It’s only been a few days since the lineup for the inaugural Stone Music Festival was announced, and already the festival has attracted its fair share of controversy, including a number of detractors.

And while promoters for the fledging music festival have been quick to assure the general public that everything is in order, they have suffered a serious PR setback with an act already cancelling their appearance at the festival despite only being announced mere days ago.

The Baby Animals, who were due to play on 20th April alongside Van Halen, Billy Joel, Buckcherry, and more, have made their exit known via a post on their official Facebook wall, explaining to disappointed fans that the festival simply “wasnt feeling right to us”

To cut a very long story short, we have decided to withdrawal from the up-coming STONEFEST [sic]. It all became too difficult, too quickly. We hope not to disappoint too many of our supporters with this news, but it just wasn’t feeling right to us. We will however make it up to you with a brand new single in April, plus a new album (finally) and national tour shortly after. Big year ahead! suze x

While Baby Animals are out, a number of high-profile Australian rock acts are in, including Jimmy Barnes, Noiseworks, Ian Moss, and Choirboys for the Saturday 20th April, and Icehouse, Guy Sebastian, Diesel, Mark Seymour, Shannon Noll, and Dallas Frasca for the Sunday 21st April, who join the previously announced appearances from The Living End and The Superjesus as Aussie acts on the Stone Music Festival bill.

The weekend’s news that Van Halen would be making their first visit to Australia in more than two decades brought smiles to fans who have been waiting patiently for the American arena rock veterans. But no sooner than the news that they’d be co-headlining with Billy Joel as part of a newly launched Australian music festival arrived, speculation about the newly-launched Stone Music Festival had already set in.

As previously reported, Ardline Media – a Sydney-based production and management company – are part of the small team who have pulled the big names that will be playing over two days at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium this April.

Press for the event notes that it “takes its name and its attitude from the iconic 1974 Ozploitation biker flick, Stone,” which includes daily screenings of a special ’2013 Director’s Cut’ screening of the cult flick, while organisers also not that there is a “new contemporary motion picture production” remake of Stone in the works.

Organisers behind the festival have already noted that the headline acts ”have been contracted and paid in full,” and confirming that “there will be no other Australian appearances by Billy Joel or Van Halen… All funding required for this event is committed and in the event disbursement account,” said promoters.

For their own reasons, Baby Animals – who were one of the first Aussie acts also added to the lineup ahead of this afternoon’s announcement – have pulled out while the list of additions includes top tier Aussie acts like The Living End, Jimmy Barnes, Diesel, The Superjesus, and more.

They join international headliners Van Halen and Billy Joel on the Stone Music Festival lineup, along with Buckcherry, Richie Ramone, Lifehouse, Illumination Road, and Kings of Chaos – a heavy rock supergroup that includes members of Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Def Leppard, Skid Row and Deep Purple.

As discussed in Tone Deaf’s previous report, the biggest coup is that two relative unknowns in the music festival game have rope in Van Halen exclusively for a one-off headline performance. Particularly since ‘Diamond’ David Lee Roth and the Van Halen family have pulled the plug on much larger promoters with much bigger budgets. Most notably canning their September 2011 appearance as headliners for Soundwave’s Revolution Festival over in-fighting, which led to the entire event to a miserable end.

Stone Music Festival might have the lineup, but there are inherent risks in promoters – experienced or otherwise – launching a virgin music festival in today’s climate. The last thing the industry needs is another Heatwave or One Great Night On Earth, events that promised big plans and lineups, but eventually crumbled under much bigger pressures like finances, infrastructure and poor planning.

Stone Music Festival 2013 Lineup

Saturday, 20 April 2013

VAN HALEN
JIMMY BARNES
KINGS OF CHAOS
THE LIVING END
NOISEWORKS
BUCKCHERRY
RICHIE RAMONE
IAN MOSS
THE SUPERJESUS
CHOIRBOYS
+ MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED

Sunday, 21 April 2013

BILLY JOEL
ICEHOUSE
GUY SEBASTIAN
LIFEHOUSE
DIESEL
MARK SEYMOUR
SHANNON NOLL
ILLUMINATION ROAD
DALLAS FRASCA
MARK MORONEY
+ MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED

Stone Music Festival 2013 Dates & Tickets

Saturday 20th April and Sunday 21st April, 2013
ANZ STADIUM, SYDNEY

Gates open: 11.00am
All Ages event
Tickets on sale from 12 noon – Thursday, 21 February, 2013

Visa, Ticketek and ANZ Stadium Members pre-sales commence from 12 noon Monday 18th February
–to- 11.00am, Thursday 21st February, 2013
* All times AEDST

Tickets available online from www.ticketek.com.auwww.StoneMusicFest.com and all Ticketek outlets or phone 132 849

Ticket Prices (all including GST but exclusive of Transaction and Credit Card fees):

Arena GA Standing and GA Seating:
Single Day – $179.00
Two Day Package – $319.00

Platinum Zone (GA Standing):
Single Day – $279.00
Two Day Package – $429.00

2013 STONE Run:
$30.00

Official Premium Ticket & Hotel Packages www.showbiz.com.au or 1300 414 697

www.stonemusicfest.com