The lineup for Meredith Thirty One is unfurled below.
As the sun begins to cast its golden glow over the tranquil town of Meredith, music enthusiasts from all corners of the globe eagerly anticipate the arrival of one of Australia’s most beloved music festivals – the Meredith Music Festival. The festival has long held a reputation for curating diverse lineups that cater to a wide range of musical tastes, and the 2023 lineup, as unveiled on the festival’s official website, promises to be no exception. Let’s take a closer look at the artists who are set to grace the stage and create unforgettable memories at this year’s event.
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Caroline Polachek is a singularity. Virtuosic pop auteur, emotional philosopher. She sings like she swallowed the sun. For the first time in this country, soaring over the basalt plains. Bringing her magnificent live show. And possibly her volcano.
This Aunty is a rider. A generational artist, Caroline Polachek has been world-building and melody-shaping for 15 years, stupefying us with her talents in Chairlift, flexing that songwriting genius for pop’s biggest names, and getting a little weird out on her own. All before she released the two best records of her career. Helluva warm-up.
Pang arrived like a shot out of the blue, a sweeping reimagining, a door to another door. Next, the transformative masterpiece, Desire, I Want to Turn Into You. Bristling with boundary-pushing songcraft, dizzying melodies, and heady outré-pop romance, it is an album both of the moment, and ahead of its time. “Her voice will smear like paint, swoop like a crane, and bubble like lava.”
From the Autobahn to the Midland Hwy. Düsseldorf to Meredorf. A longtime, long-held, once-in-a-blue-moon dream. Kraftwerk, quite simply, are the reason music sounds like it does today. Progenitors of pop. Of music as we know it. From Kling Klang Studio they sculpted the soundtrack for a dawning digital age. Autobahn, Radio-Activity, Trans-Europe Express, The Man-Machine, Computer World, delivered like consecutive gospels – worshipped, absorbed, handed on from generation to generation.
Blue Rev has been spinning in Aunty’s parlour since the day it dropped. A decade deep, these Toronto cult faves went turbo on album number three. A righteous ride of power-pop, radiophonic riffs, hyper-gleaming buzz and euphoric melodic blitz. Fingerprints of Teenage Fanclub and Big Star smudged into something entirely their own: a whirring cacophony of teenage kicks and foaming licks.
Ebullient chaos fuelled by Molly Rankin’s delightfully droll hyper-reality. Her lyrics a Bermuda Triangle of cultural detritus flung like pick-up sticks into the squall. Fantasy Basketball, caffeinated alcoholic coolers, episodes of Murder She Wroteand Belinda Carlisle, all inspo for musings that muscle through the noise deep into our chests.
Ever since those first bedroom recordings appeared online, he’s inspired a cultish fervour that left the world asking: who the hell is Alex G?
Now nine records deep, his prodigious songbook has given us a closer look. A restless eccentric whose star has risen and risen, yet remains dedicated to exploring music’s most curious corners: that Frank Ocean collab, electric jams, country twang and wigged out soundscapes – each new turn its own compelling piece of the Alex Giannascoli puzzle.
His latest, God Save The Animals, is a certified heart-crusher. Ambitiously stepping out of the bedroom and into the studio, the Philadelphian enigma dips into hyper-pop, dabbles with Auto-Tune, wrestles with the spiritual, and remains forever captivated by his beloved dog – all the while exuding that delightful weirdness and indie rock charisma that has come to define Alex G.
Flowdan started out MCing over drum & bass in his teens before joining garage heavyweights Pay As You Go and helping found the pioneering grime crew, Roll Deep. They fused East London rap with sub-shattering innovation – a deeper hit of UK grit that beamed from raves and pirate radio waves out into the charts, through luminaries like Dizzee Rascal.
Meanwhile Flowdan has spent much of his career growling from the underground, producing and collaborating on cult club tracks, like the digi-dancehall classic Skeng. Things went full circle when mega-producers Skrillex and Fred again.. took the lessons they learned from the dubstep originators and enlisted Flowdan for a chart-conqueror (last ID’d Sup-side during Daphni).
Sneaky Sound System
Flipping fluorescent bangers since the early oughts, who better to bring the party to the 3333? UFO. Goodbye. Pictures.
Ready-made for a night of disco delirium atop the esky. Their live set is a tour-de-PLUR hit parade. Dancefloor-bubbling bops, electroclash jams, floor fillers – SSS heaving through the Supernatural Sound System. What fun.
Led masterfully by the divine disco-ball diva Miss Connie, whose CV includes certified electro-pop cannon Graduation, and co-signs from Snoop, Jay-Z and Rick Ross.
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs
Not all heroes wear capes. Snorting, snuffling swines of doom Pigs x7 came hurtling through the sonic vortex, “born to shred” carved upon their chests – spat into this garden of earthly delights bearing heady riffs and muggy vistas of kaleidoscopic metal. Lemmy by way of Hawkwind. Sabbath via a Haight-Ashbury bed-in.
Pages ripped from the glossary of hard rock, torn up and pieced back together to reveal a whole new, nightmarish vision. Reared on the UK’s briney east coast, these debauched delinquents are the real squeal. Their latest, Land of Sleeper, is simply biblical: a soundtrack for the strong of mind and caustic of soul.
No Fixed Address
From No Fixed Address came the greatest reggae rock in the land. Potent, provocative and proud, they reinvented what music in this country could be.
We Have Survived, Black Man’s Rights and Pigs made them icons of the pub rock circuit and forced the country to sit up and listen, as they sang about land rights, genocide, racism and incarceration. Led by Pitjanjatjara man Bart Willoughby, No Fixed Address became the first Indigenous rock band to play Countdown and tour overseas – even taking their show behind the Iron Curtain in ‘88. They toured with Ian Dury, The Clash and Cold Chisel, opening doors for generations of artists.
Eris Drew & Octo Octa
Partners in life and music, Maya Bouldy-Morrison (Octo Octa) and Eris Drew are producers, vinyl devotees and trans ecstatics. When they’re not touring as two of dance music’s most wanted, they live in a log cabin in New Hampshire, doubling as headquarters for their label T4T LUV NRG. With a mission to “release limited edition alchemical objects for use in DJing, dancing, kissing and crying,” Octo Octa’s Dreams of a Dancefloor is the latest disc – a radiant 3-tracker she’s releasing following a decade of celebrated albums and live performances. A little before that came Eris Drew’s Quivering in Time, her debut LP and one of the great dance full-lengths of recent times.
Each are uplifting, agile performers in their own right. But together? Their energy is unparalleled. Combining Midwest rave roots, technical skills of the highest order, and almost 40 years of DJ experience between them. Sharing an appreciation for the healing, dissolving potency of the dancefloor and a will to take it anywhere, with feeling.
Slugging out the jams for the last seven, Cable Ties are real-deal bastions of rock ’n’ roll. We first hooked into them via cult fave Same For Me and this old girl has been on board ever since. Following two records of big time, smouldering anthems and incandescent punk energy, Shauna, Jenny and Nick returned in ‘23 with All Her Plans. A powerball of punk rock primitivism and scintillating observation, delivering furious, furtive rallying cries and indie folk heart-breakers with a whole new level of melodic dynamism. Where can they possibly go next?
Souls Of Mischief
When Souls Of Mischief came onto the scene with their funky outfits, jazz-drips, slammin’ beats and breezy attitudes – backed with a lyrical dexterity far beyond their teenage years – a fresh hop to the bounce of the West Coast was born. Intellectual, energetic, weed-scented and freestyle-ready. Cali legends in the making.
30 years on, Souls are still chillin’. They touch down for an anni worth celebrating. Album renditions. Party feels. Dripping with Jazz. Flavoursome flows.
Blak Britney struck like a bolt of lightning; a scintillating anti-establishment anthem, it announced the proud Yorta Yorta, Kalkadoon and Yirendali emcee’s arrival as a fearsome force on the mic. In her own words: Blak excellence with a touch of ousss.
Hailing from a great lineage of artists and activists, Miss K has been commanding centre stage from a young age, carrying forward the powerful storytelling of her ancestors and fearlessly bringing it into the present.
We’re coffin’ our guts up in anticipation. Slithering out of Sydney’s south coast sticky side up, Children of Finland Fighting in Norway, aka C.O.F.F.I.N, were born with rotten riffs and lumpy licks gushing through their veins. At age 12 they played their first ever gig alongside the Hard-Ons. Baptised in the church of punk rock, they’ve been busting out ear-splitting, liver-quibbling, pit-sweating slices of worm-infested gold ever since. Served up with a slather of social commentary, these roughed-up reprobates are greasers with a heart of gold, who’ve held their own alongside DKs, Misfits and Amyl. Nothing can prepare you for the full force of a C.O.F.F.I.N conversion.
Blawan is a legendary South Yorkshire producer with post-dubstep and industrial roots. Live, he’s known to swamp dancefloors with wild and propulsive modular jamming. Sonic textures creep under your skin like a suspense thriller. Beats lock then scatter like embers. Bass surges and splinters. Trance arpeggios and moonlit crescendos shimmer and disperse, just under the surface.
They Hate Change
Floating out on rap’s wildest frontier, They Hate Change sound like no-one else right now. Slicing and dicing elastic, exuberant joints Dre Gainey (he/him) and Vonne Parks (they/them) crush breaks, drum-n-bass and footwork, spitting out pocket-sized rhymes with a flaming twist of Tampa jook and Miami bass. Southern style, but not as you know it.
Digging up holes on both sides of the Atlantic, their braggadocio smokescreens a pair of cultural aesthetes, thoughtful music nerds who name-check the real vanguard: Jackie Shane, Poly Styrene, and Laura Les alongside Eno and Fenty.
Throw your arms around a mate, and get ready to howwwwwl into the dipping, dappling rays. Floodies arrive for Meredith Thirty One in rip-roaring form. Fresh from a jaunt around Europe, and lugging a whole new record of sun-blasted anthems to drop into our hearts.
These beloved Melb faves wound it right up on their latest, Painting of My Time. Sinking into that rich Antipodean songbook occupied by the likes of The Triffids and Icehouse, they colour a portrait of this shared moment with golden brushstrokes – resolute, searingly honest ruminations sprung atop melodies that hover like whirly-birds inside your chest.
It’s All Like That. Exploring club and techno through the lens of Arabic percussion and instrumentation, moktar مُخْتار has finessed a signature style.
Across two red-hot EPs, self-titled and Immigrant, moktar’s deft sampling and production hits hard, both on and off the dancefloor. With pride and inspiration taken from his Egyptian-Australian heritage, moktar’s music tells a personal story, from struggles growing up in The Shire in the era of the Cronulla riots, to reflections on Al-Duqqi, the town in Cairo his family is from. As a DJ he boasts rhythmic nous, a knack for the blend and taste for a big moment – notching up b2bs with Mr Scruff, Bradley Zero and Yung Singh.
Nostalgic R&B and tranquilised trip‑hop, whipped up to soundtrack a golden hour boogie under the big blue. In their own words: cinema for your ears.
Two exquisite EPs in, this Melbourne trio’s technicolour universe is expanding at an astounding rate. Bones, Silver Lining, Haunted, and that do‑over of Madge’s Hung Up – supreme slices of bright-eyed pop, hand-cut for lift-off.
Proud Noongar, with a voice that ripples stars. Bumpy is a force. Going by her childhood nickname – earned for a habit of bumping into all kinds of obstacles – she pulls from the strength found in tenderness, scars and all.
Having flexed alongside Emma Donovan, Hiatus Kaiyote (and Longy and Sheeds), Bumpy’s debut EP Morning Sun established her as a star in her own right. A shimmering collection of R&B and neo-soul, it delicately unravels to reveal a singer of extraordinary ability: emotional, captivating, a towering talent.
Pop a probiotic – after a cracking 12 months, Gut Health will land in The Sup’ hotter than the first bite of a cheese and tommy toastie. Inner Norm to Outer Space (via South Pines).
Led by the mercurial Athina Uh Oh, the Gutties channel the spirit of No-Wave and Naarm raves into their own dance punk groove. Electric Party Chrome Girl was an instant cult classic. Stacked with their signature tummy flipping punk jams, this sizzling six-piece preach self-expression and practise dancefloor deliverance. It’s a full body thing.
Many of you will be well acquainted with Uncle Barry, who has been performing the Welcome to Countries at Meredith and GP the last few years. Maybe you also spied him on stage doing the Gordon shuffle as part of the Shouse choir.
After debuting his band Meninyan last year, the now five-piece with fine Ballarat rock pedigree have been putting in the hard yards in Barry’s jam room. They return to the Meredith stage with further entries into a songbook that taps into Barry’s love of The Doors, Public Image Limited and all things grunge.
All record titles from the labyrinthine discography of Kuniyuki Takahashi. Sounds pretty apt for a Saturday dance in The Sup’, as the afternoon starts to stretch.
Kuni is a producer and sound designer from Sapporo, Japan. His musical focus often rests on house and future jazz, though his host of aliases reflect a shapeshifting artist. He’s released on Mule Music, Sacred Rhythm and Music From Memory, as well has his own label BSC (Bacteria Sound Commune). His long list of collaborators and appreciators include Aunty alumni DJ Sprinkles, Soichi Terada, DJ Harvey, Henrik Schwarz and Sleep D.
dameeeela is a Meanjin-based DJ, producer, radio host and Yuggera woman whose club sets tend to hit her and the crowd like a full body experience. She’ll blast gleefully and seamlessly through hip hop, R&B, acid, techno, trance rave-ups, club classics, house bangers and whatever else is lighting her up at the time. As a producer, her debut single, The Shake Up, has gifted dancefloors with a hit of electro-stung, Detroit-style techno that’s been fed through the Didjeribone and Facebass craft of the Djabera Djabera brothers from Tjaka.
Fresh from the release of their debut record, Malaka, Ali are a three-piece from the Equatorial Emerald, last spotted down the Ninch. They blend Middle Eastern sounds with 70s Indonesian rock, soul, funk, disco and afrobeat.
It’s cinematic, psychedelic, and bright like a buffed-up Rickenbacker relic.
The bard of Gerangamete, Watty Thompson, and his Total Fire Band.
After a decade treadin’ sticky carpets with bands in the big smoke of Melbourne, a return to the country just weeks before the 2020 cut in the space-time continuum brought about the transfiguration of Watty. Gobbling up his new surroundings, he channelled them into some of the most rousing bush balladry to make it out of the hills for a while. Joyous, fallible and life-affirming. Like it says on the tin, a little bit country, a little bit folk, 100% heart.
If you’re looking to dissolve the edges of a harpcore morning, then crack that can of coffee Saturday and get down for Mary Lattimore. This affable LA-based composer loops harp, guitar and synth into free-flowing dreamscapes that rise, swell and drag you under.
She’s got a new album, Goodbye, Hotel Arkada that’s a follow up to her 2020 collaboration with Slowdive’s Neil Halstead—Silver Ladders. It’s a tribute to the ephemeral and an ode to music as time travel. Don’t let her set pass you by.
Dub-drenched dispatches from the charming Pachy García, an LA-based multi-instrumentalist with an arsenal of vintage equipment and consoles. Now four records in, he brings a 21st century take on the classic dub, dancehall and roots reggae foundations. His latest sees him broadening the palette and taking the mic, as on the cheeky Trago Coqueto – a love song named for a flirty lemon-ginger drink that doubles as a poignant ode to his life growing up in Puerto Rico.
After a couple of Golden stints in the interstitial booth, the People’s Prince takes centre stage at Meredith Thirty One for a Love Sensation.
No stranger to bringing the groove to the masses, Milo Eastwood started out on community radio as a teenager, and has spent every weekday for the last six years waking us up on 106.7FM. His TGIF morning throwdowns have amassed a cult following, the unofficial kick off to Melbourne’s weekend. The same tasty smorgasbord is on offer at his packed out parties around town.
Each year the majority of tickets to Meredith are available via the Subscriber Ticket Ballot.