Australia has been home to some of the finest musicians in the world. They may not be as popular as those in the west, but they certainly are not in want of musical talent and skills. Their music has captivated the whole world, Gotye being the most recent example.
When it comes to electronic music, Australia is definitely not lagging behind. They have groomed some of the most versatile and gifted underground electronic and dance music artists. These musicians from down under are capable of creating magic with their sounds, and have entertained the Australian people for quite some time now. Electronic and dance music is a growing trend in Australia. Its popularity is on the rise, with more and more people gravitating towards this relatively new genre.
To keep up with this growing trend, major Australian promoters, Hardware and Onelove corporations, initiated an annual Australian music festival by the name of Stereosonic. It’s a nationwide music fiesta that is held in November and early December. The music festival is based on electronic and dance music. It is currently deemed as Australia’s fastest growing music festival.
The promoters started working on the project of creating a massive music festival in Melbourne nightclubs. It was there that they formed the company Totem OneLove, which is the founding company of Stereosonic. This was later bought by SFX Entertainment in the year 2013.
Early Years of Stereosonic
Stereosonic’s first edition was organized in the year 2007. Initially, this music festival was a 1 day event. The line up in the first year included some of the most notable electronic music artists and DJs in the world such as Armin Van Buuren, Stacy Pullen, Fedde Le Grand, Booka Shade, Trentemoller, DJ Mehdi, Kevin Saunderson, Paul Harris, Meat Katie, Grant Smilie, Ajax, Kaz Games, Martijn Ten Velden and a few others.
In the 2008 edition of Stereosonic, the line up consisted of Stereosonic debutants such as Sneaky Sound System, Paul Van Dyk, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Infected Mushroom and others. On the back of the success of the 2007 and 2008 editions, the organizers decided to go on the road, and have 5 different cities in Australia host the event. These 5 cities were Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.
The 2010 event saw headliners like Tiesto and Afrojack grace the stage. The influx of renowned artists from across the globe was a clear portrayal of the festival’s success and the growth of the electronic music community in Australia.
Record breaking and Controversial 2011 Edition
In the year 2011, Stereosonic broke the record for the largest festival ever in Australia with 60,000 visitors, representing a myriad of nationalities, showing up for the event in Sydney. Unfortunately, the event had a few controversial incidents that tainted its titanic success. Among the spectators, there were 50 people who were arrested for possession of illegal substances. Fights and rioting broke out, leading to a sudden collapse in crowd management. The Public Order and Riot Squad had to make their presence felt after hostile spectators attacked police who were trying to restore order and disperse the crowd. Keeping aside the negativities, Stereosonic sold out in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne that year.
Continued Success in 6th and 7th Editions
The highlight of the 2012 edition was the huge crowd that gathered for the Perth event. More than 31,000 people were in attendance. A lot of them were foreign visitors. This was a clear sign that Stereosonic’s popularity had gone beyond the borders of Australia.
In the year 2013, Stereosonic progressed in leaps and bounds as the organizers decided to expand the festival to two days. Similar to the previous editions, the 2013 edition was hosted across all 5 cities in Australia. This allowed over 50 international artists to take the stage, alongside 300 other home grown talented Australian musicians. For the first time ever, a large scale Australian Festival, spanning across 5 densely populated cities, had been held on multiple days. Armin Van Buuren, Calvin Harris and David Guetta were the main event stars of the festival. The Sydney event was streamed online on World AIDS Day, in an attempt to raise awareness for a primary AIDS charity called RED.
Review of 2014 Stereosonic in Sydney
Regardless of their music preferences, the fans at the Sydney Stereosonic this year enjoyed an unearthly atmosphere throughout the whole festival weekend. The event headliners were Steve Aoki, Skrillex and Showtek.
Space and amenities are a major concern with most music festivals in the world. Stereosonic lived up to the expectations of the visitors in this regard. Even in places where the demand was high, the long queues moved smoothly and people did not lose their patience. This was a clear indication of how well managed the festival was.
Visitors could choose from seven stages. This meant that there was always a buzz going around somewhere. The movement between stages was easy and convenient, allowing spectators to choose between acts and not miss out on the acts of their favourite bands due to a clash of timings.
Among the amenities were water refuel points for the thirsty and dehydrated visitors. There was a wide variety of food to select from such as pizzas, grilled burgers, crepes etc. There were also merchandise outlets in and around the stages. For the convenience of the visitors, lockers and phone charging points were placed at regular intervals. As far as the security goes, it was stringent, but not daunting. In short, the fans didn’t have much to complain about.
The shows on Saturday began with a performance from Dash Berlin at 5:30 pm. Their act was followed by the feat of Swedish DJ Alesso. Both the performances riveted the crowd and got them hyped up for Saturday’s headliner, Skrillex. Skrillex’s on stage delivery was nothing short of perfection. The crowd were lost in a world of trance and dubstep as this modern day maestro dished out some of his most brilliant plays such as “First of the Year”, “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” and “Bangarang”. The crowd interaction and improvisation was unparalleled.
The festival in Sydney waved goodbye with a main event performance by one of the greatest electronic musicians in the world, Tiesto. It’s safe to say that the 2014 edition of the Stereosonic was a blast.
Paving the way for Electronic Music in Australia
Thanks to Stereosonic, electronic and dance music has cemented its position at the core of Australian music. It’s an international stage for musicians across the world to showcase their brilliance, while acting as a breeding ground for the Australian music stars of tomorrow.