21 April, 2016. 14:05
PADDY MUNRO | Contributor | CONTACT
The notorious DEFQON.1 music festival has been forced to alter its Sydney line up in order to receive a much needed boost in funding from the Australian Federal Government
The notorious hard-styles festival’s Dutch organiser, Q-Dance, announced yesterday it has added a new contemporary music stage and chardonnay bar to its 2016 takeover of the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith.
The move was well received by Federal Arts Minister, Mitch Fifield, who awarded the festival a two million dollar grant from the Federal Government’s Catalyst arts funding program and a five year guaranteed license for its commitment to “expand participation in the arts”.
The psytrance stage will be transformed into a plush retreat with performances of music officially sanctioned by the Arts Minister, including jazz, opera and folk. An extreme departure from the festival’s music policy focus on aggressive, bass heavy tunes.
“It’s a lovely way to show kids what contemporary music is all about; sitting next to the gorgeous Penrith Lakes with a nice glass of local white and soaking up some real art,” Minister Fifield said in a press release.
Head of Q-Dance Australia, Sven Hakken, said it was the only option to ensure that the annual rave institution, that attracts revellers from around the world, could continue in Sydney.
“Casino Mike and his God squad henchman Scipione had us in their sights. They think we are the anti-Christ,” said Hakken.
“You can’t even have a 100 person boat party in Sydney anymore. No way could we keep getting away with a 20,000-strong gabba fest in broad daylight. Have you seen our last aftermovie?
“We had to get into bed with one level of government to survive and we couldn’t stomach putting a Hillsong stage on.”
“But yeah, we were fine with Opera. Most music sounds the same when you are on DMT. Just none of that Mike Baird happy clapper shit”
The arts community is up in arms over the grant announcement which they see as further evidence of Minister Fifield using the Catalyst fund, initially set up to fund former Arts Minister George Brandis’s private shows, to pork barrel in the lead up to this year’s election.
“This is a bald-faced attempt to bribe people in Western Sydney to vote LNP,” said Archibald Prize winning artist Jake Knightly.
“Everyone knows the only things for kids to do out that way are lighting flares at soccer games, cutting hoops and gabbering. Defqon in bigger than Ramadan in Western Sydney.”
Minister Fifield’s office declined to comment on the allegations.