Dubbed as the country’s only annual hip hop and neo-soul festival, Soulfest is coming back to Australia for 2015 with a lineup that is bound to get any hip hop head into a fan-girl frenzy.
The bill boasts the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott and De La Soul, as well as fresh-faced talent such as Jhené Aiko, BJ The Chicago Kid and Australia’s very own REMI. Soulfest’s debut in 2014 saw tens of thousands in attendance across its Sydney and Melbourne shows, filling a long-standing hole in the Australian urban market.
However, given the country’s history with urban festivals and cancellations, none were all too surprised when the Melbourne show ran into issues. First, there was a change of venue from the Yarra Park to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Then on the day of the show, one of the two stages was abruptly shut down, resulting in all the local artists set to perform being axed last-minute. Promoters put this down to “operational and logistic issues”, but refused to go into further detail, leaving a trail of disappointed performers and fans in their wake.
There is no doubt that this year’s lineup looks promising, but whether things go as planned is still up for debate. Perhaps 2015 will be the year that Australian urban festivals will see a much-needed revival.
MARY J. BLIGE
DE LA SOUL
BJ THE CHICAGO KID
SOUL OF SYDNEY DJ’S, DJ TREY, THANDI PHOENIX (SYDNEY ONLY), MARIBELLE
HOSTED BY HAU (KOOLISM/triple j HIP-HOP SHOW)
Saturday 24th October – The Domain, SYDNEY
Sunday 25th October – The Sidney Myer Muisc Bowl & Kings Domain Precinct, MELBOURNE
Soulfest Members Pre-Sale: Monday 18th May, 10am or until exhausted
General Public On-Sale: Wednesday 27th May
Tickets from www.soulfest.com.au