It's not every music festival that feels like a country weekend fete — and it's definitely not every music festival that feels like a country fete while being headlined by Rodriguez. But, hey, that's exactly what Fairgrounds 2016 promises to be. After a stellar debut last year — with Father John Misty headlining, no less — the boutique camping festival in the small NSW town of Berry is coming back this December. And the lineup has two big thumbs up from us.
Taking over the local Berry Showgrounds on December 2 and 3, the two-day festival is making a triumphant return — much to the delight of everyone who went last year (including us). In a huge coup for the small festival in its second year, they've secured the legendary Rodriguez to headline on the Friday night. It's something of a self-fulfilling prophecy as the film in which Rodriguez is the subject, Searching for Sugar Man, was screened at the festival last year.
Like last year, they've also nabbed some talent from Victoria's Meredith Music Festival, which will take place the weekend following Fairgrounds. In great news for NSW-bound music lovers, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Jagwar Ma, Angel Olsen and Japandroids will all be doing back-to-back festival weekends. There's a notable Aussie music presence (go team), with old hats The Drones and the ever-talented Sarah Blasko both playing the festival, along with Big Scary, who should be releasing their new album any day now.
With a strong focus on the local NSW South Coast area, Fairgrounds isn't just about the tunes. Last year local nosh, market stalls and the local swimming pool played equally starring roles at this multifaceted festival — something we're sure made Berry residents pretty happy. Between watching films at the openair cinema, sack races, bouts of tug-of-war and dips in Berry's local pool (within the festival grounds and equipped with hectic DJ sets), punters feasted on local delights, from South Coast candy from Berry's own Treat Factory, and fresh rock oysters from An Australian Affair, harvested less than half an hour from the festival site. Plus pies, pies, pies, pies, pies.
Straight-up, it warmed our jaded little hearts to see a smaller scale festival like Fairgrounds supporting local nosh, something still spearheaded by the likes of local loving' bigwigs like Bluesfest and Splendour. We can't wait to do it all again this year. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday, August 19 at 9am.
But we know what you're here for. Here's the full lineup.
FAIRGROUNDS FESTIVAL 2016 LINEUP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
The Tallest Man on Earth
Fairgrounds Festival will return to Berry on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 December, 2016. Onsite camping will once again be available from Friday. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday, August 19 at 9am at fairgrounds.com.au.
By Shannon Connellan and Lauren Vadnjal. Image: Andy Fraser.