There’s a brand new festival heading to Newcastle in March. Up Down festival is the brainchild of the team behind This That. The boutique festival has enlisted some of the finest names in dance. Headlined by The Bloody Beetroots, Adrian Lux and Jillionaire, it’s a summer essential.
To celebrate the festival’s debut, a bunch of act’s playing the festival told us all about their career ‘Ups & Downs’.
Nina Las Vegas
UP – Playing Coachella:
I mean, it’s the ultimate right? I had just started my record label and left triple j, so getting a slot on the Californian festival in 2016 was an amazing feeling.
DOWN- Sydney’s lockout laws:
These laws have changed how I survive as an Australian club DJ, I’ve had to focus less on touring in Australia and travel elsewhere to play.
For me the biggest up of my career was the very beginning. I had been working on music for a long time until some friends started to send some of my songs around to their friends. To find out that the thing I had been working on without any real expectations was something that people were excited about was an amazing experience. The idea that people wanted to put the music out and have me perform at their parties was such a foreign idea, I didn’t have any idea what was happening.
The biggest down in my career – there’s been a lot but the one that is hardest to overcome is self-doubt. The feeling when you lose faith in what you’re trying to do and think everything you have attempted is worthless. There are so many strategies for finding a way out of this sort of mindset and Ithink this is one of the biggest challenges of being an artist.
My biggest up would be the recent tour I just completed. I headlined venues I never thought I would headline and went to some awesome places and met some even more awesome people!
My biggest down of my career was getting stuck in the thought that I had to play one specific type of genre and getting very overwhelmed with that decision, but I realised I don’t have to!
Playing the cosmicMEADOW stage at EDC Vegas in 2016 is one that we will never forget, having that many people in front of us in wild outfits and costumes holding up totems and signs that we could barely read. We were sweating hard from the heat of the Nevada desert there was also huge flames going off on the stage to top it off. So wild!
Might not be a huge down but it’s a good old classic stitch up… As we walked onto stage in a massive super club in Texas, the DJ before us was on the mic hyping up himself and thanking the crowd, no mention that we were next.
We walk into the booth with about five minutes to go still, he (the warm-up DJ) gives us an unexpected nod and Bam the music fully cuts out, he walks off no eye contact takes the mic with him and bails. While there is dead silence except for a few boos from punters the logo changed to ours on the LED behind us.
No mic to say anything to help the awkward silence while we scramble to get our subs in and music up and rolling. We got there in the end but EVERY warm-up DJ knows it’s common courtesy to give at least 30 seconds of music still playing to give the next DJ time to get their shit together. Was this a test, was he fucking with us? we’ll never know. Dog act.
Jillionaire (of Major Lazer)
The biggest ‘up’ of my career so far was performing in Cuba for hundreds of thousands of people. We went there not knowing what to expect but had a wonderful time and the biggest, craziest show we’ve ever done.
The biggest ‘down’ that I can think of was getting to Buenos Aires for a show and having it cancelled while we were sitting backstage. A huge thunderstorm came through and the festival had to close down the main stage at very short notice.
The biggest up in my career would have to be releasing my very own, boundary-pushing body of work and having it be received well. This meant the world to me because I was very in control of the artistic direction, with the entire project being written by only me, and produced by only one (very talented) producer, Swick.
I don’t like to dwell on the downs too much, but perhaps the biggest ‘down’ would be the feeling of impossibility at the very start of my career, when I was trying to collaborate with music makers and have executives / A&R’s listen to my music, all at first, with no success.
Most recently the biggest “Up” in our career would be bringing in 2019 playing the midnight set at Falls Festival, Lorne. We played to more than 5000 people who were absolutely down for a party! We were buzzing for days after this set.
The biggest ‘down’ moment of our career would probably be from last year when we went to Darwin for a gig and got stuck in a tropical cyclone. We were on our biggest ever tour and had to cancel two shows as we were grounded in Darwin and there was nothing we could do about it. We’ve never had to cancel shows before and we hate letting our fans down so we were pretty bummed about it.
One of the biggest ups i’ve had so far has to be releasing and touring my debut album in 2017. Albums are such a labour of love so to put a large body of work out and see it come alive at the shows and festivals was crazy. Looking forward to one-upping that with the new material.
A lot of the biggest downs for artists are often behind the scenes and dealt with alone. I’ve been lucky enough that the worst downs i’ve personally experienced are more just disappointments. Sending love to any body going through bad situations, things get better!
UP DOWN will be hitting Newcastle Foreshore on Sunday 17 March. Full lineup and ticket information below.
UP DOWN 2019
SUN 17 MARCH | 1PM – 9PM
CAMP SHORTLAND | NEWCASTLE FORESHORE
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
ADRIAN LUX (SWE)
THE BLOODY BEETROOTS (ITA)
THE JILLIONAIRE (of Major Lazer)
NINA LAS VEGAS
+ more to be announced