If you’re looking for some relief from the hot weather this weekend, head to the coolest alt pop festival in town.
The Crown and Sceptre will transform into an Aussie luau with two levels of beach party for Summer Jam, a celebration of Adelaide’s alt pop scene.
Festival organiser, famed music technician and frontman of local band Pink Noise Generator, Matt Vecchio, has put the show together to help promote a rich and diverse pop scene in Adelaide.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. It was inspired by a friend of mine who does something called ‘Future Sounds’. They do electronic music and they’ve been working hard over the past few years trying to build an electronic music scene in Adelaide,” he says.
“I suggested they do a three stage festival at the Crown and Sceptre. That was called ‘Future Sounds 4’ and they ran about 21 acts over the three different areas and made it free. It was a really successful format. So I thought that was a really good way to launch a scene and get the word out about it. It’s a showcase of pop musicians in Adelaide.”
Matt has worked in almost every live music venue in Adelaide, and through his extensive experience mixing bands and organising gigs, saw a need to create a network of bands.
“’Radl Alt Pop’ is a Facebook group I started because there are a lot of pop musicians in Adelaide. From watching a lot of shows, and I’ve seen about three a week for seven years, I see there’s a lot of great acts who don’t have many people to play with, and they seem to be a bit different. I really like these bands, but I didn’t understand why they couldn’t branch out,” he says.
“They are really poppy and accessible, so I thought I’d make a group and put them all together. The idea is to make a supportive group and find a way we can all link together in the genre. I feel in the Adelaide music scene, if you do things a bit melodic and poppy, other musicians think it’s selling out, or it’s too mainstream, but they forget The Beatles helped define that genre.
“There’s a lot of music everyone likes that has a pop element. Pop just means it has something melodic to it. There’s a big punk scene, a metal scene, an alternative scene, a psych scene; there’s lots of other scenes in Adelaide, but we really need to get all the pop bands together and acknowledge there’s a scene.”
Thus, Summer Jam was born and will host a whole heap of fantastic local bands for free. Seriously, for free! And it sounds amazing.
“We have Funk Latin Union who are now called FLU, we’ve got Pimpin Horus who have been around for about 10 years, we have Pink Noise Generator, we have a relatively new band called Sunset Cartel who are really good with an awesome vocalist, we have The East District, The Skeleton Club and Cities Alight. We have Orelia, The Monikers, and for more acoustic acts, we have That No Good Thief, Kylie Brice Trio, Zacc Breheny and Emma Rowe and Adrian Lee,” he says, barely taking a breath.
“It’s a two stage festival. Downstairs is beach themed – we’re going to put a lot of sand in the venue and make it look like a beach town. We also have a DJ in between acts downstairs. Then upstairs, we have a treehouse with a Lost Boys/Peter Pan theme. It’s like a big cubby house. When you’re offering a lot of entertainment, people need a chill zone. Most of the acoustic acts will go upstairs where it’s chilled out and downstairs will be the party.”
Summer Jam will kick off at 6:30pm on Saturday 23rd January. Entry is free, and the event is set to be an awesome celebration of an unsung genre.
By Libby Parker
Photos supplied by Matt Vecchio
Libby Parker is a journalist, teacher and life enthusiast.
You can follow her on Twitter at @upsidenews_lib