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Soulfest – a punters review

The first annual Neo-Soul, Hip-Hop and Jazz festival of Australia, Soulfest, Kicked off this October with an astounding international line-up and a flurry of support from Australian punters. The Soulfest crew were fantastic at marketing and pulling off an almost unbelievable line-up, though when it came to the festival days themselves, there were a few major hitches, leaving some fans quite disgruntled. Overall, for a first time, it was a fantastic experience…for those who live in Australia, we are often starved of the celebration of this genre of music on Australian Shores. So thank you Soulfest! Continue reading to see what the punters themselves thought of the Soulfest experience

Punters words:

About the festival (positives)

Overall, Australian punbters seemed to be elated that a niche event such as Soulfest, have bought a fantastic International line-up to Australian shores. Here are some comments of the festival experience from the voice of the people

Mike Justice: Congratulations to the entire team in putting on an amazing event! Indeed one of the best line ups in the world! It’s always great when you can look after the artists, and of course the people that give up there hard earned money to come along. You all did both! Impossible is nothing! Bring on 2015! P&L

Lisa Shearer: Well done Soulfest, love to see you back here next year. Really enjoyed all the artists. Would love to see a few more ladies performing . Managed to ace Sydney & Auckland . Double D’Angelo.

Brett Omega B Wagner: Amazing concert! Props to all concerned!

Alia Styles: Best day of my life…keep Melbourne @the bowl for next year it’s a perfect venue and any inconsistency in sound is made up for by the natural amplification of the dome!

Sandile Gontsana: THE BEST Festival EVER!! Big Ups To The Organisers, Artists & Everyone Involved In Putting Together This AWESOME Festival. Y’all Did A Great Job!! Can’t Wait For SoulFest 2015

Norbani Subandie: A group of us flew from Hongkong to Sydney just to experience & witness this! Thank u, Soulfest! We’ll be back next year for it! Much love from da HK crew

About the festival (negatives)

Yes, there were some negatives…and big ones. A no-show from Mos Def, poor sound quality (especially in Sydney) and cancellation of the entire Australian Line-up in Melbourne with meagre explanation. Here are some punters comments:

Tommy Rose: I had a good time but just because the sub woofers can crank doesn’t mean you should crank them louder than everythingelse

Samuel Gaskin: I really hope you as organisers learn from your mistakes this time round . Whilst there was an amazing line up you really cheapened them by sound checking in front of a live audience of thousands in between sets . The vibe was totally killed as soon as somebody finished and that happened . Also cancelling the whole local line up on the day for Melbourne was more than shady . So much potential but don’t expect people to hand over their money again if you can’t iron out your organising flaws .

Michelle JbY: ‘all are blessed. The sound was so bad in Sydney he cut his set short. Thankfully I got to see Maxwell twice though, four times total including 2 shows back home in LA

tonedeaf.com.au: “Punters have been left outraged and disappointed following the inaugural Soulfest over the weekend, after a headlining act was cancelled during the festival’s Sydney leg and an entire stage was cancelled during the Melbourne event”.

Quotes from Soulfest Promoter John Denison:

John Denison: Soulfest promoter John Denison spoke about his decision to launch the niche event during an interview with FL earlier this year. “I don’t think this country can handle big festivals anymore,” he explained. ” I think our country is an 8000 to 12,000 [capacity] festival country. I just wanted a festival that was 10-14,000, no more. If we sell out in 10 seconds we’re not going to grow year two or year three. We’re going to keep it boutique. That’s a commitment I’m making to myself.” Read more at http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/news/40854/Soulfest-unveils-clash-free-2015-timetables#crAmGDu0B7J7YPhO.99
John Denison: We’re putting together a movement that supports the event every year. Hopefully the event is here in three years’ time – obviously second year we’ll be here because we’re committed already to an artist. There no doubt that this year will go down well. It’ll do very well; all we have to do is avoid any cancellations. Any cancellations and everyone will jump all over us. Irrespective of who it is – even if Leela James cancels they’ll be down our throats. Read more at http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/features/38977/Soulfest-promoter-John-Denison-I-dont-think-this-country-can-handle-big-festivals-anymore#wzRX1ogwYOGbUism.99
John Denison on Australian Artists at Soulfest: “These artists have been trickling out of us for years in an underground way,” says Denison. “So our legacy will be giving them a voice. It’s their festival as much as it is ours, because they’ve developed the market for us in a grassroots way here.”

Requests for 2015

India Arie, Lauryn hill, Jill Scott, Raphael Saadiq, ledisi, jill Scott, Marsha Ambrosius, Daley, BJ the Chicago kid, The Roots, Joss Stone, Hiatus Kaiyote, Kirkis, Thundercat.

Bring it on Soulfest!

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