ABOVE: Hot Dub Time Machine in The JD tent at The Falls Festival.
ABOVE: Hot Dub Time Machine in The JD tent at The Falls Festival. Patrick Gorbunovs

The stars of Falls Music Festival

IT'S the start of the end of 2014 and it's also the first day of Falls Festival 2014.

With a line-up that is second to none, and artists for every music taste, the second Falls Festival in North Byron Parklands (Yelgun) can be the biggest party of the year.

They don't have a lot of rules at Falls but these are some of the ones they take very seriously:

  • No BYO alcohol, it forms part of our liquor license and we will be searching cars on arrival. If found with byo alcohol both you and your passengers will be ejected from the festival site without a refund. Don't risk it.
  • No glass onsite. Please empty anything that is in a glass container to plastic before you leave home.
  • It's a total fireban - official fire officers will be patrolling to keep things cool and hand out fines to those who do not respect these restriction. If you have a gas bottle that you need for additional travelling either side of Falls you can drop this at out amnesty for a gold coin donation and collect it as you leave.
  • If you attend please do not record the artists' performances. Still cameras are okay, A-OK, for private use only.
  • Don't drink-drive. Do not risk the safety of yourself or others on the road.
  • No animals or pets are allowed at the festival.
  • Please put your rubbish in the bins and recycle where you can. Keep your campsite clean.
  • Look out for others - if someone looks like they need help notify the staff to assist.

This is a list of some of the stars and bands performing from today and until January 3 at North Byron Parklands.


John Butler Trio: Australia's favourite roots muso

A statue stands in the heart of Fremantle depicting the legendary AC/DC frontman Bon Scott; mic in hand, chest puffed out to the wind.

One day he will be joined by the other rightful musical son of that port city - John Butler.

To say that this former busker, now world roots music dominator is entwined with the fabric of Australian music is to make a severe understatement.

His latest record, Flesh and Blood, sits comfortably with his finest work and has stood to enhance his standing across the planet. With trusty trio in tow, John Butler's live show is a hit-packed assault on feet and heart.

The John Butler Trio are an Australian roots and jam band led by guitarist and vocalist John Butler, an APRA and ARIA-award winning musician.

They formed in Fremantle in 1998 with Jason McGann on drums and Gavin Shoesmith on bass.

Flesh and Blood won best blues & roots album in the 2014 ARIA Awards.

"After eight-and-a-half months on the road this year, playing all the amazing shows we did all over the planet, this was a very abundant and joyous way to put a !!!!!!! on our journey thus far," posted John Butler on his website with a picture of the trio receiving the award.

"I feel blessed to share moments like this with such fine individuals."

Kim Churchill: Rising star

THE lad from Merimbula has impressed this year with his latest single album Silence/Win, which contains the breakout single Window To The Sky, a true showcase for the myriad talents of this wave-riding young bloke.

He has released four albums, With Sword and Shield and Kim Churchill in 2010, Detail of Distance in 2012 and Silence/Win in 2014.

The month spent recording Silence/Win was also the first time in five years that Kim had a permanent roof over his head.

The busker and surfer, who left home aged 18, preferred to travel and live in customised vans. In 2009, Kim won the Byron Bay Bluesfest Busker Competition.

Kim is known for his dynamic live performances while simultaneously playing bass drum, percussion, tambourine, harmonica and vocals.

Salt'n'Pepa: 80s royalty

Luminaries of the hip-hop world, Salt'n'Pepa are charged with not only being the first all-female group in the genre, but also with completely flipping the script on a male dominated world, breaking the glass ceiling so that generations of ladies could rise up.

Gaining prominence with their talismanic hit Push It, the ladies cut a swathe through the late '80s and early '90s with tunes like Shoop, Whatta Man and of course, Let's Talk About Sex.

With a fearless approach and still with boundless energy, Salt'n'Pepa tour today as living legends of hip-hop.

Thelma Plum: Striking a chord

After casting a spell on all with her debut EP Rosie (2013), Thelma Plum has put down her guitar and taken a step in a brave new musical direction.

With Deadly, NIMA and Triple J Unearthed wins under her belt, she's now working with hip-hop producer M-Phazes (of Kimbra and Eminem fame) and is striking a chord with audiences who love her new modern percussions and hit single How Much Does Your Love Cost?.

This Indigenous Australian singer/songwriter from Delungra, NSW, is now based in Brisbane. She is a graduate of Brisbane's Music Industry College.

She released her second EP, Monster, in 2014.

Megan Washington: Unmissable

THE talented Megan Washington will let loose a jam-packed set with hits How To Tame Lions, Rich Kids and Clementine as well as tracks from her new album There There.

The 14-song album draws on lush new-romantic '80s pop with lyrics derived from real-life experiences.

As Washington has explained, every song is a real story, and every lyric is about someone real.

It will be her fourth visit to Falls, her second performance there and her first time at the new North Byron Parklands - and she's definitely looking forward to it.

REMI: Melbourne talent

As the winner of Triple J Unearthed's Artist of the Year in 2013, Melbourne hip/hop, indie cool kid Remi sits primed at the crossroads of success.

Expertly mixing tight rap flow with a smooth singing voice, Remi got his start in 2011 as he collaborated with Sensible J and Dutch under the Melbourne collective Run For You Life.

All this was preparation for his inevitable solo career as he unleashed the infectious singles Sangria and Livin'.

His recent debut album Raw Infinity X was a hugely popular feature album on Triple J and holds Remi in good stead for a massive future.

Vance Joy: The Headliner

James Keogh, better known as Vance Joy, is an Australian singer-songwriter.

Joy signed a five-album deal with Atlantic Records in 2013.

Named as an 'artist to watch' in 2014 by Time Magazine, Vance Joy's Riptide was the highest selling Australian single in 2013.

Reaching top 10 on the ARIA Singles and UK Singles charts, the song topped Triple J's Hottest 100 countdown, along with Fearne Cotton (BBC Radio 1 UK) naming Riptide her Song of the Year.

His name became even hotter property after US chanteuse Taylor Swift invited Vance Joy to join her on her recently-announced tour of North America in 2015.

Taylor Swift recently covered Riptide for BBC1's Live Lounge, and hand-selected Vance Joy as the main support on her summer tour.

His recent UK and European tour dates, which included two shows in London, all sold out, and his current North American dates are well placed to do the same, with many shows upgraded.

With a first time appearance at Falls to premiere tracks from his popular debut album, it's this is sure to be one huge sing-along-party.

Vance Joy performing at Splendour in the Grass.
Vance Joy performing at Splendour in the Grass. Marc Stapelberg

Blue Juice: Final show

"After 13 years of broken bones, broken hearts, sore heads, passive aggression, regular aggression, several arrests, questionable skin infections, and a busload of infuriated tour managers, Bluejuice are announcing they are calling it quits at the end of 2014": a statement issued by the band that broke many hearts earlier this year.

Saying a final goodbye, they're hitting the road one last time, playing tracks from Retrospectable, a collection of tunes from their three studio albums over from 2007 to 2011.

The boys will be throwing us one hell of a send-off at Falls.

Alison Wonderland: Star DJ

Alison Wonderland, the woman Diplo called "one of the best DJs in Australia", has been everywhere of late.

Hot on the heels of her brilliantly-titled Rural Juror tour, she has released her highly-anticipated Calm Down EP and established herself a position at the top of the Aussie DJ scene.

Her blend of old school dance, hip hop and EDM, as well as an incredible eye for detail, has propelled this former cellist onto the must- have list for any warehouse or festival stage.

A true 'it-girl' and a stayer as well, Alison Wonderland has it all.

Alt-J: British tunes

Riding an awesome wave from their 2012 Mercury Music Prize win all the way to Falls, Alt-J have earned their victory lap of Australia.

Their ubiquitous debut record sold over a million copies worldwide, with three tracks - Breezeblocks, Tessellate and Something Good - all making their way into Triple J's Hottest 100.

Alt-J is an English indie rock band formed in 2007 in Leeds, England, by Gwil Sainsbury (guitar/bass), Joe Newman (guitar/lead vocals), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards/vocals) and Thom Green (drums).

Gwil Sainsbury amicably departed the band in early 2014.

Their second album, This Is All Yours, was released on September 22 and went straight to UK number one.

As a replacement for Sainsbury, Cameron Knight will be a support member for Alt-J's live shows, playing guitar, bass and sampler.

La Roux: Electro-Pop

La Roux is an English synthpop act formed in 2006 by singer Elly Jackson and record producer Ben Langmaid.

Their debut album La Roux (2009) was a critical and commercial success, winning a Grammy Award and producing hit singles such as In for the Kill and Bulletproof.

Langmaid ultimately left the group, and Jackson released a second album, Trouble in Paradise, in 2014, maintaining the former duo's name.

La Roux is all wild synths, battering beats, dystopian tones, neon lights and leather jackets, the perfect mix for a hypnotic live show.

Prepare yourself for sun-kissed sounds, infectious Caribbean bounce and a cannon blast of electro-pop bluster from one of Britain's premier talents.

Empire of the Sun: Big show

Australia's larger-than-life alt-electronic pioneers are back from their recent worldwide tour performing tracks from their albums Ice On The Dune and Walking On A Dream.

Since bursting onto the stage in 2007, Empire of The Sun have won eight Arias including Album of The Year, Best Group and Best Pop Release, whilst consistently charting at Top 10 across the world.

As a live act, their show is an adventure, packed with costume changes, strategic bright lights, transformative dancers and, of course, amazing tunes; something that'll be pretty special to behold at the Falls natural amphitheatres this NYE.

Tkay Maidza: Hip hop's new face

 Adelaide rapper Tkay Maidza launched onto Australia's hip-hop scene this year and she's already making waves around the nation impressing audiences on her debut run of shows, the Brontosaurus Tour.

Brontosaurus was released late last year with an impressive ARIA singles chart debut of #89.

Shortly after, Maidza was also included in Triple J's annual Next Crop list alongside the likes of breaking artists and as 'One To Watch' in News Ltd's annual predictions.

With Brontosaurus still holding strong on the iTunes singles charts and an EP release expected shortly, it's clear that Maidza is well and truly one to watch.

The Presets: Dance gods

A shining jewel in the crown of Australian dance music; where would we be without The Presets?

For so long now we've been able to rely on the duo of Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes to produce bangers worthy of the world stage.

This year alone they've already issued two new classics: Goodbye Future and No Fun as part of their resolution to release several singles across 2014.

These new tracks slide in next to 2012's Pacifica as well as the likes of My People and Are You The One?

Julian Hamilton of The Presets.
Julian Hamilton of The Presets. Mireille Merlet

Dan Sultan: Rock with soul

Dan Sultan has capped off a momentous 2014, taking out the award for Best Rock Album at the ARIAs.

He also performed a thundering live rendition of Under Your Skin.

The accolades follow recent wins at the AIR Awards for Best Blues and Roots Album and The Age Music Victoria Awards, where Dan scooped the gongs for Best Album and Best Male Artist.

He also won three National Indigenous Music Awards earlier in the year.

These recent trophies are added to an already impressive collection of ARIAs, AIR and Deadly Awards.

Since its release in April, Dan's coveted third record Blackbird is named after the Nashville studio where Sultan recorded it.

An ARIA Top 5 album, showing off Dan's rockier, grittier side, Blackbird reminded us that here is an artist who can effortlessly traverse multiple musical genres, from blues, roots and soul to all out rock'n'roll.

While recording Blackbird, Sultan was asked to add his name to a guitar in Blackbird Studios, signed by music legends including Buddy Guy, Bryan Adams and Neil Young.

"There are a few things you never forget," he said.

"I'll never forget doing Gullible Few ... and I'll never forget being asked to engrave my name in that guitar."

The Melbourne musician followed up the release of Blackbird with a solo EP - Dirty Ground - earlier this month.

The EP features co-writes with legendary local musos Paul Kelly and Paul Dempsey and sees him exploring his softer side across six tracks. After a recent trip to the US and the UK, summer will see Dan return to stages around the nation, for an extensive run of festivals and his own solo shows.

Intimate affairs, the headline tour dates will allow him to fully showcase his unique talent as a singer, songwriter and teller of stories - perfect for fans that would prefer to see him in a close setting, and experience the album and EP in their rawest and most emotive forms.

Dan Sultan
Dan Sultan

Milky Chance: German folk/rock

Milky Chance is a German folk/rock duo with reggae and electronic music influences made up of Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch.

Both originating from Kassel, they have several singles and one album on their own imprint Lichtdicht Records.

Their first single Stolen Dance was released in April 2013, peaking at No. 1 on charts in countries such as Austria, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary.

It also won the 1Live Krone award for Best Single.

Australians have quickly embraced Milky Chance and they're rewarding us with their first trip to our shores.

Airling: Dreamy beats

Airling (aka Hannah Shepherd, joined by multi- instrumentalist Graham Ritchie and drummer Chris Port) bring other- worldly vocals, lush electronics and dreamlike beats to the stage.

Having collaborated with Tom Scary, Airling is performing fresh off the release of the debut EP release, Love Gracefully.

George Ezra: More than Budapest

GEORGE Ezra Barnett is an English singer-songwriter.

After releasing two EPs, Did You Hear the Rain? in October 2013 and Cassy O' in March 2014, Ezra rose to prominence with the release of his hit single Budapest, which reached the top 10 in countries around the world, reaching number one in Austria, New Zealand and the Czech Republic.

Ezra's debut studio album Wanted on Voyage was released in June.

Reaching fifth in the BBC's Sound of 2014 list set the wheels in motion for this album.


Sticky Fingers: Addictive music

Sydney's finest Sticky Fingers are back to add another page to their bourgeoning rap sheet.

Specialising in summery good-time vibes, with tunes like Caress Your Soul and Australia Street both lobbing up in their respective Hottest 100 countdowns.

Their single Gold Snafu picked up where these mini-anthems left off.

The lads cobble together one of the finest, most addictive live shows on the Australian music circuit today.

Just like the Rolling Stones record they share a moniker with, they're unpredictable, sexy, strange and undeniably inclusive.

Spiderbait: Rock supremos

As Australian rock royalty, Spiderbait's career has produced five Top 20 albums, 19 ARIA nominations and two ARIA awards.

They were the first band to make it to number one on Triple J's Hottest 100 with Buy Me A Pony and their cover of Black Betty scored them a number one single on the ARIA chart and a Top 20 single in the US.

After an eight year recording hiatus they are back with a new self-titled album produced by Francois Tetaz.

The album remains true to their rock heritage mixed with sweet sounds, double kick and gritty ball-busting riffs.

We cannot wait to see what they pull out of the bag in their triumphant return to Falls.

For further details visit www.byron.fallsfestival.com.au

Man dead at Greenmount beach after tragic early morning surf

Man dead at Greenmount beach after tragic early morning surf

A surfer has died at a popular Gold Coast beach.

Man killed after being hit by truck on highway

Man killed after being hit by truck on highway

The highway has now reopened after this morning's tragic crash

Council green lights 10 storeys at Cobaki Estate

Council green lights 10 storeys at Cobaki Estate

New height of hypocrisy as council approves expansion plan

Local Partners