The Event: Cherry Rock Festival
The crisp autumn weather couldn’t have been more perfect for Cherry Rock. Although sadly 2014 marks the last year that this one day festival will be held in AC/DC Lane, thanks to inner city noise restrictions. A block of apartments currently under construction less than 20 metres away from local rock institution Cherry Bar.
Kicking off at the very civilised time of 12pm with a set by The Harlots, Cherry Rock 2014 promised 13 bands on 2 stages with no crossovers. Making it easy to move from stage to stage and catch all of the bands on the bill.
Things really started picking up speed once mid afternoon hit and the hard rock loving audience was treated to performances by Bittersweet Kicks, The Nation Blue (replacing an absent Don Fernando) and one of Makers of Melbourne’s favourite local acts, Redcoats. The band closing their set with the crowd favourite ‘Dreamshaker’.
The two international headliners didn’t disappoint, with the narrow CBD laneway filled to capacity to witness California's Brant Bjork and punk legends Meat Puppets, who played their first Australian gig in over 20 years. The Meat Puppets treated the well-behaved crowd to a setlist of classics, including ‘Plateau’ and ‘Lake of Fire’, famously covered by Nirvana during their 1993 MTV Unplugged special.
Both Cherry Bar and Cherry Rock festival have long supported local music and the 2014 lineup was no exception. With a majority of artists on the bill from Melbourne, the continued success of the event illustrates that with careful planning and a team of organisers who have an obvious passion for live music, rock fans will continue to buy tickets to see live shows. It’s a blueprint that a few promoters in this country could learn from.