|MILESAGO: Australasian Music & Popular Culture 1964-1975||Music Festivals|
SUNBURY FESTIVAL 1973
Sound System: Jands
Sunbury '72 was widely touted as the beginning of a new era, and Sunbury '73 consolidated the festival's success. However it also marked a changing of the guard, with a number of notable bands -- Carson, Country Radio, Friends, Healing Force -- all splitting for good in the months following their Sunbury appearances. It was also the final Australian performance by Flying Circus, who had already been in Canada for some time. They returned specially for the festival, but were coolly received, and returned to Canada immediately after Sunbury, where they remained until they split some years later.
The Aztecs headlined again, reprising their huge success of the previous year and Max Merritt & The Meteors again returned from the UK to perform. One of the surprise hits of the festival was rock'n'roll legend Johnny O'Keefe; he was cheekily introduced as a "newcomer" by MC Paul Hogan, but despite an initially derisory reception, he won the crowd over and by the end of his set, as Ian McFarlane notes, he "had the audience of hippies eating out of the palm of his hand".
"Sunbury 1972 was the first, but
the 1973 festival is often remembered as the best. It has a place in
our music history, just like the vintage clips of the Easybeats
performing 'Friday On My Mind' and AC/DC travelling down Melbourne city
streets on the back of a tray truck while belting out 'It's A Long Way
To The Top'."
- Steve Waldon, The Age
References / Links
Australian Encyclopedia of Rock & Pop (Allen & Unwin, 1999)
Festivals in Australia: An Intimate History (D.T.E Publishers, Spring Hill, Vic, 1986)
"Sunbury, 1973. Strike any chords with you?"
The Age, 25 Jan. 2003