Rock On To Electric Avenue
Looking to knock your Electric Avenue Music Festival experience out of the (Hagley) park? Then read on Cityscapers for our lowdown on the epic 12-hour bonanaza and our top tips on rocking this mother right!
Christchurch’s very own version of that late, lamented music festival experience the Big Day Out, Electric Avenue Music Festival is back this month, with the homegrown Hagley Park hootenanny serving up sweet-as sounds in the sun with a side of suds and some seriously good eats.
It boasts a huge international line-up that includes headliners the acclaimed UK rapper and producer Dizzee Rascal, UK drum and bass stars Chase & Status + MC Rage, dance/rock crossover legends Primal Scream, and acclaimed Australian electronica champs Hermitude. They’re just part of a huge roster of artists that also extends to Jamaican reggae star Chronixx, the New York buskers-who-went-big Too Many Zooz as well as Katchafire (NZ), State of Mind (NZ), Black Milk (US), Confidence Man (Aus), L.A.B (NZ), The D4 (NZ), My Baby (Amsterdam), Aaradhna (NZ), Sneaky Sound System (Aus) and Theia (NZ) among others – some 26 acts in all over 12 hours and 3 stages.
Each band/performer is specifically selected by the festival team to be a perfect fit for Electric Avenue’s now-signature upbeat, freewheeling mix of music and cruisy festival vibe, whether you’re up and thrashing it out, or chilling out in the (fingers crossed) sun.
With the good times powering on all afternoon and into the evening, you’re going to need to refuel; enter some of the region’s best food and drink providers, who are on site to keep you fed, watered, and ready for more. More than 10 gourmet food trucks and 5 of the city’s yummiest little restaurants will be serving delicious food for the length of the fest, while local craft beer faves Cassels & Sons will be poured in both the main bar and the new Cassels & Sons Beer Garden, Red Bull will be on-site with the Red Bull Bar, and a wide range of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will be available.
Plenty of punters are lucky enough to be elevating their EA experience into the stratosphere with the now sold-out $280 VIP option. It may sound pricey, but it’s money well spent, offering access to the festival’s reserved VIP area, which features indoor and outdoor seating options including tables and couches, an all-day-long complimentary bar service, and a tasty selection of meals and snacks whipped up by Christchurch culinary legend Jonny Schwass and his team. We’re not done there, though; there’s also complimentary massages and a style station, a coat check, priority express entry and access to special reserved VIP Viewing Platforms (right next to the sound desk!) offering primo views of the action at each of the event’s three stages. If that’s you, we’re well jealous; if not, get in earlier next year!
Dizzee Rascal Grime genre pioneer and rapper Dizzee has scored 5 number 1 hits in his native UK (including monster hits ‘Bonkers’ and ‘Dance Wiv Me’) and has collaborated with a huge, diverse list of names including Calvin Harris, Arctic Monkeys, Shakira, Robbie Williams, and his fellow EA headliners Chase & Status.
Chase & Status + MC Rage Big-selling dance-floor-fillers and award-winners Saul Milton (Chase) and Will Kennard (Status) are UK drum and bass heroes who are joined by MC Rage for live sets in their frequent festival performances, and come to us fresh from a summer residency in Ibiza.
Primal Scream British rockers Primal Scream have been tearing up the UK music scene since their formation in Glasgow in the 80s, with their long career seeing them moving through many different styles, inspirations (and band members!) – they’ve collected plenty of fans and critical acclaim along the way.
Hermitude The Australian electronic, vocals-free hip hop duo out of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales hit number 1 in their homeland with their 2015 drop Dark Night Sweet Light, and are festival favourites all over the world.
Going Through Stages
Like all the best music festivals, Electric Avenue has such an epic line-up that it simply can’t be contained on one stage! In fact, it’ll be rocking three over the afternoon and evening of the fest. While this can sound like an awesome proposition, mutiple stages can mean that you might end up faced with some tough calls – particularly if two or more of your faves are rocking similar timeslots (oh, cruel universe!). But it doesn’t have to be all Sophie’s Choice; you can have it all – or nearly all, anyway. Firstly, check the timetable and pull together your hit list – it’s worth noting that things may well be running on ‘festival time’ and later than anticipated. You’ll also note that timings usually overlap, meaning you can catch the start and end of most gigs – when they’ll be pulling out the big guns. Another way to keep tabs on what’s going down is finding the Hagley Park ‘sweet spot’ – a place where you can see all three stages – and check out what’s happening on each before moving in for the best tracks.
The music’s the main attraction at the festival of course, but there’s other stuff to get excited about as well. Retail icons Cosmic will be on site with their Cosmic Zone, which includes the Chill Zone Teepee, a live music stage with band, and the Cosmic General Store. A selection of amusement rides will also be on the grounds to jack up the adrenaline on your festival experience, and you should keep a look out for roving performance artists making their way around the site.