CherryRock 2014

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CherryRock 2014

A Word with James Young

If you’re still debating about whether or not to go to CherryRock 2014, well get your shit together. The festival is on in a few weeks’ time and it’s the last time that it is going to be run in AC/DC lane due to planning redevelopment. I recently caught up with James Young who is the co-owner of the festival to find about the evolution of the festival since starting out in 2006.
“I’d like to make it known that this is the last CherryRock in the current incarnation. We are getting pushed out of AC/DC lane and that is a little bit sad, but by hook or by crook I’ll see if I can’t reinvent us and take the festival to another location around the city. It’s going to be sad though not being in AC/DC lane where it used to be that rock and roll wasn’t noise pollution.”
The original idea for the festival was thought up by Cherry Bar regulars Ruby and Razzle and in the first year, as you would expect, there were a few grey hairs on people’s necks; however, it soon built momentum and formed into the festival you see today. “There was a niche in the market that we were catering to and it was something that the public wanted. We decided to make it an annual event and the original purpose of the festival was to somehow live out my dream of getting AC/DC to play in AC/DC lane. It hasn’t happened yet, but we are still holding hope … you just never know with these things.”
Although the bands are hand-selected by Mr Young, and so he is a little biased when it comes to picking the crop of the 2014 line-up, it is a rocking set of acts that will definitely make you want to grab a cold beer and set back to listen to some of the best rock around. “Well, we’ve got the three international acts that will be sensational. Meat Puppets haven’t played in Australia in 20 years and were Kurt Cobain and Nirvana’s biggest influence, so that’s a big thrill to have them along.
“CherryRock is all about showcasing the best local rock acts so to have Redcoats, King of the North and many bands that people don’t know yet, it’s going to be a big day for both celebration and musical discovery. Normally I come out of CherryRock with bruised shoulder blades from all the pats on the back.”
Amongst putting on another fabulous year of CherryRock and finding another venue for the future, Mr Young is also now the owner of Yah Yah’s, Cherry Bar and the bar opposite AC/DC Lane, which will now be called Evie. “It’s not so much that we are buying every live music venue in town, it’s all about preservation these days after all the shit with the liquor licensing and noise complaints. I am very passionate about keeping these venues running and giving all of the amazing bands in Melbourne the opportunity to play.
“We’re considered one of the best rock and roll cities in the world yet down in the trenches we’re fighting the battle to keep them running. It’s all about live performance now physical CD sales are down. It’s going to be an interesting time to see where we can take these venues into the future.
“Come down to CherryRock and stand in AC/DC lane with the cobblestones beneath your feet with an ice cold Melbourne bitter in your hands knowing that you’re making a lot of noise whilst the shadows of the last corporate building fall down around you.”
WHERE&WHEN: AC/DC Lane – May 25
Written by Tex Miller