Ganga Giri will headline the SONIC Festival.
Ganga Giri will headline the SONIC Festival.

Sonic Festival to boost local acts

THE SONIC Arts, Culture and Music festival pitches tents at the Lismore Showground this weekend.

But this is not just any festival ready to greet the punters with two days of aural merrymaking and revelry. Over these two days, carnival rides will mix with the Sacred Artwork of Aurel Pumayana, sculptures, fire twirlers, acrobatics and, of course, music. Artists, such as Ganga Giri, Tijuana Cartel, and Marissa Jessup, will headline.

Yet even with its out-of-town headliners, the festival remains focused on promoting artists of the local region.

“Any festival such as SONIC which gives North Coast acts the opportunity to perform is positive for music in the region and, in particular, Lismore,” said Gary Pinkerton, president of North Coast Entertainment Industry Association.

“We hope that this event will aid significantly in boosting the profiles of Northern Rivers artists, both locally and nationally,” said event organiser Malcolm Fine.

Fine said the festival will divide the two days between bands and electronica because of the general split between the two audiences.

“The other reason is technical,” Fine said. “It’s better for the sound quality as we set the systems differently for electronic music than for bands.

“Another advantage is that if you just like to see bands or just electronic (acts), you can get them in a single day ticket.”

James Hayes, former Byron local and funky brain producing the progressive electronic act, ShadowFX, agrees that music flow was important at festivals.

“Separating the two genres is the best way to accomplish this, given the diversity of the music that will be performed at SONIC,” Hayes said.

The electronic line-up features Pendulom, Strange Planet, Cenobite and Dark Nebula as performers from the far corners of Australia (and New Zealand). SONIC will even host Mexican DJ Twilight. A midnight pyrotechnic show will close Saturday’s electronic adventures while the bands on Sunday wind up at 11pm.

Another reason for SONIC’s arrival is a desire to help artists combat flagging record sales in an era of digital piracy. But can live shows save musical livelihood from piracy?

“They are certainly challenging times, more so these days with piracy,” said Ganga Giri. “We are passionate about sharing a positive message with the world so we love touring. The question is, do more people come to our shows having listened to our pirated tunes?”

SONIC, at least, hopes to help the North Coast musical heartbeat keep ticking.

“SONIC will bring communities and people together through art and music,” Fine said.

Tickets at the gate: $70 for a one-day pass, $105 for a two-day pass.

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