While Uncaged Festival officially kicks off this weekend, the show itself has taken far longer to bring from idea to reality.
In a musical climate where many promotors were having to be selective about which shows to put on, Silverback Touring, and particularly the man behind it all Danny Bazzi, was thinking more about the future and the possibilities it may bring.
It was a brave move, especially considering the tours that Silverback had been forced to cancel or postpone, but one which has ultimately seen the emergence of what should become Australia’s latest and greatest annual music festival, Uncaged.
HEAVY tracked Danny down earlier this week to talk about Uncaged and the long journey which has seen it brought to life.
“It’s definitely been a rollercoaster of joy, frustration and numerous emotions,” he offered, “but it’s finally here. We’ve had to, I guess, navigate our way through. When we initially announced it we were navigating around venue restrictions and capacity, which is why we went outdoor into larger spaces initially. It’s always been intended as being a relatively modest festival. It’s only got a capacity of 5000 and we’ve never gone over that. The sole reason we went to some of those bigger spaces initially was based on COVID restrictions, so we needed a 20,000 cap space to accommodate 5000 people on one person per four square meters at the time. How times have changed. Here we are, we’re at the finish line in some respects, but in saying that we’re also at the start because this is the start of something we’re looking to grow.”
While the average punter gets all of the excitement surrounding that one day of live music, behind the scenes the time taken to put together and execute a festival of this magnitude is immeasurable.
“A lot,” Bazzi laughed when asked how much time went into Uncaged. “To put it in context, it’s basically absorbed my life for the last six months or so. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions. There’s some real excitement around it, everything from coming up with the branding, to the concept, what you’re trying to put out, and then finding the talent and putting it on sale, dealing with punters and feedback – everyone’s got an opinion these days – it’s just a huge process but one which can’t be executed without having a solid team. And the team I’ve got actually running the festival are some of the best in the business so that gives me a lot of comfort in terms of delivery of the festival. There are so many facets to it, and I won’t deny that it’s been a learning curve in many ways. I’ve got the greatest of respect for my peers and promoters who are putting on festivals. (But) You have to take the bull by the horns at some point and dive into the deep end, and I think we’ve done that. There will certainly be a few lessons learnt, but I think we’ve got a really good foundation for a new rock festival in Australia.”
In the full interview, Danny tells us more about himself and his role with Silverback Touring, why he decided to start a new festival in trying times, the selection process for bands, giving emerging bands the opportunity to play all three shows, the future of Uncaged and if international bands will be part of the festival moving forward, surviving COVID as a promotor, other tours coming up and more.