Big crowd, big acts at Meredith Music Festival

ORGANISERS and police have praised the estimated crowd of 12,000 revellers who attended the weekend’s Meredith Music Festival. Despite its reputation as a magnet for bad weather, the 21st annual festival enjoyed mostly dry conditions and even featured a lunar eclipse.Meredith police Leading Senior Constable Greg Kitchen said the only arrest made was away from the festival site. “Police made one drug-related arrest and issued a number of warnings but on the whole everyone was very well behaved,” he said. He said police were very happy with the crowd’s behaviour and response to warnings about drug use and alcohol consumption. Festival organiser Greg Peele said the event had gone “incredible well” for 2011. “I don’t think we could have asked for a much better event in terms of line-up, crowd and weather,” he said. “We spent a lot of time on the weather radar looking at storm cells, but they all missed us so we had a clear run and that’s extraordinary.” Mr Peele and his co-director Matt Highs nominated Nick Cave’s alternative rock outfit Grinderman and Melbourne electro band Cut Copy as the musical highlights but said the crowd responded well to all the acts. Mr Peele said one of the more unusual elements of the program was also a hit. “Denis Cometti calling the Meredith Gift was brilliant,” Mr Peele said of the naked sprint race commentated by the longtime AFL caller. Other acts to play the festival included Kurt Vile & The Violators, Mudhoney, Icehouse and Ladyhawke. International performers such as Explosions In The Sky, rock ‘n’ roll group Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears and hardcore punk outfit OFF! delighted local fans. Mr Peele said planning for next year’s Meredith Festival would begin very soon into the new year. “It really has become an all-year round job and we will try and use the enthusiasm of this year to make next year even better,” he said.