Meredith Music Festival
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The Meredith Music Festival is held over three days every December on private farmland in Victoria, Australia. The nearest rural town is Meredith, which is between the regional cities of Geelong and Ballarat. The closest metropolitan city is Melbourne, 90 kilometres away.

History and Happenings:

Meredith is an outdoor camping festival in Australian bushland. The farmland is renamed the Meredith Supernatural Ampitheatre for the event; the natural amphitheatre itself is where the bands play. The surrounding areas – with names such as Spring Valley, North Pines, Mulwaverley, Tasmania and Sanctuary Cove host bush camping. Most people sleep in tents or vans. Most also erect some kind of shelter or temporary lounging zones at their campsites in which to relax and muck about with their friends while not watching bands.

The band-viewing area, the ampitheatre, is spectacular. There is only one stage at Meredith, which aims to get rid of the mad rushing between stages at other outdoor music festivals as well as concentrate people’s attention on the music. Views from around the amphitheatre are unimpeded. The stage is nestled in a grove of native Australian eucalypt trees.

Meredith prides itself on being non-commercial, which is a major point of difference between it and other outdoor music festivals. It is BYO alcohol only (in plastic or cans, not glass) – except for the Pink Flamingo Bar, open to those over 18 for cocktails. Meredith is not sponsored by anything other than itself. There is no commercial signage. There are no fires permitted, so punters in the main have to buy food, but the food on offer is cheap and good. There are few fast food outlets, for example. There is good coffee on sale. All in all it has a reputation for being laid-back, friendly and full of strange but good independent music from around the world.

There are several infamous added attractions at Meredith. The best-known is the wacky Meredith Gift, a nude running race. The name is taken from the Stawell Gift. The Meredith Gift has no rules except entrants must be nude. They vie for a trophy called The Golden Jocks. There is a sportsfield at the Meredith site with totem tennis sets and badminton courts. There are tai chi classes, regular appearances by an old-school brass band and the imposing Meredith Eye, which is a very large ferris wheel.

The land on which the festival takes place is owned by the Nolan family. The first festival, in 1991, attracted only 250 people. The last festival in 2006 attracted around 10,000. By 1994 bands were asking the festival’s organisers if they could be on the bill. Over the years artists to have played Meredith include Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Cat Power, The Avalanches. Blackalicious, The Shins, Dirty Three, Augie March, Will Oldham, Spiderbait, You Am I, The Presets, Datarock, Ground components, Midlake, Wolfmother and many more.

Being outdoors, Meredith is at the mercy of the weather – in 2001 heavy rain throughout the month preceding the festival caused some issues with road surfaces. 2002 was hot and dry and dust swirled around the amphitheatre. 2004 saw two fierce, cyclonic storms batter the site, to be followed by electrical storms that framed the stage in an eerie, apocalyptic light.

The 2008 Meredith Music Festival will be held on the 14th, 15th and 16th of December.

Meredith Music Festival had complaints from previous years in regards to the distribution of tickets. Because of the festival's building popularity, there has been a surge of general public interest in the event, which left some of the long-time veterans and fanatics of the event without tickets for the upcoming event. 'Aunty Meredith' (the personifictation of Meredith Music Festival) has now devised a plan that, the festival organisers think, will be fair on both parties - the veterans and the newcomers to the festival.

The first allocation is distributed through a 'Subscriber Ticket Ballot', which allows half of the total allocation of tickets randomly distributed to 'subscribers' already on MMF's email list. Subscribers will be notified by the 30th August and will need to purchase their tickets by the 6th September.

The second allocation will be sold in record stores in Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat and the Surf Coast as has been the case in previous years. This will go onsale on the 10th of September.

The third allocation will be distributed online via an 'expert ticketing company'. Because of their previous relationship in ticketing sales, it would seem a possiblity that Ticketek will be Meredith Music Festival's ticketing distributor - however this is not yet confirmed. The Online ticketing allocation will go onsale on the 12th September.

The Meredith Music Festival has also spawned a new festival: the Golden Plains Festival, held early in the year; the 10th, 11th and 12th of March (Labour Day weekend).

Yearly Lineup:

1991: The Dead Salesmen, Boxing Tostadas, Kill Sarah, Flamenco Sketches, The Celts, Picks.

1992: The Dead Salesmen, Guttersnipes, Warner Bros, Kill Sarah, Ripe, Boxing Tostadas, Powder Monkeys, Rod, Kipling Ensemble, Picko, Hoss, The Naked King's Servant, The Mavis's, The Nulty Grips, Rob Clarkson

1993: Icecream Hands, The Plums, Ripe, The Fat Thing, Housewives' Choice, Powder Monkeys, Guttersnipes, Fireballs, Hoss, Billy Baxter, Loin Groin, Kipling Ensemble, Seaweed Gorillas, NKS Jamm, Spiderbait

1994: Dirty Three, Magic Dirt, Spiderbait, Powder Monkeys, Fireballs, The Fauves, Melonman, Cranky, Freeloaders, Manic Suede, Warped, The Vinyl Creatures, Loin Groin, The Family, Spencer P Jones and the Holyspirits, The Fat Thing

1995: Magic Dirt, Rebecca's Empire, Spiderbait, Chris Wilson and Shane O'Mara, The Mark of Cain, Ricaine, Joel Silbersher and Charlie Owen, Combo La Revelacion, Manic Suede, Rio Grande, Ammonia, Warped, Sunset Strip, Paintstripper, Fur, Incursion, Powder Monkeys

1996: Tex, Don and Charlie, Snout, The Dumb Earth, The Mark of Cain, The Paradise Motel, Kim Salmon and the Surrealists, Chris Wilson and Shane O'Mara, Gaslight Radio, Magic Dirt, Ricaine, Crud, Combo La Revelacion, High Pass Filter, Drop City, Rebecca's Empire, Powder Monkeys, Bodyjar, Golden Lifestyle Band, Something for Kate, Screamfeeder, Hoss

1997: Jebediah, Custard, Not From There, Crow, X, Dirty Three, Matt Walker and Ashley Davies, The Cruel Sea, Snog, Lisa Miller, Loin Groin, Mississippi Barry, Even, Augie March, Tomorrow People, Combo La Revelacion, Snout, Dumb Earth, bZARK

1998: The Make-Up, The Meanies, Even, Kerri Simpson and Chris Wilson, Something for Kate, Bodyjar, Shihad, Honeysmack, Frontside, Slieker, Tendrils, Matt Walker and Ashley Davies, Custard, Dogbuoy, Beaverloop, Spencer P Jones, Velvet Tongue Puppet Rock Experience, Area 7, Augie March, Combo La Revelacion, Joe Pernice, The Exotics

1999: Cat Power, The Donnas, Shihad, The Avalanches, Sixfthick, Tendrils, Jimmy Little, The Rectifiers, Legends of Motorsport, Mach Pelican, Augie March, Not From There, Machine Translations, Magic Dirt, Matt Walker and Ashley Davies, Loin Groin, Motor Ace, Pre.Shrunk, Combo La Revelacion, Rocket Science, Dallas Crane

2000: Tim Rogers, Combo La Revelacion, Regurgitator, Spiderbait, Resin Dogs, Ken Stringfellow, Paul Dempsey, Augie March, The Fauves, John Butler Trio, Rocket Science, Testeagles, Porkers, The Grand Silent System

2001: Augie March, You Am I, Bob Log III, Dexter, The Monarchs, TISM, John Butler Trio, Rocket Science, 1200 Techniques, Superheist, Warped, Combo La Revelacion, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Silver Ray

2002: Snout, Dallas Crane, Dead Moon, Bob Mould, Sleater-Kinney, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Lisa Miller, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Resin Dogs, Jebediah, The D4, 20 Miles, Jet

2003: Radio Birdman, Bob Log III, Mclusky, The Cat Empire, Tim Rogers and the Temperance Union, The Sleepy Jackson, Buck 65, Combo La Revelacion, Xavier Rudd, The Brunettes, Master Khalil Gudaz, The Mess Hall, Magic Dirt, The Shins, The Morning After Girls, Curse Ov Dialect, Ground Components, Augie March, Architecture in Helsinki

2004: The Shook Daily Crew, Xavier Rudd, My Disco, The Unicorns, Rocket Science, M. Ward, Dirty Three, Dallas Crane, Wolfmother, Sage Francis, Jolie Holland, True Live, Hilltop Hoods, Combo La Revelacion, Young Heart Attack, C. W. Stoneking, Spiderbait, Dan Kelly and the Alpha Males, The Red Eyes, Dynamo, Bass Bin Laden’s Ghetto Fabulous Show, MC Wayne Deakin, Immortal Lee County Killers II, Cobra Killer, Ground Components, 67 Special, Wolf & Cub, Always, theredsunband, Die!Die!Die!, Digger And The Pussycats

2005: The Avalanches DJ show, Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Cut Copy, The Grates, The Nextmen, Wolfmother, Clare Bowditch and The Feeding Set, City City City, You Am I, Billy Childish and The Buff Medways, Architecture in Helsinki, The Mess Hall, Johnny Idem, Bob Log III (mystery act), Airbourne (band), Okkervil River, J-Live

2006: My Disco, Girl Talk, Midlake, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Augie March, Datarock, The Presets, Rose Tattoo, Band of Horses, Kid Koala,Edan, Blue King Brown, Combo La Revelacion, Tapes 'n Tapes, Wolf & Cub, Concertino Trio, Spencer P Jones and the Escape Committee, Miso, Macromantics, DJ Ransom, The Drones, Tex Perkins and Tim Rogers (TNT), The Bamboos, Sand Pebbles, Diafrix, Snowman, City of Ballarat Municipal Brass Band, The New Pornographers, The God Botherers, Cornelius, Dallas Crane, and special guest MC Wayne Deakin.

2007: Andrew WK, Art Brut, Clutch, Cut Copy, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, The Gossip, Gotye, Junior Reid, Little Red, Midnight Juggernauts, Muscles, Ned Collette, Lady Strangelove, Black Lips, Sarah Blasko, King Brothers, Smallgoods, Hoodoo Gurus, Dr Dog, Paris Wells & Thief, Crystal Castles, The Devastations, DJ Ritchie 1250, Root!, Amanda Palmer

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