STOP PRESS: Only Sunday tickets are left, although on Feb 15 from 10am, 50 weekend passes will be available from Title, 183 Gertrude Street, Melbourne 3065.
All Tomorrow's Parties – the enterprise that started life in English seaside holiday camps and that invites guest artists to curate festival line-ups – is returning to Victoria, this year to Altona.
Melbourne’s hometown heroes, the Drones, will be curating Sun Feb 17, with guests including Beasts of Bourbon (original line-up), Einstuerzende Neubauten, Pere Ubu, Crime & the City Solution and Kev Carmody.
ATP founder Barry Hogan and his team curate Sat Feb 16, including My Bloody Valentine, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Swans, The Dead C, HTRK. Time Out talked to Hogan about the ambitious venture that has amply paid off.
You were originally a gig promoter for venues in London, which inspired you to branch out and book the bands you REALLY wanted to. But with many bands reforming especially, do you have to resort to inventive bribery at times?
At lot of times my proposed line ups are so outlandish they are sometimes realistically impossible but I think we have a good track record in presenting music that we ourselves at ATP would not only be proud of, but music we would love to see ourselves. The offers need to be attractive, and also something the band feels they want to be part of – and not just in a financial sense.
With ATP festivals regularly held in the UK, LA, New York, Australia and Barcelona, which country is the biggest logistical nightmare for you?
I would say America. It’s a different way of doing things over there. Having done nine events there, i am always learning new things about the way they present shows.
Why was the decision made to include Australia?
My wife, Deborah Kee Higgins, who runs ATP with me is from Ocean Grove and we spend a lot of time visiting family in Melbourne and Victoria – and it seemed like a natural place to continue what we have been doing with ATP elsewhere. The music scene in Melbourne especially has created some of the world’s greatest bands so it felt right to bring ATP to Australia.
Do you attend every ATP event? And if so, are you in damage control mode, or do you get to reap the rewards of your hard work?
Yes I attend every event, both Deborah and myself are very hands on and we do get to see a lot of great bands but we spend most of our time making sure everything is going according to plan.
Seeing Nick Cave and family go over my head in a chairlift had to be a highlight of Mount Buller for me. What are your thoughts on the Altona site?
It's reminiscent of the venues we currently use in the UK and the old New York site in the Catskills. They are two adjoining venues and we will dress them up but the idea is this great music is presented in an unusual setting and the sense of community will bring everyone together. They used to use it for raves back in the ’90s… and although it's not your typical venue, it should make for a great weekend.
What inspired the Feb 2013 Australia line-up? Do you go with a theme?
Just to bring decent international and local acts that we endorse. I had been talking to MBV and Godspeed for years about doing something out here so its nice that this is all coming to fruition. But I am really excited by acts like Thee Oh Sees and the Swans and also all the Australian acts like Lost Animal, Harmony and Ben Frost.
How did you come to ask the Drones to be co-curators?
We have a longstanding relationship with the Drones – they are on our record label ATP Recordings and we have released their last three LPs. They are not only friends but people who inspire us. Gareth Liddiard is probably one of the best songwriters of his generation and all four members have great taste in music. So it made sense to us to invite them as curators.
ATP line-ups are pretty grown-up. Do you see the events as being aimed at people in their thirties, or do you find you get a lot of younger music fans as well?
We get a whole mixture of people, young and old. I am sure there will be a lot of fans of all ages who want to see MBV and Godspeed but we just present music we think is great and never really aim it at any particular age group. ATP generally attracts the more discerning music fan.
Transport: There will be a shuttle bus operating from Newport Station to the venue during festival opening hours. You can catch a train to Newport Station from Flinders Street, Southern Cross, North Melbourne, South Kensington, Footscray, Seddon, Yarraville, Spotswood and Williamstown.
ATP will be running buses from the CBD you can pre-book closer to the event and there is also limited on-site parking available at the venue. A taxi for 4 people from the CBD will cost around $35-$40, $38 from St Kilda and around $42 from Fitzroy.