Every ex-Pat in Sydney will be jumping with excitement as Playground Weekender enters its sixth year running.
The festival, which offers music lovers an alternative to the one-day city festivals, has won awards for ‘Best Crowd and Atmosphere,’ and promises an eclectic mix of sounds from across the globe.
With six stages, an outdoor cinema, yoga, cocktails bar, cabaret food and market stalls, Club Tropicana swimming pool and Australia’s largest fancy dress party, you will never be at a loss for things to do.
Check out some of the biggest names from this year’s line-up…
Over the past 12 years Rodney Smith AKA Roots Manuva has released eight albums, which boast some of the biggest British hip-hop hits of the noughties.
Now he’s back at Sydney’s Playground Weekender, with four album’s worth of material, from latest release ‘4everevolution’ to some classic hits from the past decade.
Asked to explain the title of his new record, his most crafted and accomplished yet, he said, “It’s me and my fascination with the deeper, darker sonic resonance and sentiments. Dark shapes and sonic pictures. I’m just an awfully deep kind of guy.”
Born and raised in Stockwell, London, Roots Manuva claims to have discovered his passion for music at a young age. Whilst passing Stockwell Skate Park with his mother, he saw a huge sound system pumping out a bass that changed his perception of music, and his future, instantaneously.
From a modest Jamaican background, music was never meant to be the chief inspiration in Smith’s life. But thank God it was! He is currently signed to Big Dadda Records and lives in Sheffield, and will be sharing some of the first tastes of his new material with the crowds at Playground Weekender.
Since the moment he spun his first record, Damian Lazarus’s mission has been a clear and urgent one: to blow away the mediocre, the over-inflated, the obsolete; to seek out and celebrate the energetic, the important, and the new.
British born techno house DJ, Damian Lazarus, began his career as a music journalist working as Assistant Editor for Dazed & Confused magazine in London.
Boasting his own record label and radio show, Lazarus is more than just a DJ. After relocating to LA in 2009 he is now also a resident DJ at Avalon nightclub in Hollywood.
The Cuban Brothers launched by storming UK club-land with their passionate attitude towards partying and performing – and their rise to fame was meteoric.
Some of their highlights including playing mainstage at Manumission, hosting the NME Awards and even presenting music specials for MTV at Homelands and Creamfriends, MTV Ibiza and the MTV Music Awards in 2002.
The comedy quartet’s live shows have become the stuff of legends, having performed at festivals like Glasonbury and Bestival, to performances for Robbie Williams, Elton John and Richard Branson.
Their performances are renowned for their combination of music, riotous comedy, and sensational dancing. This year Cuban Brother’s host Playground Weekender’s Fancy Dress Saturday Catwalk, so grab your lycra leggings and your dancing shoes, and come and join the fun!
Texas-based, Neon Indian, is the brainchild of Mexican-born Alan Palomo. Their debut, ‘Psychic Chasms,’ received favourable reviews, including being dubbed ‘Best New Music’ and 14th best album of 2009 by Pitchfork Media.
Their sound has been described as everything from chill-wave- to psychedelic, to electronic. Either way, it has a definite 80s vibe, influenced by Palomo’s father who had a brief stint in the late 70s and early 80s as a Spanish popstar. Evidently it was in Palomo’s blood to become the sensation known today as Neon Indian.
Having struggled through many music projects, first under the pseudonym ‘Ghosthustler’ and then ‘VEGA,’ ‘Neon Indian’ was eventually coined by an ex-girlfriend of Palomo’s, who is also the subject of their song ‘I Should Have Taken Acid With You.’ Her positive response to the tune encouraged Palomo to continue making music as Neon Indian, and here they are today!
Having opened for bands including Chromeo, Flaming Lips and Massive Attack, as well as scoring a place at top festivals, South by Southwest and Bonnaroo, Neon Indian’s performance at Playground Weekend will no doubt be a blinder.
Lee Burridge began his legacy after moving to Hong Kong, where he proceeded to make a name for himself at the forefront of Asian dance music, headlining world-renowned events including pioneering dance music at Thailand’s legendary Full Moon Party.
But his beginnings were not so bright. Before his reign as Asian Dance King, Burridge DJ’d at parties, weddings and even funerals in 1980s England.
He is now not only a DJ, but a producer and record label owner, and has mixed albums for labels such as Global Underground, Hooj Choons and Balance.
Having DJ’d at the world famous Burning Man Festival, Burridge has now began a new series of concept parties based on his experience at the festival. The parties, launched in San Francisco and New York, were called ‘GET WEIRD’ and Burridge has since taken the concept to many other cities.
Burridge can read a crowd like no other, and plays some of the most genre bending and jaw-dropping records you’re ever likely to hear, so be sure to check him out at Playground Weekender!
WHAT: Playground Weekender
WHEN: Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th March 2012
WHERE: Del Rio Riverside Resort, Wisemans Ferry
PRICE: $239 for 3 day pass or $119 for either a Saturday or Sunday ticket
For more info and tickets see www.playgroundweekender.com.au
Words By Ella White