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Harvest Festival Brisbane 2012

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harvest festival
It's a rare musical event that can attract both mature alternative types and youthful hipsters. But I think that this year's Harvest festival, due to hit Brisbane's City Botanic Gardens on Sunday 18th of November, may pull it off.

In only its second year, Harvest has already earned a reputation for luring hard-to-get acts from overseas and putting together some pretty impressive combos of big-name artists (much to the chagrin of certain other promoters).

Last year's line-up featured Portishead, the Flaming Lips, and Mercury Rev, among others.

This year, I'm personally pretty excited to see Beck, the Dandy Warhols and Ozomatli on the bill, as well as Ben Folds Five. These four acts alone should be enough to get people out and dancing on the lawns as far as I'm concerned.

harvest festival beck
But Harvest promoter AJ Maddah (also the brain behind the punk/metal Soundwave festival) has plenty of other delights in store for festival-goers. Icelandic band Sigur Ros will bring their ethereal sounds to the stage, while Brooklyn-based Grizzly Bear will be playing their own brand of melodic poppy/folky/singalong indie sounds.

harvest festival
Perhaps the most intriguing (weird?) treat will be Mike Patton's Mondo Cane. The former Faith No More frontman, renowned for his left-of-field musical experiments, has been at it again. This time, he's released an album of cover versions of 1950s and 1960s Italian pop songs, played with a full orchestra.

I don't know how many musicians he'll have on stage at Harvest, but now that I've watched the clip of him singing Deep Deep Down, I know my life won't be complete till I see it in the flesh.

Cake, Beirut, Santigold and plenty of other acts will also perform (see the Harvest festival website for more info).

harvest festival
Ben Folds
The festival will also feature a Bootleg Alley, arts festival, and retro and vintage stalls. What it won't feature is anybody under the age of 18 years -- including kids.

In an interview last year, outspoken promoter Maddah declared that one of his main motivations in establishing Harvest was to give 'mature' punters a festival where they wouldn't be bothered by babies and toddlers (? go figure -- I've never been moshed on by an out-of-control three-year-old) nor forced to suffer countless drunken teenagers (now that one I do understand -- I just hope the big kids behave themselves too).

harvest festival
Grizzly Bear
Maddah's goal for Harvest was to create what he called a 'civilised gathering' and, by and large, he seemed to succeed. While there were some complaints about long queues at certain locations, I've heard positive things about the Brisbane date, with the quality of both the music and the crowd drawing compliments.

harvest festival botanic gardens
The City Gardens will host Harvest for the second year running
Tickets for the festival go on public sale on Thursday 28 June. They ain't cheap (think $163 -- ouch), but, with such a strong lineup, I think they're worth it. And I reckon there'll be enough on offer from the musical soup to satisfy most palates.
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Update October 31st 2012
Hey, hey punters, Harvest timetables are now available at Also, sad news, Ozomatli have pulled out. :(
Update October 17th 2012
Harvest has just announced the arts lineup for the festival and it's pretty intriguing. Check it out at
Update October 1st 2012
I've just received a festival update announcing sideshows by some of the Harvest headliners. Mike Patton, the Dandy Warhols, Ben Folds, Cake and Sigur Ros will all play extra gigs ... in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide (cue loud groan from Brisbanites). So far nothing's scheduled for Brisbane, though that might change, of course. Looks like buying a festival ticket is your safest bet for Brisvegas right now.
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Why? For great music
When: Sunday 18 November
Phone: Various -- see Harvest website for ticket outlet phone numbers
Where: City Botanic Gardens
Cost: $163
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