I don’t usually like to have a rant, but you’re going to get one this time. Last month, there was a small outdoor mini-festival that was meant to take place on a rural property in the deep south of the ACT. Catering for around a thousand people, it was a well publicised, properly run and professional event. Insurance, OH&S, security, first aid, and paperwork completed with the ACT government and relevant authorities – everything was above board.
Yet in the eleventh hour, it was shut down by the ACT police.
The promoters were threatened with legal action if they weren’t compliant with some very obscure and petty requirements. While I won’t go into them, being told at 4pm on a Friday afternoon with no prior discussion that your event can’t go ahead or the promoters, staff and landholders would all be charged, is very poor form. Yet the organisers had to cooperate, and were forced to cancel the festival then and there. This is despite tens of thousands of dollars worth of production being set up, stall holders with food to feed hundreds of people, and artists and festival goers travelling from as far as Queensland to attend.
What purpose does it serve to work against one of the most professional crews in the country, bankrupting them in the process? Why do some sections of the police have such a hatred of electronic music culture and will do anything in their power to stop people from dancing to music with their mates for a weekend? It’s a truly fucked situation and I’m sick of it.
This crew was trying to do the right thing and run an event safely and legally, and were punished for it. It’s the same shitty, adversarial attitude that has infected NSW with the lockouts and raids on nightclubs – I’d be very sad if that virus of contempt for our dance music community has made it to the ACT.
Luckily for us, we do still get to party most of the time.
For those not going to Psyland on the Fri–Mon June 9–12 long weekend (and you really should be if you love your psytrance, techno, DnB and live bands – don’t mind the cold) there’s plenty happening in the city. On Friday, Dom Dolla and Torren Foot will be laying down the house beats at Mr Wolf, while GANZ and Fossa Beats will be spinning future beats at Academy. Also that night, Salmon Pink Sessions at Kyte presents Romania’s Cristi Cons with some minimal and tech-house sounds. Hard Envy closes off the weekend at Cube with hard dance favourites X-Dream and The Strangers on Sunday night, June 11.
Later that next week, Multiple Man are touring on the back of their recent LP courtesy of Pickle at the Polish Club on Thursday June 15. Soul Crane are calling it a day, saying sayonara with their last gig ever at Knightsbridge the following night! Techno fans should check out Loco & Jam at Kyte on Saturday June 17, while grime/garage/DnB fans should head to Soul Jazz’s night at La De Da the following weekend on Saturday June 24. The DnB goes to Lobrow the following weekend, with some local selectors from Headz Are Rolling on Friday June 23, while Poseiden, Doppel and other Canberra favourites head to La De Da for Magnetic, techno crew Connekts’ latest endeavour. Trance favourite Marlo will be at Academy on Friday June 30, while AMIT (UK) is coming to play a Headz Are Rolling DnB party on Thursday July 13 – tickets only $15! Finally, Pendulum perform a special set at Academy on Wednesday July 26 (get your tickets now).