The discerning festival goers’ dream, Playground Weekender kicks off on Friday 6th through to Sunday 8th February, 2009 with an imaginative experience encompassing six stages of music from a bold mixture featuring superb live local and international acts, DJs and cabaret. Here at Playground we don’t just look after the music lover, we care about all folk who may want an unusually fun camping weekend… the chess player, the fancy dress lover, the cocktail sipper, the sunbather, the swimmer and the all round new experience lover! The Weekender is a playground for grown ups, the adventure even begins with a ferry ride.
The riverside retreat features the very best of nature – stunning riverside location, native bush-land, hills, resident kangaroos and a unique space for the ultimate pool party along with a selection of modern comfort accommodation options not usually associated with music festivals – camping on a lush 9 hole golf course, tent hotel, tipis, yurts, campervans, houseboats and cabins available for hire. The more you explore, the more you will discover, such as lakeside outdoor cinema, swimming pool, volleyball court with air-conditioned clubhouse, riverside cocktail bar, beer garden, art wall, beachside bathing spot and games area for giant jenga and chess! Big games,for big kids.
Playground Weekender gleans inspiration from boutique camping festivals such as Bestival, Big Chill, Latitude and Electric Picnic Festival and is set in the spectacular surrounds of the Del Rio Riverside Resort, Wiseman’s Ferry, just 1½ hours north of Sydney.
Last year’s event took home the gong at the FL Festie Awards for Best Crowd and Best Atmosphere, we are pretty sure that had a lot to do with the infamous Fancy Dress Saturday, or maybe a mixture of all of the above and our fabulous line up. Speaking of which………
Here’s the first line up announcement for The Playground Weekender 2009, with many more exciting acts to be announced.
It’s an honour and a pleasure to welcome Primal Scream (UK) to the Playground Weekender. Alan McGee once said “Who needs the Stones when you’ve got Primal Scream?” With nearly 26 years of live touring under their belts and nine years since their last Australian tour, Primal Scream make their Weekender debut on the back of the release of their ninth studio album. Add nine years of absence from Aussie stages and nine albums and you get eighteen….the amount of years that have gone by since the release of ‘Screamadelica’, one of the most thrilling and important records of the modern era.
Hailed as the ‘voice of a generation’, Mike Skinner’s The Streets (UK) are revered by music critics and fans alike. The first time people heard The Streets’ Mercury nominated album Original Pirate Material, they couldn’t decided on whether the person making the music was black or white, from London or the Midlands, deadly serious or a total joker. These days The Mercury Prize winner and Brit Award nominee has been described as one of the most authentic voices of British youth for many years. The Streets have made the cultural crossover from the small UK Garage music and pirate radio scene to the mainstream becoming equally as important to the charts as they are to the indie kids.
American indie quartet Cold War Kids (USA) will also make their Weekender debut in 2009. With multiple songs in Triple J’s Hottest 100 and sell out tours in Australia and across the world, the Cold War Kids have grown their global audience through limited edition CD’s, blistering live shows and word of mouth. Their old school approach fosters a growing artistic community that reaches well beyond their music. Gallery shows, artistic web design, and design books compliment all their releases. The Cold War Kids present themselves not as four musicians, but as an expanding artistic community that they want you to be a part of!
The Toronto-based duo of Ethan Fawn and Alice Glass have amassed a cult following through their uncompromising and intense delivery, a slew of limited edition singles and shows packed solely from word of mouth. Crystal Castles (CA) have attracted as much attention from those trying to pigeonhole them as leaders of such media-hyped subgenres as 8-bits and nu-rave. Their nihilist aesthetic and diverse body of work suggests their intentions and potential are worth much more….decide for yourself at the Weekender!
Many bands claim the hardest working band in the county title, but Melbourne’s Blue King Brown are without a doubt one of the hardest working bands in the country! Constantly touring locally and internationally since the release of their debut album Stand Up, Blue King Brown have expanded from a five piece to a seven piece, then a nine piece and now, especially for Weekender, they will grow to a whopping eleven piece. So what do these eleven people actually do? You ask…..you’ll have to come along and see it for yourself.
Salmonella Dub (NZ) add a little Kiwi flavour to the line up this year. Since 2003 the band have played over 300 shows across ten countries and released numerous albums and DVD’s and even joined the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for a tour which ended in the release of a live album. In 2009 they will bring their infectious Pacific style of Dub / Drum ‘n’ Bass/Reggae/ Hip Hop and Groove based rock to the Weekender.
Needing no introduction whatsoever, Soul II Soul Sound System (UK) have been thrilling us for over 20 years with their Funki Dred sound. With Jazzie B at the helm, the multiple Grammy Award winners have sold over 6.8million records worldwide thanks to hit singles and collaborations with vocalists such as Rose Windross, Do’Reen and Caron Wheeler. Since the late 80’s these guys have been delivering a consistent flow of club and chart hits, the Weekender is polishing the dance floor to welcome Soul II Soul.
Sydney electro heroes Grafton Primary will set the stage alight with their take on devastating synth hooks and infectious lyrics. Just when you think it’s time to chill out, these permanent fixtures of indie radio will storm the stage to set pulses racing! They’re a new institution in a world of new school.
With a long list of residencies at legendary clubs around the world including Space in Miami, Terrace in Ibiza, Il Muretto in Venice, and The End in London on his CV, Nic Fanculi (UK) is a global super star. His use of deep techy sounds, acid b-lines and dark melodic grooves have clubbers frequently adding his name into discussions about the finest modern DJ talents around.
The diverse Ashley Beedle (UK) brings his own house, reggae, rock-techno, soul and disco mix. His ability to stay ahead of the pack has his remixes range from pop and rock bands, to little house labels, hip hop and house mixes, and the futuristic reggae inspired Warbox project, which includes chart smashing remixes for the likes of Lilly Allen.
Arguably one of the finest and most respected DJs in the world, put your hands together for the return of Norman Jay MBE (UK). Not many people can say they have been awarded an MBE on merit for “deejaying and services to music”, but after many years of dedicated service to his profession, Norman Jay MBE can! He is considered by peers and contemporaries to be “The People’s DJ” because of the width and breadth of his deejaying style and universal appeal. He will bring his upfront disco fuelled funky house and vaunted old skool jazz to the Weekender this year.
You take a house DJ and make him play drums, add a Bowie-loving bassist who sings too, and sprinkle in an avant-garde jazz guitarist with a mean moustache, mix it, boil it, and you have a steaming hot stew called WhoMadeWho (DK). Back again this year after a stellar performance in 2007 that saw them dressed as Pocahontas, Robin Hood and the Hulk on Fancy Dress Saturday (as you do).
Melbourne’s instrument welding hip hop outfit TZU will be supplying rock infused hip-hop beats, showcasing a set list of fresh tracks off their brand new, J Award nominated album Computer Love. A festival favourite TZU come to the Weekender at the tail end of a sell out tour, match fit and ready to deliver a hefty serve of dirty electro beats.
Funk-masters D.I.G. prove that you can’t get enough of a good thing and will grace us with their presence once more. The popular acid jazz band originally from Redfern, became famous for their legendary shows at The Basement, Circular Quay, and reunited for a show in June 2008. The reaction was so huge they didn’t need much convincing to keep it up to play Weekender!
Uber-producer and re-mixer, Ewan Pearson (UK) has remixed the likes of Seelenluft, Ladytron, Depeche Mode, The Rapture, Goldfrapp and The Chemical Brothers. A classically trained pianist and cellist, Ewan has a Degree in English Literature and a Masters in Philosophy and Cultural Studies. Hmmmm maybe you will learn something from his set!
The fruity Todd Terje (Nor) joins Weekender this year with his combination of disco house tunes. Self described as astroboogie, coconut-jungle-marimba-safari-disco with a touch of superkullers. Relatively new to the scene, Todd is fast making a name for himself thanks to his mix of kitschy Euro sounds, deep funk and Latin jazz influences.
Jedi-master, Tom Middleton (UK) will be closing the festival with his legendary acid-house set. Another classically trained pianist and cellist, Tom fuses ambient classical traditions with electronic, featuring orchestral, choral and electro acoustic arrangements. Tom was the favourite at last year’s event so we are excited to have him return.
With the emphasis on the deeper end of electronic house music, Jimpster (UK) retains an old school approach that has seen him booked for such diverse gigs as Fabric in London, Pacha in Ibiza and Panarama Bar in Berlin to Yellow in Tokyo and Cielo in New York. He also runs the monthly Freerange night at his London residency at AKA.
Sydney scenesters The Paper Scissors are a celebration; at times bitterly pissed off and loud, at others, smiling and jumping about, just like your bipolar cousin. They will deliver a much needed injection of indie, folk, soul and garage to the Weekender in 2009.
Half Japanese, half New Zealander musician/ producer Mark de Clive-Lowe has been involved with over 150 releases on labels including Masters At Work Records, Verve Records and Impulse Records, collaborating with artists such as Lauryn Hill, Jody Watley, UK Soul don Omar, and plenty more. Performing and recording in different settings, collaborating with DJ/producers, turntablists, acoustic jazz artists, Japanese Kagura and a world of Latin rhythms. Mark has become a major figure in the nu-jazz movement, blending jazz, ethnic music and urban grooves into a fresh 21st Century flavour.
Local trio Pomomofo bring their refreshingly contagious brand of electro-pop to the Weekender. Known on the live circuit for their catchy tunes and gimmicky on stage antics, we have a feeling that if you haven’t started shaking your booty before these guys take the stage….you will be by the time they finish their set.
Musicologist Russ Dewbury (UK) joins the stellar list of DJ’s at this year’s Weekender. From his debut in 1986, Russ has become one of the most influential and respected figure on the international dance music scene. One of the original UK jazz DJ’s, Russ opened the Brighton Jazz Rooms in 1987. In 2007 he realised a lifelong ambition with the release of his first ever album of original compositions. Russ Dewbury blends cutting edge studio techniques with live performance to create an intriguing mix of cosmic soul, jazz disco, and universal blues.
Sydney electro duo Wow wrap up our initial line up announcement. These guys played their first show in November 2007, and headlined the Hanoi International Music Festival in March 2008. They got kicked of the stage by the police….we don’t know why, but we are interested to find out… What was it about their action-packed set of party-rave-pop that caused such a reaction?
Friday 6th, Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th February, 2009
Del Rio Riverside Resort, Wiseman’s Ferry
Tickets on sale Now