FEATURE: Coachella doubles up

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So Coachella is doubling up for 2012. The massive festival will now be held over two identical weekends: 13-15 and 20-22 of April.

According to their website, the decision was made for two reasons. Firstly, because 2011 passes sold out incredibly fast and many people missed out. Secondly, because many who bought tickets through other outlets or scalpers were ripped off and scammed.

I’m curious. I know Coachella is absolutely massive, but are organisers pushing their luck here? No doubt it will sell out, eventually. But I get the feeling it may suffer the same fate Splendour did. Yeah, it sold out, but not nearly as quickly as everyone expected. And that’s not to say it’s a failure, because it’s not, but when you set expectations this high and assume they will be reached then there’s always a large opportunity for disappointment. There’s the legitimate idea that this could simply over-saturate the music festival market.

Everyone knows the Australian festival scene has been steadily growing over recent years, and it all has to peak somewhere (that’s what she said). But seriously, it does. If festivals keep expanding and growing, and new festivals keep jumping up, then soon enough they will stop selling out and numbers will begin to drop. As much as the public love music, and as admirable as it is to see so many people supporting musicians, it’s just not viable to continue like this. But that’s Australia.

I often wonder if overseas scenes are similar. Is the American festival scene becoming over-saturated? Do you think two weekends of Coachella is too much?

And on the other hand, will this destroy opportunities for artists to pull any surprises or special one-offs, knowing the potential for backlash if they don’t repeat it the next weekend? To what extent can you replicate a festival weekend like Coachella, and to what extent will people expect both weekends to be the same?

Unlike Big Day Out or Groovin’ The Moo (both of which travel), Coachella will not be changing locations or moving. This is probably drawing a rather long bow, but will this effect the perspective people have psychologically: to know that while they attend one weekend, they may not be getting everything out of it that others will on the other weekend? Each weekend will be unique in some aspects, and not in others: will people feel like they’re slightly missing out?

It will be interesting to see whether the first or second weekend sells out first: will people expect the opening or closing to be better?

What do you think? Am I overthinking this all (I tend to do that)? Are two weekends a good idea? What implications will this have for the festival and for attendees?

BRAND NEW: Broken Social Scene – "World Sick"

After 5 whole years, Broken Social Scene are releasing a new album. Titled "Forgiveness Rock Record", I’m getting the distinct feeling that this is an album I’m going to have to pick up on it’s release (which is around May the 4th, apparently May the 3rd in Europe). Though I never caught onto Broken Social Scene when their other albums were released (likely due to both terrible taste in music 5 years ago, I would’ve been 12, c’mon, and not being exposed to them at all), I have heard very good things about them. I know that the current line-up has been pulled back to 6 members (a relatively low amount compared to previous line-ups), but that various other musicians, including older members, have popped in to contribute to the album.

"World Sick" begins with some rolling drums, and a simple light-hearted guitar riff. Echo-laden notes drop in once the vocals come in, and lead in an absolutely epic, clashing, and soaring chorus. The drums make me want to bounce, and the chorus makes me want to sing along . This song really brings together what grand majestic indie/baroque rock should be made of. It brings back distinct memories of those moments of pure explosive movement and great song composition, not unlike those that I experience when I listen to Arcade Fire’s "Funeral" (despite stylistic differences, this comparison was inevitable for me). "World Sick" moves between expanding chorus’ and bopping verses, and for once, I’m genuinely excited about what I’m hearing. If this is an indication of what’s to follow on "Forgiveness Rock Record", I think I’m going to be very pleased.

Perhaps in the future I should be harsher with my review scores, to allow a clearer distinction between what is brilliant and what is just pretty good. But this is brilliant.

Score: 9/10

Grab a free download here. Do it now.