Jodi Biddle

Ric’s Big Backyard Festival

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What’s this about Ric’s Big Backyard Festival? Iconic/shambolic Valley bar Ric’s has decided to join the dubious ranks of the festival circuit. They’ve landed You Am I for a headliner, along with the especially-for-this-festival-reformed Pangaea, plus a whopping 19 other bands. If you’ve ever been to Ric’s, you’re probably wondering how the sweet mother of fuck this is going to be physically possible.

If nothing else, there is definitely spectacle value in seeing 21 bands, their gear, entourages and punters cram into such a relatively tiny space. The line-up is pretty solid: YOU AM I, PANGAEA, DIE DIE DIE, SIX FT HICK, GUINEAFOWL, BIG SCARY, KING CANNONS, THE CAIROS, WE ALL WANT TO, MOSMAN ALDER, THE MERCY BEAT, RAT V POSSUM, RICHARD IN OUR MIND, THE HONEY MONTH, BEN SALTER, INLAND SEA, NUMBERS RADIO, BABAGANOUJ, VELOCIRAPTOR, JUD CAMPBELL, RESPECT DJ’S.

So great was my curiosity, and let’s face it, my concern about Ric’s ability to bend the laws of nature in this manner, I asked the curator of the event, Graham ‘Asho’ Ashton from Footstomp Music, a few questions about how it’s going to go down.

Do you think people are leaning towards festivals as the best way to see live music?
I think it depends on the people, but music festivals have certainly become a huge part of the culture of music fans in Australia.

What goes into curating such a festival? How do you choose the artists for the bill?
It’s the coolest job in the world. I started with a few key things in mind. We wanted all of the artists on the bill to be true entertainers and we wanted to reform a special local band. We did that with Pangea and have built the bill around those themes. We have a bill appeals to everyone from 18-50 that love great music and a great show.

What made you choose Ric’s as a festival venue?
They chose me. Ric’s is such an iconic venue and I’m stoked to be involved in curating their first festival.

What is the venue doing to prepare for such a huge bill?
We are building staging outside, upstairs and downstairs and are working hard to ensure that everyone has a ball, and that everything runs smoothly for punters and bands alike.

How are people reacting to the ticket price, especially considering Ric’s is usually free entry?
Some people will complain about putting their hands in their pockets for anything, I’m sure it’s obvious to most people that this is a very different event to a normal night at Ric’s, with a world class bill. I don’t many other places you can see 21 amazing bands for $75.

With the influx of festivals on the scene, how do you view the longevity of Ric’s Big Backyard?
If the local music community want it to continue, they need to support the first one. If it goes as well as we hope, it will be happening bi-annually.

Do you think Brisbane is more receptive to live music in comparison to other Australian cities?
Sure do.

So how ’bout it? Who’s going to sardine their way into this gig?

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