Festivals aren't fun any more
WELL, yet another music festival has crashed and burned - this time it's Harvest Festival - and I can't say I'm at all surprised.
What surprises me more, in fact, is that despite all the disappointments that have happened over recent years - with the demise of once-great events like Livid and the failures of BAM, Lost Weekend and Parklife - promoters keep coming out of the woodwork with some kind of new variation on the age-old formula.
Whether it is the quality of the bands - Goldfrapp and Franz Ferdinand were due to appear at Harvest festival - the organisation of the show itself or the ever-increasing cost of the tickets that is to blame for the death of the music festival, it's hard to pinpoint.
Different festivals have probably died for different reasons.
Livid, for example, only seemed to run into trouble once it tried to branch outside of Brisbane.
Other failures seem to have been caused by bad planning, combined with low ticket sales.
Lost Weekend, which was to be held at Peak Crossing a few years back, had some excellent bands lined up, but perhaps was too far out of the way to strike up enough interest from city folk.
Speaking personally, I always love the bands I've seen at music festivals, but not the high price of drinks, the line-ups to go from one stage to another and the increasing prevalence of dropkicks with no interest in anything except what they look like. In the absence of singlet-wearing, bulked-up, sleeve tattoo posers, it is the hipster with the shower curtain shirt, Flock of Seagulls haircut and Ray Ban sunglasses that makes me think twice about spending $150-plus on a music festival ticket.
Music used to be about music, not taking photos of yourself and putting them up on Facebook so everyone can see how cool your are.
What happened to enjoying the here and now?
People and the way they listen to music have changed - thanks in no small part to the proliferation of technology that is mostly surplus to what we need to go about our daily lives.
Perhaps this is where the institution that used to be the music festival has gone wrong.
Or maybe I'm just getting a bit old and bitchy.
Hamster devours columnist
THE final episode of The Hamster Decides was a prime example of why it would break my heart if Tony Abbott was to take his razor to the ABC.
In my mind, nobody except Jon Stewart of the Daily Show and Shaun Micallef - who hasn't been doing that much lampooning lately anyway - can take the mickey quite like the Chaser team.
It's a skill they've honed over many years and with the help of some well-documented failures and backfires.
For all the regrettable moments, there have been many more good ones, and I was almost moved to tears on Wednesday night when the boys had a crack at right-wing columnist Chris Kenny, who called for budget cuts to the ABC shortly after the election.
I cannot tell you exactly how the Hamster Wheel made fun of Kenny but he now knows, while the Chaser team is around, attacking the ABC comes at one's own peril.
I don't think this will shut him up - but at least he has something legitimate to complain about with regards to the ABC.