THE INFOWhat: The 21st Meredith Music FestivalWhen: December 9-11Where: Meredith Supernatural AmpitheatreTickets: $279 plus booking fee of $9.Bookings: via ballot. Ballot for the second round of tickets closes on Tuesday, August 23.
MEREDITH Music Festival has covered all bases this year, with something to suit even the most obscure of musical tastes in this year's line-up.Thousands of music fans will today find out whether they have scored a ticket to this year's festival, when the first round of offers are made via email.Nick Cave's alternative rock outfit Grinderman will headline Meredith this year, alongside Kurt Vile & The Violators, Mudhoney, Icehouse, Ladyhawke and Melbourne electro band Cut Copy .The bill also includes New York cosmic rockers Gang Gang Dance, Texan instrumental band Explosions In The Sky, rock 'n' roll group Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears and hardcore punk outfit OFF!, among others.This year, the festival has pulled off the ultimate feat, adding a lunar eclipse to its line-up.For 51 minutes and eight seconds at about 12.30am on the Saturday evening, headliners Grinderman will finish their set under the spooky red non-light of a total lunar eclipse. What started out in 1991 as a party for about 200 people has escalated into a three-day festival that attracts 12,000 people annually .No one is more surprised by the festival's cult following than co-organiser Greg Peel, who thought up the event with friend Chris Nolan 21 years ago."It started out as a party in the bush and us trying to get as many friends to come as we could to see some live music," Peel said."There's always that disappointing part of a gig ? the end. The idea was to have it so that it was too far away for people to go home."Meredith Music Festival still operates on the same site it did in 1991 — Jack and Mary Nolan's farm.Their son Chris was in the midst of planning the 1996 festival when his life changed irrevocably.Chris suffered a multi-organ collapse while travelling in Vietnam and hovered on the edge of life in a coma for six months. He still attends every festival, and a large portion of income generated from the event goes towards his care and ongoing rehabilitation.Meredith has many memories for Peel, but one that stands out is the 100-year storm in 2004."That year we had a whole heap of bad things happening, then we had this horrendous storm which just pushed all of our resources and patience to the limit," he said. "It kind of culminated with the Dirty Three coming on stage on the Saturday night, and the storm looked like it was coming back for a second time."On the Friday afternoon, my wife had turned up and informed me she was pregnant with our first child and there was so much going on, it kind of got pushed to back of my mind for the moment."Then, I was watching Dirty Three and this overwhelming emotional jolt hit me and I just stood there watching them bawling my eyes out."Peel says part the magic of Meredith lies in the sense of community that has grown with it over the past 21 years."It's not great because of the site or great because of the music, it's this huge experience and you only appreciate it when you get there," he said.THE LINE-UPGrindermanCut CopyKurt Vile and The ViolatorsMudhoneyIcehouseGang Gang DanceExplosions In The SkyLadyhawkeBlack Joe Lewis and the HoneybearsOff!AdalitaFuture Of The LeftFrank FairfieldHarmonic 313 (DJ set)JoelisticsBig FreediaUnknown Moral OrchestraGraveyard TrainTim SweeneyOscar + MartinCash Savage & The Last DrinksAngus SampsonBarbarionKing Gizzard & The Lizard WizardJuiceboxxxVirgo FourEagle and The WormThe RechordsDave Graney and The Lurid Yellow MistMatt Sonic and The High TimesThe Town BikesCity of Ballarat Municipal Brass BandMaster Song Tai ChiSilence WedgeA Total Lunar EclipsePLUS Special Guest MC Dennis Cometti