By Callum Doig
Unify has been taking the lead in heavy music festivals as of late. Ever since Soundwave cancelled, luckily, the people behind Unify have been doing everything they can to make it bigger and better every year. If you’ve been dwelling in an indecisive headspace, whether or not to go for your first time, rest assured you should get the arse there! We, the peoples of HEAVY Mag are here to give you a whole bunch of reasons to head to Unify in 2017.
1. The Lineup
It’s an obvious reason… But, there’s more to it than simply the lineup being great. There are heaps of awesome international bands (and big ones) on the bill, such as Alexisonfire, letlive., Every Time I Die, Moose Blood, The Dirty Nil and Counterparts. And of course, Unify gives its audience a big dose of Australian musical blood with previous festival guests including Deez Nuts, Storm the Sky, Thy Art Is Murder, The Getaway Plan and Northlane, as well as introducing a bunch of other familiar Aussie names to the bill with the likes of Violent Soho, Drown This City and King Parrot. Not to forget, Melbournian post-hardcore heroes House Vs. Hurricane, who are making their return for their first show since 2013, and that’s a pretty big deal for those in the scene!
UNIFY GATHERING 2017 LINE-UP
Every Time I Die
The Getaway Plan (Playing Other Voices Other Rooms)
Thy Art Is Murder
House Vs Hurricane (Only show)
I Killed The Prom Queen (Plying Music For The Recently Deceased)
Storm The Sky
The Dirty Nil
Justice For The Damned
Drown This City
2. Your Length Of Stay Is Extended
Unify started off as a two day/one nighter, but, after two years of the festival’s existence, we have Unify extending itself by another day. So, you have three days and two nights to thrash and bash in the pit to an amazing array of great bands (and hopefully wake up with no painful hangover on either day).
3. You’ll Be Camping In The Middle of Nowhere; In A Field Of Heavy Music Fans!
Sure, Unify may not have quite a gigantic lineup that Big Day Out and Soundwave used to have, but the festival’s popularity is skyrocketing! Even if Soundwave and Big Day Out gave us bands such as Slipknot, Metallica and Nine Inch Nails, and that the last Soundwave was a two-day gig, there was no camping involved. But, with other successful festivals such as Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival, one might wish for a little more raw volume and aggression to the sound. And Unify has granted us that wish! With the festival taking place in Tarwin Meadows, which is at least ten minutes away from one of the most beautiful beaches in Victoria, it’ll feel like the ultimate summer camp for everyone that digs on those aggressive beat downs.
4. The Drinks
You don’t need to drink alcohol to have fun, but, it could help with some amusing stories to share with your mates afterwards. While most festivals don’t allow the BYO option, the folks at Unify are well aware of how we Aussies love a drink; or a dozen. In addition to being able to bring your favourite beer or mixed spirit tinnies to the camping grounds, Unify also supplies a range of cocktails with punny names relating to the bands or songs such as ‘Thy Marg is Rita’, ‘Youngbloody Mary’ and ‘Quantum Sunrise’.
[Editors Note] Drink in moderation peeps… You don’t want to be “that guy”…
5. There’s Way More To Do Than Just Watching the Bands
We’re not talking arcade games or anything of that nature, but there are games that you can play at Unify. Mini golf, Jenga, Pole Tennis, and hell; even someone sure brings a hacky sack or football to the field. Even if you’re away from all the action and are chilling on the camping grounds, someone will pull out a game of Cards Against Humanity for you and everyone else to play and have a laugh. There was even an outdoor late night cinema there that played the Parkway Drive documentary. There’s always something entertaining going on that doesn’t just involve the live acts.
6. The Camaraderie
Music is a powerful force that brings people together. And metal just so happens to be the one that brings everyone collectively as one massive, international brotherhood. When I first attended the festival, I swear to god, it was impossible to count the number of friends I knew from outside the festival that came. I literally couldn’t keep count of everyone I knew that showed up. But fear not if you don’t have many people in your social group that will be heading to Unify because there’s always room to meet some new faces. And by some, I mean the other 4999+ that will be going as well.
Seriously, though, how many friends do you make at the shows you go to, on average? There may not be an exact number, but, man! The chances of another person wearing a tee of one of your favourite bands at a festival are ridiculously high. To see them in a Black Dahlia Murder tee or even have a tattoo of the art from your favourite Tool album is enough to make you wanna high five them and chat about those awesome bands you love! The kinship and love you share with others for the bands are one of the beautiful things about heavy music, and one of the main reasons why it’s unbeatable in this regard!
7. It’s the First Aussie Festival For the Year
Around two weeks after 2017 starts, Unify will kick off a monstrous year of awesome gigs. Even though Beyond the Valley and Falls Festival end on New Year’s Day, it doesn’t necessarily count. Unify is a fresh way to start the new year for gig-going punters across the nation, in the city or out in the countryside. And with the illustrious Unify company involved, it’s one hell of a great way to prepare yourselves for any upcoming concerts in the year.
8. The Festival Energy
Despite the hangovers and tiredness everyone experiences at these festivals, in my experience of Unify, everyone is in high spirits, no matter how destroyed they feel from the night before. With the festival being an extended endurance test this year, there’ll be even more hectic moments to experience than ever before. One minute, you’ll see a bunch of people walking like the dead, and the next minute, they’ll hear some heavy tunes blaring from the stage, causing an uncontrollable moshing frenzy. There is just a greater sense of unity, energy and dedication happening at Unify than what I’ve seen at other festivals. This event is very well named!
UNIFY: A HEAVY MUSIC GATHERING
JANUARY 13, 14 & 15
TARWIN MEADOWS, GIPPSLAND VIC
TWO/THREE NIGHT CAMPING FESTIVAL
GET TICKETS HERE, GET YOUR ARSE THERE!
PS. The UNIFY merchandise is pretty awesome too… https://unify.lnk.to/MerchWE