Adalita: The Australian rock icon takes Magic Dirt to Tent Pole Festival

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Adalita: The Australian rock icon takes Magic Dirt to Tent Pole Festival

Adalita. Credit: Lisa Businovski
Words by Benjamin Lamb

The local rock icon on new music and the Tentpole Festival 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more prolific artist than Adalita Srsen. When she’s not fronting the seminal alternative rock band Magic Dirt, the Australian icon can be found hitting the stage solo and supporting some of the nation’s biggest artists. 

Adalita’s in store for a busy 2023, with the recent release of her delicate and introspective third studio album Inland and Magic Dirt being announced as part of the inaugural Tent Pole Festival in March alongside Pavement, Clamm and many more. 

We caught up with the revered musician to chat about it all. 

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Now in 2023, the idea of a cancelled gig seems like a far sight, but many musos are still excited to be added to festival lineups and be back out there and playing gigs for adoring fans.

“It’s unreal to be back on the road,” Adalita says. “That’s what we do, we live for playing live.

“Things are really busy, which is great. People are loving being back at shows, the crowds, the punters; they’ve all got big smiles on their faces.” 

With international acts and local heroes, Geelong’s Tent Pole: A Musical Jamboree is turning the festival experience on its head

Long blazing a trail for female musos, Adalita fronts cult 90s Geelong band Magic Dirt, one of Australia’s most popular and well-regarded rock groups. Cutting their teeth on the grunge sound of the 90s, with down-tuned riffs and droney distortions at the forefront of their sound, their records have been hitting the charts over the past two decades, as well as being recognised with multiple nominations from the ARIA and AIR awards.

Now the group are heading to Tent Pole: A Musical Jamboree alongside The Black Lips, Charlie Crockett, Clamm, Floodlights, Mod Con, Pavement, The Prize, The Schizophonics, Sirens and Spiderbait. 

“I wouldn’t mind checking out Clamm, they’re pretty popular. 

“Pavement will be great of course, we want to catch up with them. We’re mates with them from quite a while back.”

Magic Dirt have been a staple of many festival lineups over the years, finding new fans in all corners of the country. When it comes to playing these types of festivals, Adalita believes something a little different must be brought to the table. 

“I think with festivals, you usually do your hits, you do the songs that people know the most. 

“You want people to connect and dance and have fun. But we’ll throw in ones that we really want to play, but maybe they’re not so well known, but to some of our fans, you know, it’s their favourite song.”

Playing at festivals also allows for a bit of experimentation, but at the end of the day, festivals are a party, and the sets will be accordingly formulated.

“We do kind of mix it up sometimes. But, we usually just do the big ones that everyone knows, and they’re really fun to play, and it’s sort of a no-brainer; you just come on, play your big numbers, and everyone’s just partying, it’s a great atmosphere.

“So, you know, when you’re at a party, you sort of want to hear the songs and play the songs that you know, so you can just sort of, you know, just dance around and, and not think too much.”

The festival will be taking place at Geelong’s Mt Duneed Estate, a key venue for music festivals of all types and a space that has featured some of the world’s biggest names. It’s here that Adalita has supported some of music’s coolest stars at Mt Duneed Estate in the past.

“I’m pretty sure I played this solo when The Pretenders and Blondie were doing A Day On the Green. 

“And I was supporting in solo mode many, many years ago when I first started my solo shows and I was still pretty new to it, I was quite nervous. 

“It’s nice out there. It’s got great, great, great vibes.”

‘Inland’: Melbourne rock icon Adalita explores torment and vulnerability in introspective third solo album

If this still isn’t enough Adalita for 2023, the artist just dropped a brand new record titled Inland, a release full of that style we’ve come to know and love from the rocker over the years and one that sits solidly as the next step in Adalita’s impressive body of work.

“Once the album was out, I knew that I’d feel kind of reborn, like all the stress would just melt off, after all those years waiting and working. 

“Finally, I can let it go out there, and I can’t tell you how happy I am about it [the album release]. I’m just on Cloud Nine. I’m stoked, it’s just unreal. It’s seriously one of the best times in my life right now.”

Magic Dirt and many more will be hitting the Tent Pole Festival at Geelong’s Mt Duneed Estate on Saturday 4 March 2023. For tickets and more,