Fairgrounds has been and gone for Berry for a third time and left the small south coast town with a touch of pride with its international sized event.
After Friday night’s Vance Joy headline spot, Saturday brought in the international whack of The Breeders and Billy Bragg, both influential for breaking ground in the 90s.
When The Breeders reformed and released their first album in a decade this year they reminded us how important the disruption from early 90s rock actually was. Billy Bragg was also disrupting from the other side of the Atlantic with added political tones. Teaming Bragg with Albo on the Saturday brought the music back to spoken work with two liked-minded political innovators and one a big fan of the other. (I’ll leave it up to you to work out which way that dynamic swings).
The wonderful thing about Fairgrounds 2018 was that it didn’t have to rely on the international names to draw a crowd. Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett was given a superstar reception but Melbourne also treated south coast fans to two more of its best with Sampa The Great and The Teskey Brothers.
Sampa The Great’s soul has made her a Music Victoria Award winning artist in 2018. The Tesky Bothers, likewise, not only have an international appeal with their alt-country/Americana (whatever they call it this week) style but they are also getting interest and selling tickets in the USA.
Fairgrounds showed us all why Australian music is booming. Fairgrounds curated an A-list of acts to happen around the world and Fairgrounds gave Berry and the south coast a preview of the next big things from Australia.
I trust Fairgrounds will be back in 2019. The festival created jobs for the locals, revenue from tourism for the businesses and simply a fine, entertaining weekend for the locals encompassing Wollongong to Berrima to Ulladulla.
I can’t wait for 2019.