After a long disruption to the live entertainment industry, 2022 promises to be a long-waited return to music festivals and rock and heavy metal fans can once again rejoice about the exciting announcement of the earth-shattering lineup the debut Uncaged Festival has officially dropped upon us.
Prior to the pandemic, the Aussie festival circuit presented some of the best world-class heavy musical talents abroad and at home. The Download Festival and the Good Things Festival amongst other touring enterprises were the holy grail for bands and artists to express their sonic rage and dark anguish. As both institutions proved to be highly successful with audiences, the momentum to showcase international heavyweight talent, as well as local music heroes, was in high demand before Covid came to our shores. It all reaffirmed the country’s history and love for moshing, bad-ass guitar riffs and beer. And after more than 18 months of uncertainty, rock and metalheads alike can gather in their masses to celebrate distortion, high-intensity performances and unbelievable crowd participation all over again.
Uncaged Festival kicks off in Brisbane on January 22 proceeding to Melbourne and finishing in Sydney visiting all the 3 major east coast cities. A festival of this magnitude is proof the rock genre is still a powerhouse in the 21st century. Australia has always been a top exponent of incredible rock bands but, given the hardship faced by our music community over these last few years, the appetite is high for an all-Australian lineup that truly encapsulates the dominant acts of Australian festival culture in the last two decades as well as the end of the last century.
There are of course plenty of bands on the bill who are at the vanguard of Aussie contemporary heavy music and are creating the sonic path of the future. This is a festival for all ages and generations and does not discriminate against where your allegiances may lay.
What also sets the festival apart from its predecessors is the diversification of guitar music. There is truly a plethora of rock genres on display, from nu-metal, indie rock, pop-punk, progressive metal, classic rock, metalcore and everything in between. There are certainly plenty of bands on this lineup who you would likely be witnessing live for the first time, discovering potentially new homegrown talent.
The ban on international bands from touring the country has allowed Uncaged Festival to curate a unique music experience that represents the best in heavy music subcultures across our nation. Festival headliners Wolfmother were one of the catalysts for rock’s revival in the ’00s and their sonic exploration into classic rock is a timely reminder of the explosive impact rock made in the 20th century. The headline spot is well deserved and will give the festival a dose of proto-metal and retro fashion in all its psychedelic haze.
Also dominating the rock and metal radio airwaves in the ’00s were The Superjesus and End of Fashion. Both outfits had plenty of singles that received heavy rotation on Rage and Video Hits and all these years later they are still out there confirming their live prowess and proving they still have what it takes to crank up the volume and get the crowds rocking. Bodyjar is an all too familiar name if you were a millennial who loves punk with pop sensibilities and a genuine sense of humour. The ‘One in a Million’ video still needs rewatching so that we never forget that rock bands need not take themselves too seriously.
For those who’ve been following the progressive metal and djent movement in Australia, you’ll recognise a few of the key contributors in this lineup such as the instrumental guitar wizards The Omnific, the technically frantic outfit Circles, the genre-bending and outlandish Twelve Foot Ninja and the epic and captivating quartet Caligula’s Horse. If you’re not feeling quite like you fit in with all these new guitar and tech-savvy bands and you’re fairly nostalgic about the good old days when metal was in its infancy, Frankie’s World Famous House Band will be joining this touring ship and playing all of Black Sabbath’s iconic tunes. Frankie’s Pizza – the iconic Sydney venue, may well be shutting its doors for a while but the band that occupied the space certainly are not and Sabbath’s music will always be timeless.
There are too many Australian rock legends and incredible up and comers to name in this lineup and a bunch of them will play only one or two of the touring cities. This lineup however guarantees a welcome return to live music on a grand scale as 2022 prepares to be a busy year for touring acts.
Uncaged Festival is the reunification of a community that worships heavy performances and unforgettable moments experienced together. The crowds will come prepared with both jabs in their arms to experience the gateway drug that is live and uncompromising rock music.
UNCAGED Festival 2022
Tickets on sale now.
Saturday, 22nd January – Brisbane, Showgrounds
Saturday, 29th January – Melbourne, Coburg Velodrome
Saturday, 12th February – Sydney, Showground