super happy festivalites – around 33,500 each day from Friday to Sunday according to the official punter counterer thingo.

There’s been plenty of people raving on about lots of acts this year, from the Avalanches to The Strokes to Urthboy and most in between, but Saturday truly went mental with Sydney’s Sticky Fingers played on dusk to the main amphitheatre – there were probably ten times more people than the last time they played there in the heat of summer at Falls Festival 18 months ago when they told LiQUiFY afterwards backstage how blown away they were even then to have such an awesome reception.

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Sticky Fingers maxed out the main valley stage arena and put the site into a pedestrian gridlock with their sublime set // Photo Stills In Time

The giant faux fur coat on frontman Dylan Frost certainly helped convey the hedonism of it all for the Splendour crowd on Saturday night, preparing them all for At The Drive In next which was just pure post-hardcore energy powered by all their crazy chords and then finished off with the frenzy of One Armed Scissor and total rock-legend air kicks from singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala. What a unique talent he is.

Speaking of which, emotions spilled over to tears for a throng of sentimental former goths when the likes of Robert Smith stepped out for The Cure’s set headlining Saturday night. At 57 years old, his hair wasn’t that black mop anymore, but a more sophisticated grey bird’s nest, while his vocals and guitar didn’t falter. The sound was spectacular, the set list all encompassing – apart from the omission of Love Cats which had fans perplexed – and he even did a few of his little signature awkward hand swirly dances on stage which brought on bursts of cheers from the loyal gathering who could appreciate just how much fun the band was actually having as well.

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A picture of a guy singing about pictures of you. Robert Smith didn’t falter for a second delivering a spine-chilling 2.5 hour set of Cure classics with a voice that hasn’t changed a bit in almost 30 years // Photo Luke Sorensen

All that fun and the Belgian cookie van selling warm, giant chocolate chip, oat and coconut cookies just inside the entry gate made it all worthwhile for the hours it took to get home via foot, bus or someone’s mum who didn’t mind a midnight run to the middle of nowhere on A Night Like This.

We ducked out just before the chaos hit, with bus services overwhelmed and complete traffic chaos each night. Some people were left stranded for hours in the cool early hours of the morning, waiting for transport out of the event after an unprecedented amount of non-camping festival-goers opted for the shuttle bus options and the drop-off and pick-up circuit.

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The shuttle bus lines to leave the event each day were off the chart, with some punters waiting hours and hours to even set foot on their ride home // Photo Luke Sorensen

With the event gradually growing each year, the speculation is will it stay or will it move on to a bigger venue when its 5-year trial at the North Byron Parklands finishes after the 2017 event. You can’t complain though – a festival that is seeking bigger venues or more facilities due to healthy growth can only be good for live music fans, ensuring a future for big shows and events that are as enthralling as they are spectacular in every sense.

Bring on 2017 and bring on more live music like this!

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The Duke Dumont party in the tent got a little silly // Photo Mitch Lowe
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2017 sees the event in it’s last year of a 5-year trial at the North Byron Parklands. It is understood the event organisers are yet to confirm that the event will have a home after 2017, either here or at a new spot. Crowd figures are rising which is causing some to doubt that the parklands can handle the size of the event // Photo Bianca Holderness

COG Blows Roof Off Great Northern Hotel With First Show In Nearly Six Years

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Australian rock took a solid shot in the arm last night as a privileged few bore witness to the return of the almighty COG to the live show arena in Byron Bay – their first show back in a very long time.

Almost six years ago the powerhouse trio of Australian progressive rock went on a sort of unscripted hiatus, melting between downtime, other musical pursuits and side projects – and by all appearances it’s about that long since Luke Gower has had a shave haha.

Many believed their run of shows late in 2010 would be their last, and the band seemed to hint that it might be the end too at the time, but a recent announcement of an Australian tour reignited the COG flame, sending the online ticket sellers into a frenzy – the first two rounds of shows sold out in just a few hours.

The eclectic brothers of Flynn and Luke Gower, backed by the metronomic Lucius Borich on the skins, rumbled to life at around 10:50pm last night, unleashing a barrage of classic COG songs with devastating precision, purpose and performance. Opening with the crescendo soundscape of Doors (Now And Then My Life Feels Like It’s Going Nowhere), the band belted out a gutsy set of modern classics from their catalogue, including their powerful cover version of John Lydon and Leftfield’s Open Up.

Towards the end of the set Flynn took a moment to make an unexpected announcement, saying that the band was moving its official home-town status from Bondi to Byron Bay, committing COG to the region as one of Byron’s own.

“I suppose you could call us a Byron Bay band now,” said Flynn, earning a rawkus response from the crowd.

All in all, a three-ring circus, that blew the roof of the Northern and lit the town on fire! Off to the Triffid tonight for more.

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Photos // Luke Sorensen

All the shows are SOLD OUT except for Newcastle and Perth. Tickets going fast, so get on it!

NEWCASTLE TICKETS      PERTH TICKETS

A photo posted by @larskollrepp on

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