Image for We Spoke To The Troll Behind All These Fake Aussie Festival Posters

We Spoke To The Troll Behind All These Fake Aussie Festival Posters

Written by Tom Williams on August 29, 2018

Fake music festival lineup posters — there’s more and more of them appearing online in the weeks before major festivals, but who’s spending their time making them?

It turns out 23-year-old Brisbanite Ethan Pemberton is behind some of the most convincing fake posters around, and he’s been trolling fans of Splendour In The Grass, Download Festival and UNIFY Gathering for years.

Pemberton claims he’s responsible for a lot of the fake posters which have been doing the rounds in Australia recently, and he’s not ashamed of getting music fans’ hopes up by tricking the most gullible among us into believing what his posters predict.

Becoming increasingly prolific in recent months, Pemberton dropped a fake poster for Download Festival Australia’s 2019 lineup earlier this month, and he even dropped a second one earlier today…

Pemberton has been making the posters since back in the days of Soundwave Festival (RIP), and says his creations can take a long time — or sometimes no time at all — to put together.

“The most recent Download Festival poster only took me an hour, but for example my Splendour poster I worked on for like a week in my spare time, and I still managed to miss the spelling mistake in ‘Srillex’,” he tells Music Feeds.

“I was spewing for so long after someone pointed that out.”

While Pemberton’s posters can help create hope and speculation among music fans, they can also enrage them when media publications confirm with the real festival organisers that they’re fake.

So what does Pemberton think about people getting mad at his posters?

“I reckon I get a kick out of it even more when I see that, like they believed it so much that they’re willing to get mad about it, means I must be doing at least something right,” he says.

“It’s a bit evil, but I just enjoy it too much to stop. It’s even better when the bands hit me up, too.

“But as I said before I’m a massive fan of all the bands, I just like a good laugh and I have a great time when I get hundreds of notifications flying through from people falling for them or getting mad.”

Pemberton says the imaginary lineups he puts together are usually “a mix of bands that I want to see, and bands that are realistic to tour Australia”.

“I’ll usually go through and suss out who is due to come down under soon, have a gander to make sure they’re not booked somewhere else, and then try and sort them by popularity in Australia to seem legit,” he says.

“I think it’s the closest I can get to the industry I love with no real musical talent.

“I’d love to one day do this sort of thing for a living, but at the moment I’m just having some fun trolling people and playing with Photoshop.”

You can check out some of Ethan Pemberton’s most recent creations, below.

And remember — don’t believe everything you see on the internet.

Ethan Pemberton’s Fake Festival & Tour Posters

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