The Guardian festival blog: Police search for man after alleged sexual assault at St Kilda Listen Out music festival | Australia news

Police are investigating an alleged sexual assault that occurred at a music festival in St Kilda on Saturday. The alleged assault occurred in the mosh pit for the main stage of the Listen Out festival at Catani Gardens about 8pm. Police say the female victim was dancing in the mosh pit when an unknown male began dancing behind her. “The female tried to move away from him but he has grabbed her by the waist and pulled her toward him,” Victoria police said. “The male then grabbed the victim around the neck and placed his hand inside the victims clothing and sexually assaulted her. The female has managed to elbow the male to his face and left the mosh pit […]

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The Guardian festival blog: Festival No 6 review – au revoir to an eccentric, magical gem | Music

Secret Garden Party had its last topless paint fight in 2017, Bestival has shrunk back to its boutique roots and now Festival No 6, set in the stunning Italianate village of Portmeirion (where The Prisoner was filmed) has declared its 2018 event the last “for now”. Perhaps Brexit Britain isn’t disposed to whimsical weekends, but No 6’s finale is more likely down to the challenges of staging an idyllic middle-class festival on the west coast of Wales in mid-September. Some years you’d think it was themed around Aquaman. Thankfully, this farewell edition dodges the forecast monsoon and its first run ends as it began, as the most semi-magical weekend of the year. “I thought we’d have to rename the band […]

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The Guardian festival blog: End of the Road review – intimate, adventurous fest steals the summer | Music

End of the Road is the sophisticated family camp-out where herds of Pitchfolk singer-songwriters roam wild and inventive alt-rockers scare the peacocks. Out in the woods there’s competitive croquet, grunge bingo and a hidden piano stage where the stars of the weekend play inaudible secret sets. Across the compact main site, meanwhile, a refined esoterica reigns. The haunting Soccer Mommy is Juliana Hatfield meets Red House Painters. Gwenno twirls, sprite-like, through spectral synth-folk tunes sung in Welsh and Cornish. Julia Holter summons a folk sea-squall. The Low Anthem build cacophonies of sawed violin and clawed guitar, then play a surf-pop song about plankton. There’s a distinct shortage of glittery students here, but End of the Road’s spirit of intimacy and […]

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The Guardian festival blog: Wysing Polyphonic review – explosions in the sonic inventing shed | Music

‘Noises of spoons!” I’m in an octagonal wooden structure that’s half Grand Designs man-shed, half denouement to a slasher movie, in a field in the Cambridgeshire countryside. Elaine Mitchener is kicking things off at Wysing Polyphonic, delivering scat poetry that’s as light, intricate and unmappable as rain falling on a roof. Alongside her is Neil Charles, tapping his double bass’s body like a faith healer, a tambourine tucked in its neck. Mitchener’s spoon mantra dissolves into stutters. She clicks shells and stones in her hands, as the bass fumbles and shuffles – the pair are trying to put something or other back in one piece. This is one of the most valuable music festivals in the country – one that […]

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The Guardian festival blog: Creamfields review – inhibitions shed for sensory EDM overload | Music

Celebrating its 20th year, the festival run by the famed Liverpool club night returns to capture the breadth of commercial-leaning dance music, from 90s trance stars to modern EDM giants. Ex-professional football player Hannah Wants delivers pumping house on a Friday afternoon, and by the time of Green Velvet’s house and techno-stuffed set, the whole festival is bouncing harder than most manage at 4am. There’s no gradual build up to ease you in, just an on switch and an off switch; beats from breakfast until bedtime. This all-or-nothing approach seems to shed inhibitions, and creates a fiery feeling of hedonism from the audience who throw themselves into the party with infectious aplomb. The Chainsmokers’ headline set is as subtle as […]

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The Guardian festival blog: Presteigne festival review – new song cycles are compelling and moving | Music

Music from the Baltic countries has featured regularly in both the Presteigne and the Vale of Glamorgan festivals, and St Michael’s Church, Pembridge, was packed out for Arvo Pärt’s Passio, the Estonian composer’s setting of the passion according to St John. Its austere beauty was realised with measured calm in the performance directed by Rupert Gough with the choir of Royal Holloway College, a spatial dimension added by virtue of the role of Jesus (Peter Norris) being sung from the pulpit and that of Pilate (Mark Wilde) from the west end of the church. In the Navarra Quartet’s concert at St Andrew’s, the festival’s home in Presteigne itself, the Third String Quartet by the Latvian Peteris Vasks was played with […]

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The Guardian festival blog: Live Nation’s grip on music festivals ‘stifling competition’ | Music

Independent music festivals have urged the competition watchdog to investigate Live Nation’s dominance of the UK music industry, warning that the summer festival scene is suffering. As thousands of fans returned from this weekend’s Reading and Leeds events – both controlled by Live Nation – the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) said the company was able to “stifle competition”. The AIF has created an online “stamp” intended to help consumers identify independent events and published a map highlighting how many UK festivals are owned by LiveNation. The US company or its subsidiaries control some of the country’s biggest outdoor live music events including Latitude, Isle of Wight festival, Reading and Leeds, Parklife and Lovebox. The AIF said Live Nation had […]

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The Guardian festival blog: Reading and Leeds festival review – glittery GCSE blowout has most diverse lineup yet | Music

‘The worst lineup ever” raged social-media users when this year’s twin-site festival was announced in February, while a recent tweet unfavourably comparing the event with that of 2000 (Oasis, Pulp, Primal Scream, et al) went viral. However, the former rock festival had to adapt to changing tastes. Huge, anthemic indie rock artists – the Vaccines and the Courteeners – still fill the field, but there are far fewer of them. This year’s event is the most culturally diverse yet, with rock, metal, rap, grime, dance and pop represented across seven stages. Some things don’t change, though, and the traditional post-GCSE results blowout attracts a largely teenage audience seizing the chance to paint their faces with glitter and try things they […]

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The Guardian festival blog: War, peace, and everything between: the best classical music of autumn 2018 | Music

Lammermuir festival While the Edinburgh international festival makes itself increasingly irrelevant as far as classical music is concerned, its more modest autumn neighbour, spread around Lothian’s churches and grand houses, goes from strength to strength. Clarinettist-composer Mark Simpson is artist in residence this year, and Scottish Opera makes its first visit with a semi-staging of Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace; there’s also the premiere of a commission from Stuart MacRae, and rarely heard Stockhausen too. Various venues, East Lothian, 14-23 September War and Peace David Pountney’s final season in charge of Welsh National Opera begins spectacularly, with its first-ever production of Prokofiev’s sprawling epic. Whatever the dramatic weaknesses of this adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel, War and Peace is a work […]

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The Guardian festival blog: Big noise: the essential pop, jazz and folk music of autumn 2018 | Music

Arctic Monkeys Arctic Monkeys’ sixth studio album, Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino, proved to be the most controversial and slowest-selling of their career, which perhaps tells you rather more about their fans than it does about the radical nature of the album’s Serge Gainsbourg and Beach Boys-inspired contents. It will be interesting to see how said contents work played live in arenas. Tour begins 6 September, Manchester Arena Chic – It’s About Time Photograph: Virgin EMI Records An appropriately titled comeback album from Nile Rodgers, who’s been touring around the world with a latterday version of Chic for over a decade, and constantly promising a new album during that time. So 26 years after the last Chic album, and wrapped […]

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