The decline of AJ Maddah and what we should really be worried about

 

The internet is awash with posts and articles about the final death throes of the Soundwave Festival.  Rather than rehash the blow by blow accounts and speculations about the future of AJ Maddah, I thought it was timely to remind people that Melbourne remains a thriving hotbed of local talent.  In the last twelve months it has been my absolute pleasure to shoot 3 festivals put on by local promoters Knoodle Promotions and Punk-A-Billy Touring, along with a host of smaller shows and events.  To those that speculate that the massive festival is dead, I’d suggest it’s just making way for a new breed of home grown, niche festivals put together by dedicated fans and performers!  Here’s a few samples…

NEVERMIND THE WARP’D TOUR FESTIVAL

NMW
Lindsey, Australian Kingswood Factory at Nevermind The Warp’d Tour Festival 2015

Fittingly enough the annual Nevermind The Warp’d Tour Festival commenced three years ago as a bit of an ‘up yours’ to AJ Maddah, who had made some quite disparaging remarks about some local promoters.  While AJ’s empire is crumbling, the latest Nevermind The Warp’d Festival was the biggest yet!

SmashFest

Smash
Sordid Ordeal performing at SmashFest, August 2015

When does your birthday turn into mini festival?  When you’re Smasher, everyone’s favourite alcohol consumption enabler!

One Last Time In Stereo

A one off mini fest in honour of Om J Whey De Fister, guitarist with Strawberry Fist Cake and principal behind Punk-A-Billy Touring.  This festival brought together punk bands from across the Australian east coast to celebrate the work of Om J just prior to him undergoing surgery that resulted in partial hearing loss.

James Crow, Admiral Ackbar's Dishonourable Discharge, performing at One Last Time In Stereo, March 2015
James Crow, Admiral Ackbar’s Dishonourable Discharge, performing at One Last Time In Stereo, March 2015

So why am I posting this?  Well while I love the idea of listening to and photographing some of the huge international names that may come to Australia, the real life blood of Australia’s punk and heavy music scenes can be found at your local pub.  These pubs and dive bars are the birthing place for the next generation of big names performing alongside the hosts of bands and individuals who will never make a name for themselves outside of their local, but who are deserving of our patronage all the same.