Remember The Time We All Went To Meredith?


This Meredith review is a tad late. I know that. Unfortunately for me, during that fateful weekend, forces of evil stole my memories. They have been slowly creeping back, but in this time of desperation I have had to turn to unorthodox methods to complete this assignment.

So, with my own brain failing me, I conducted a series of interviews with inanimate objects that accompanied me to the festival. Through their experiences and stories, I have been able to piece back together the events of our lost weekend. Here is what each object had to say:


“Wow. What a weekend it was. For all of us, but particularly me. Of course, I grew in height this year, and being draped in the most enormous tarp you have ever seen made it very hard to get down to the stage to catch the music.

“I had a great weekend though. Once I got myself erected on Friday afternoon, I had a great time encouraging people to get inside me and share their hopes and expectations for the weekend. I think at one point there would have been at least 30 guys and girls all up in my shit, but I was loving every moment and I think I did a good job of keeping them out of the deceptively strong sun.

“Like I said, I found it hard to get down to the stage, being pegged into the ground and all. And being 15 feet tall made it really difficult to remain inconspicuous. I had a fair crack on Saturday morning though, there were some really strong winds and I took advantage of that by shedding my tarp and doing my best to go down and catch the City Of Ballarat Municipal Brass Band (Saturday Morning). They sounded really great from where I was.  They’re always such a pleasant noise to wake up to.

“My other highlight was definitely Earthless (Friday Night). Loved the way they jammed together, loved the 50 minute, 2 song set. But, even though I was enjoying it, it seemed most of my campsite decided to take the chance to come back and spend some more time with me. But no one offered me any weed, which probably would have taken Earthless to the next level for me.

“I had a great Friday night, I was just a pity that despite the high winds assistance, I couldn’t get down to the stage, and paid the price for trying when I came tumbling down on Saturday morning.”


“You know what, I had a great time. While I fucking lasted. Unfortunately, like every other fucking year, I reckon I got to about lunchtime on Saturday before I was spent. I just had nothing left to give. Then Mitchy got pissed off with me, calling me weak as piss, saying he wished he’d brought my mates as well, just really getting in my face and making me feel like shit.

“We had a great time on Friday night, and I thought we would be cool for the weekend, but no, he had to go over the top again and really ruin me. We are both pretty generous, and I know it’s like the spirit of Meredith or whatever, but stop sharing so much of me with strangers. For fucks sake, I’d probably make it through Saturday night if we set some boundaries.

“It’s alright, I got my own back on Saturday morning. Mitchy looked shithouse. I did that. Maybe next time you’ll think harder before wasting me away on the first night. Twat.

“Anyway, like I said I had a killer time on Friday night. Hanging around at the campsite all afternoon, talking shit with the other drinks, just real solid catch up time you know. Music was great too. Me and Mitchy were actually pretty blown away by Pond (Friday Night). We were pretty thirsty for music by the time they opened the festival. Played tonnes of stuff from Beard, Wives, Denim, and I loved that album. So good. Sounded fucking great live too. Loved how much stage presence they already have, and Nick Allbrook is developing into a pretty epic frontman.

“I always feel like I gotta be careful when I’m around Snakadaktal (heaps of under 18 kids that I’m not allowed near). But they were OK. Pretty inoffensive fluffy dream pop, actually quite pleasant to listen to. I think there is heaps of potential there, as they mature and we can spend more time together I think they could really go places. They spend a load of time wistfully looking into the distance though. But I guess me and Mitchy spent a similar amount of time wistfully looking at each other, so that’s alright.

“So yeah, I need to work on my stamina, maybe make it through 2 nights next time. But it was fun while it lasted.”


“Another big effort from everyone in the squad this year, lots of sitting on us, standing on us, overloading us, exposing us to harsh conditions, even working hard to get possession back when members of other squads seemed to have us covered.

“But we dug deep, and I think we as couches really laid a solid foundation from which the rest of the team could work from.

“We got involved early and stayed the course, contributing as late as the Meredith Gift on Sunday. Full lap of the amphitheatre this year, a real endurance test, but I thought we carried the load really well.

“Also on Sunday, the highlights probably came from Fraser A Gorman, a real alt-country tinged treat. Serious potential there, we really think he is on the precipice of taking the competition by storm. Boomgates and The Murlocs also made valuable contributions on Sunday, producing solid performances without really blowing anyone off the park.

“All in all, we really felt we contributed strongly throughout the weekend. We held our position well and really provided a firm base from which the rest of the team could launch attacks on the stage. Definitely one of our best performances, but we won’t be getting carried away. With Golden Plains looming large on the fixture, we’ll just be taking it one festival at a time.”


“Well, it’s fair to say I had a really crap time. It was so windy for most of the weekend that I was swaying as much as Mitchy on Sunday morning. And it wasn’t super hot, but the idiot kept forgetting to open me up and air me out, so my insides were sweltering.

“Me and Chris didn’t spend heaps of time together. Story of my life really. He takes me to this amazing festival spot, spends the first morning with me (even though he spends most of the time screaming at me) and then we barely see each other for the rest of the weekend. Then it gets windy and my poles snap. And let me tell you, that friggin hurts.

“I can’t help but think that there was someone else. Why else would he be avoiding me? I have some suspicions. I reckon on the Friday night, Four Tet was to blame. I know Mitchy was really excited for this, and judging by the state of him when he got back, he wasn’t let down. He talked in his sleep as well, mumbling something about ‘perfection with decks’. From my vantage point, it sounded surprisingly easy to dance to. Four Tet kept the BPM at a consistently upbeat level and his kind of offbeat electronica and sublime use of samples were perfect for Meredith at 3am.

“At least, that’s what I think Mitchy meant when he said ‘I LOVE FOUR TENTS THAT WAS FUN MY KNEES HURT AND I CAN’T TALK ANYMORE’. Four Tents? What an arsehole.

“Saturday night was pretty much the same. He didn’t care that I was falling apart at the seams, but again he came crashing in super late, not even bother to unzip me. From what I could gather this time, Itch-E And Scratch-E were the cause. Had heaps of people dancing apparently. Solid mashup style set from the veterans. I reckon, at that time of night, in that kind of state, sometimes you just want to hear music you know. And they got that part right.

“But hey, what would I know, I’m a tent”.


“It was a tremendously demanding weekend for yours truly. I was hoisted into the stratosphere with reckless abandon on numerous occasions, in the time honoured tradition celebrating the highest points of the festival.

“It began on the Friday night. My first experience of jubilant elevation came in the early evening as Grimes went about very noisily blowing everyone away. I resisted the urge to lunge skyways at first, but as Claire Boucher contorted herself through the first ‘big’ set of Meredith it was becoming difficult to stay grounded. Visions was one of, if not THE, stand out albums of 2012, and Grimes and her two wonderfully energetic dancers gyrated their way through highlight after highlight from said album. But it was Genesis, complete with a stupidly fun dubsteppy outro, that saw me removed from the foot and propelled into the air.

“Again on Friday night, and Tame Impala saw me back to work. By this stage my vision was becoming impaired due to the dust, so I was grateful for the chance to breathe in fresh air when it came. Eagerness was almost my downfall, however, and I had to work hard in order to spend any time on the ground. I threatened to go straight up several times, particularly during Feels Like We Only Go Backwards, Elephant, but it was during Solitude Is Bliss that I really cut loose.

“On Saturday, I achieved great heights during Royal Headache (Honey Joy), and the most excellent Saskwatch (pretty much half the set, but particularly during an inspired cover of Little Red’s Coca Cola). But there were two artists on this day that lifted me slightly higher than any of their predecessors.    

Regurgitator have been around for an eternity, but this was them at close to their most supreme. No gimmicks, no cartoon-like carrying on. Simple, straight forward Regurgitator digging into their vast back catalogue and delivering hit after hit after hit. The biggest sing-a-long of the weekend. I found air during Song Formerly Known As, and from my vantage point I could see an entire amphitheatre dancing. A highlight.

“I may as well have stayed up in the air during Big Jay McNeely. He entered the stage from within the audience, and explained that his first hit was recorded in 1949, and proceeded to launch into a 50 minute celebration of everything that is good about music, with his sax as the ringleader. Boots, boots and more boots, and every one of them deserved”.


After chatting with all the crap I took with me to the festival, the memories came flooding back. And I realised why I’d had such trouble remembering. It was an enormous weekend, with quite possibly the strongest lineup the festival has put together.

Friday night’s headliners Spiritualized were almost too much for me in my fragile mindset. Perfect sound, incredible light show and ethereal music made this a set worthy of a headline slot.

You could sense the occasion when Primal Scream took the stage, but despite the hard work of Bobby Gillespie and co they never quite reached the heights they aimed for. Attempts at crowd interaction fell flat, and the new stuff, despite being quite good, didn’t set the world on fire either. However, you could not fault the band or the music. Gillespie surely did his darndest to raise the energy levels, but despite coming close, they never quite got there. If the band read this (and they probably will), I’m sorry. I don’t think it was you. I think it was us.

Elsewhere, it was special to have The Sunnyboys there. They had big shoes to fill, playing the ‘legends’ sunset spot occupied by the likes of Neil Finn, Paul Kelly and Icehouse in recent years. But while the nostalgia was great for some, this probably wasn’t their crowd, and they didn’t quite get the reception they deserved. Still, they haven’t lost touch, and despite this being only their second gig since returning they still sound amazing.

As for the rest, Chet Faker (Saturday Morning) was a slight let down after some technical difficulties interrupting his set (although it may have been my hangover getting in the way), Omar Souleyman (Friday Night) was wonderfully bizarre as he clapped his way through 45 minutes of Syrian techno, Rahzel (Saturday Afternoon) failed to fire like he should have, The Toot Toot Toots and Twerps impressed, and the awesomeness of watching your less favourite bands from the Pink Flamingo makes it nigh on impossible to get back to camp.

It was another wonderful Meredith. This festival never ceases to amaze me in what it can produce. Its consistency is its strength, and you always know what to expect. Despite this, it somehow manages to get better and better, every year. I can’t believe it’s 11 months till the next one.

Bring On Golden Plains.