Stone Music Festival Promoters Distance Themselves From Bikie Connections
The inaugural Stone Music Festival announced the playing times and final lineup for its two-day music extravaganza yesterday, with an impressive lineup of local and international acts hitting Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on April 20th and 21st, including the return of arena rock veterans Van Halen to Australia for the first time in more than 20 years, co-headlining with esteemed singer-songwriter Billy Joel.
But among the impressive bill of local and international headliners, including supergroup Kings of Chaos – a heavy rock supergroup that includes members of Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Def Leppard, Skid Row, and Deep Purple – as well as Jimmy Barnes, The Living End, Icehouse, the newly reformed Superjesus, and many more; the two-day event has sought to distance itself from the 1974 cult bikie flick after which it was named, as well as establishing conditions of entry that bar anyone with motorcycle gang connections unwelcome.
As previously reported, Ardline Media are the Sydney-based production and management company that have pulled the big names all together and presenting the April event, an impressive feat for a relatively small team who’s roster mainly includes smaller, local bands.
The biggest coup for Ardline Media though has been in roping in Van Halen exclusively for their promised 90 minute headline slot for Stone Music Festival, managing to secure ‘Diamond’ David Lee Roth and the Van Halen family for the tour every arena rock fan has been gagging for since they famously canned their September 2011 appearance as headliners for Soundwave’s Revolution Festival over in-fighting, which led to the entire event to a miserable end.
Back when Van Halen were first announced, seemingly out of nowhere, the Stone Music Festival’s initial press for the event noted that it took “its name and its attitude from the iconic 1974 Ozploitation biker flick, Stone.” As well as touting daily screenings of a special ’2013 Director’s Cut’ screening of the cult flick, noting that a “new contemporary motion picture production” remake of Stone in the works.
Additionally, the event was to include something called ‘The Stone Run’, a motorbike ride to recreate the gathering of 34,000 bikers who rode to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original Ozploitation flick’s release.
Interestingly, all references to the film, and that planned bikie gathering, have been nixed from all of Stone Music Festival’s promotion and official website.
Furthermore, the two-day music festivals’ Conditions Of Entry contains a very interesting clause ‘Special Condition’ clause for ‘Outlaw Motor Cycle Gangs’ that notes the event’s rite to refuse entry to any “patron wearing ‘Colours’ or ‘Insignia’ identifying them as belonging to Outlaw Motor Cycle Gangs (OMCGs), or other groups as designated by the NSW Police, [are] prohibited from entering ANZ Stadium. This includes jackets, t-shirts, scarves, waistcoats, caps, patches, etc.”
It might have something to do with the removal of initial co-promoter Platinum Entertainment, who as The Maitland Mercury detailed in an article back in February on the music festival, is the business name of Richard Cartwright, the man who holds the rights to the proposed remake of Stone.
Cartwright has more than 30 years in the industry, with professional experience in A&R, Marketing, Artist Management, and Touring, as well as being a lecturer and published author, and was the promoter that worked in the Stone references to the festival, including his proposed remake.
According to Film Ink, Cartwright has held the rights to the 1974 cult flick – about an undercover cop who infiltrates a violent bikie gang to solve local murders – since 2010, and The Maitland Mercury article also reveals that the Platinum Entertainment co- founder approached the Harley Davidson forum, HD Forums Australia to appeal for investment from members of the Sydney HOG Chapter.
“Well I have the rights and I am writing and producing a new STONE, paying homage to the original, but not mimicking,” Cartwright posted, noting he’d allegedly written a draft of the screenplay and was touted to direct at one point.
Along with the Stone connections, all references to Platinum Entertainment and Cartwright have been removed from Stone Music Festival, which along with Conditions of Entry, means you won’t see any bikies at the event.
You won’t see Baby Animals there either, The Aussie rock band were previously booked to play Stone Music Festival when it first announced the host of local talent that would be joining the bill back in February, but frontwoman Suze DeMarchi then issued a statement notifying of their withdrawal, saying “it wasn’t feeling right to us.”
The controversy continued when Stone Music Festival’s legal team contacted Tone Deaf directly about reporting on some disparaging remarks made by fellow concert promoter, Andrew McManus, as well as the festival’s response to his allegations; the offending articles have since been amended or removed by legal request, with little to no contact from Stone Music Festival’s legal representatives following the matter.
Since then, promoters Ardline Mediahave finalised the playing times and final lineup for the April music festival, including adding three acts from their own management roster to the bill. Namely the female-fronted five-piece Atlantis Awaits, Perth pop-punk outfit My So Called Life, and Sydney’s The Art, who will be opening Saturday’s proceedings.
Meanwhile, MusicOz Awards 2012 winner Stone Parade (for Best Rock Act at the ceremony) will be opening Sunday’s proceedings with their classic rock-influenced tunes.
With the lineup now booked and the times locked in, with just over five weeks to go – it looks as if Stone Music Festival is ready to make a strong debut.
Stone Music Festival 2013 Playing Times
Stone Music Festival 2013 Dates & Tickets
Saturday 20th April and Sunday 21st April, 2013
ANZ STADIUM, SYDNEY
Ticket Prices (all including GST but exclusive of Transaction and Credit Card fees):
Arena GA Standing and GA Seating:
Single Day – $179.00
Two Day Package – $319.00
Platinum Zone (GA Standing):
Single Day – $279.00
Two Day Package – $429.00
Official Premium Ticket & Hotel Packages www.showbiz.com.au or 1300 414 697