The Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne is more readily frequented by jockeys, rather than disc-jockeys. In fact, perhaps with the exception of two days every year, this is the absolute rule of thumb. For most of Spring, the racecourse hosts horse-race after horse-race, and Melbourne’s wealthy drive to the racecourse in their Range-Rovers and set up marquees where they sit and sip away the afternoon. The Future Music Festival has carved itself nicely into the annual social calendar at the Flemington Racecourse, and for good reason. It is a slick operation always featuring stellar performances from some of the biggest acts in the world. This year was no different. With artists such as Swedish House Mafia, Fatboy Slim and New Order taking up the reins, there was no risk that punters would lose interest through the course of the day. Admittedly, the weather was against the organisers. The weather during March in Melbourne is as reliable as betting on the favourite at the biggest horse-race of the year, the Melbourne Cup.
However, there was no keeping the crowd at bay in this instance. The festival is spread out over eleven stages over a substantial area, yet it by no means felt empty. With green lush hills surrounding the festival area, and rows of rose bushes separating the different stages, Flemington Racecourse provides one of the most attractive settings for a dance-music festival in the world. Apart from its ability to organize music festivals without any hiccups, Future Entertainment also has an uncanny knack of attracting some of the most interesting new takeaway food companies going around. Organic was the word of the day in the food kiosk areas, and apart from Red Rooster, the options were unusually healthy. The afternoon sessions felt like a precursor to the main headline acts. A lot of the crowd appeared to be taking advantage of the afternoon sun and enjoying the array of drinks on offer. By the time Fatboy Slim appeared, the main stage Las Venus was overflowing with. His mish-mashing of personally written favourites with other classics combined to make his set a special one. He is a person to admire for his clear passion for music, enthusiasm and also life in general.
No less impressive were Swedish House Mafia, New Order and the Naked and Famous. The Rapture, Friendly Fires and the Wombats also proved to be big hits. The festival also featured some impressive DJs, including in the PVD arena where Paul Van Dyk completed proceedings in style. What was immediately obvious was that the stages where the DJs were set up felt decidedly more like a dance-party compared to the larger main stages. But whether it was an old classic act like New Order that you were there to see, or a newer band like Naked and Famous, there was no chance that you could be disappointed. While the Future Music Festival is quite different to the other major Future Entertainment festival in the Australian summer, Summadayze, it is unique in its own right and a great way to conclude the Melbourne summer festival season.
The Futute Music Festival Debuts With A Bang In Asia!
Future Music Festival Asia, the biggest music festival Malaysia has ever seen saw a massive turnout of 20,000 fans, some of whom converged at the Sepang International Circuit on Saturday as early as noon despite the scorching weather. Wave after wave of people entered the festival from the two main entrances throughout the day. It was a spectacular sight to behold, with legions of music lovers braving the hot sun donning unique and colourful outfits which reflected the festival’s quirky and fun atmosphere. The crowd consisted of a good mixture of people hailing from all over Asia – Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, The Philippines, and India. And there were a considerable amount of tourists from Europe, the Americas and a huge representation from the Australians, where Future Music Festival originates from. Throughout the on-going festivities, partygoers had plenty of distractions to choose from. With music to entertain fans on four electrifying stages – Flamingo, Las Venus, Future and Gnome, amusement park rides for the thrill seekers, interactive gaming domes featuring multiple activities such as DJ performances, car simulators and lounges for revellers to rest their soles in. A graffiti wall set up by Red Bull invited a variety of talented artists to show off their worth on the urban canvas. The Food Village and funky MINI booths proved to be good additions to the usual line of concession stalls. Timmy Trumpet alongside The Stafford Brothers kicked-off the day at the Future Stage with their epic assembly of tunes and playfully antics. The exhilarating trumpet play by Timmy Trumpet coupled with the rambunctious spinning by The Stafford Brothers enticed the crowd to an upbeat mood and gave the festival the festive jolt. The following performer is no stranger to Malaysia, American singer, songwriter and southern hip, electro-pop maestro, Flo Rida, worked the stage with the usual crowd-pleasers. Adoring fans were ecstatic when Flo Rida interacted with them off stage. The Florida native definitely demonstrated his staying power for future gigs. The festivities continued throughout with performances after performances, playing to an ever increasing crowd. Early in the evening, Miss Connie Mitchell from Sneaky Sound System mesmerised folks at the Las Venus stage with her golden-leafed costume and zany moves that tickled them into a dancing frenzy. Project E.A.R., the Southeast Asian super-band rallied fans to the front stage area with hard hitting sounds and stellar showmanship, carried their own against other international and regional acts when vying for the attention of fans at the festival.
The night was set on fire with the musical genius of Tinie Tempah, the UK based act that is popular for his radio-friendly rap tracks like ‘Written in the Stars’. He gave the crowd a stellar performance, skipping from one end of the stage to the other without tiring. He just carried the crowd with his lyrical genius and groovy beats, which at 10 hours in to the concert is a monumental effort. Perth drum and bass legends, Pendulum played a versatile set – moving from hard hitting drum and bass tunes to the biggest club monster hits. They successfully got the crowd going mad with their opening track, ‘Salt On The Wounds’ and included a lot of their own tracks in their set like ‘Slam’ and ‘The Island’. The Chemical Brothers filled the stage area with zealous fans chanting for more. For a moment, the energy level of the audiences was filled and audiences partook in the musical madness and dance moves that could only happen in a musical fiesta this huge. The Chemical Brothers played a very tight set and satisfied any musical cravings that anyone there had.
On the other side of the event area indie rock band, The Wombats, played their enormously popular ‘Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)’ to their adoring fans at the Las Venus stage. Although all stages were filled with strong headlining acts overlapping each other, none of the stages were empty, contrary to that, they were filled. Anytime headliners such as the Hercules & Love Affair, and Cosmic Gate got started with their sets, the crowd was still filled with exuberance despite some of them having been there for 12 hours. Their faces were still brimming at the chance of hearing these international acts play mixes and songs that they have come to love them for. Alongside the star-studded international acts that performed at the festival, Future Music Festival Asia had also brought along an equally impressive line of local and regional acts
These include Jalebee Cartel (India), Pet Conspiracy (China), Goodnight Electric (Indonesia), and Inquisitive (Singapore). The local acts also feature heavyweights such as Kyoto Protocol, Blink & Goldfish, Joe Flizzow, Victor G, and Fono.The line-up of 70 performances, an eclectic mash-up of international, regional, and local acts kept the party going well through the night, giving the unrelenting crowd, some of the most memorable performances ever experienced. It was certainly a magnificent festival which will be ingrained in our membranes for a long, long time.