The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy


Festival Focus: Bluesfest, Falls, Boardmasters

In this week's round-up: Two major announcements from Oz, sell-out Boardmasters surfs into 2017, Together the People playlist, the UK public prefers Abba to The Beatles

By IQ on 24 Aug 2016

Catfish and the Bottlemen, SXSW 2015, Haley Plotkin, Falls Festival 2017

Catfish and the Bottlemen, newly confirmed for Falls Festival, at SXSW 2015

image © Haley Plotkin

Just as the season starts to draw to a close in the northern hemisphere (and IQ wonders whether it might be time to retire Festival Focus for the year), our cousins in Australia have gone and surprised us with not one, but two, major announcements as they gear up for their own summer of festivals.

First up is Secret Sounds’ multi-city Falls Festival, which will take place in Lorne, Victoria; Marion Bay, Tasmania; Byron Bay, New South Wales; and Fremantle, Western Australia on 28–31 December, 29–31 December, 31 December–2 January and 7–8 January, respectively.

Its first full line-up announcement, released yesterday, includes a mix of homegrown and international festival regulars, among them The AvalanchesCatfish and the Bottlemen, Jamie TGrandmaster FlashThe JezabelsLondon GrammarBroods, The DMA’sAlison Wonderland and Grouplove.

Jezebels, Marcel van Leeuwen

On the same day, the long-running Byron Bay Bluesfest also released its first batch of artists, which includes Patti Smith (performing seminal album Horses), the Grammy award-winning Zac Brown Band, The Lumineers, Buddy Guy, Jethro Tull, Gregory Porter, Laura Mvula, Roy Ayers and more.

The 28th Bluesfest, promoted by Peter Noble, will be held from 13 to 17 April on the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm in Byron Bay, New South Wales.

“It must be hard to believe – but it is very true – that months, and in a few cases years, of work have gone into this artist announcement,” says Noble. “It has taken over three years to get the very in-demand Patti Smith confirmed, a similar time also for Billy Bragg.”

Brian Wilson, Hoyos del Espino 2012, feiticeirA

With just over a week to go until the debut of new British festival Together the People, promoter One Inch Badge has released a Spotify playlist highlighting some of the acts who’ll be playing, including UK exclusive Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds in full.

Other names on the bill for the Brighton event, which will take place in the 5,000-capacity Preston Park on 3 and 4 September, include Suede, The Horrors, Peter Hook & The Light (performing the hits of Joy Division and New Order), Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and Songhoy Blues(Brian Wilson photo by feiticeirA.)

Listen to the playlist below:

Vision Nine’s music/water sports festival Boardmasters has announced its dates for 2017 following a sell-out 2016 event that attracted 150,000 people to the seaside town of Newquay in Cornwall.

In addition to surfing and waterskiing competitions and music from Chase & Status, Deadmau5 and James Bay, Boardmasters 2016 featured for the first time a ‘wellbeing area’ offering massages, facials, reiki and yoga and a silent disco on the Land of Saints stage.

Next year’s festival will take place from 9 to 13 August.

The Fratellis, Radio 1 Interactive

M People frontwoman Heather Smalls, Glaswegian indie three-piece The Fratellis and ’80s teen idol Paul Young are among the latest acts confirmed for the fifth Gibraltar Music Festival (GMF).

GMF 2016 is set for next weekend at the UK overseas territory’s 5,000-capacity Victoria Stadium. Ne-Yo, Stereophonics, Travis, Jess Glynne and Bryan Ferry will headline. (The Fratellis photo by Radio 1 Interactive.)

Abba, Fernando Pereira/Anefo

And in news that will never happen – partly because some bands involved hate each other, but mainly because many of them are dead – the British public has chosen its dream festival line-up in a survey conducted by Barclaycard.

On the fantasy bill are (in descending order of prominence) are AbbaBob Marley (Wailers optional), The BeatlesMichael JacksonThe Bee GeesElvis PresleyEminemDavid BowieMadness and Rihanna.

So, Abba headlining, The Beatles warming up for Bob Marley and Bowie presumably just about scraping onto the main stage. Got it. (Abba photo by Fernando Pereira/Anefo.)


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.