FOR the first time since it began in 2008, Kennedys Creek Music Festival has hit its 1000-person limit and sold out.
It’s great news for the tiny community in the Otways foothills, which uses the income from the festival to keep its beloved local hall in good condition.
This weekend’s line-up includes buzz bands such as Dorsal Fins, Alex Lahey, The Pretty Littles, and The Shaolin Afronauts, as well as locally connected acts like Leah Senior, Gums, and Gullies.
Headlining will be Cosmic Psychos, the Aussie punk legends who have quietly carved out their own spot in the musical landscape over the past three decades.
“If anything I thought we might halt ticket sales,” vocalist/bass player Ross Knight said with typical deprecating humour when told the festival had sold it.
“When I told people we were playing there, they were saying it’s a ripper. (At small festivals) everyone looks after each other and nothing gets out of hand. It sounds like it will be right up our alley.”
Cosmic Psychos are no strangers to festivals. They’ve done Big Day Outs, were a highlight at Golden Plains in 2011 (a personal highlight, Knight said), and recently did the Bukta Festival in Norway which was “technically ... in the Arctic Circle”.
“The stage is right on the edge of the bay – some of the scaffolding is in the water. It’s incredible. You’re trying to play and you’re looking over this beautiful lake and there’s the outline of mountains, and the sun’s still up at 2am. Iggy Pop headlined, so he was on straight after us.
“If when I bought Lust For Life in ‘77 someone said you’re going to play with this guy in the Arctic Circle, I’d have said ‘you’re kidding yourself’. You struggle to comprehend that – I still am.”
Knight continually downplays his band’s legacy and sounds perplexed by their ongoing appeal. He describes himself as just “a central Victorian farmer” who writes songs because he’s “sitting on a bulldozer … bored out of my head”.
But that’s ignoring the fact their ‘91 album Blokes You Can Trust was produced by Butch Vig, who was fresh from recording Nirvana’s Nevermind, and that their fans included Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder (who is also a personal friend) and Kurt Cobain.
Blokes You Can Trust was also the name of the doco made about the band in 2012 – an honour Knight called “flattering” but that caused him to “scratch my head and wonder what we’ve done”.
“It definitely made people more aware of Cosmic Psychos,” he said.
“I think it reminded a lot of people … we’re still plodding along, still going overseas, still doing what we want.”