Despite lock-out laws and tough festival legislation, musician Adam Thompson says live music is a catalyst for connection, not criminality.
Mr Thompson, front man of the Chocolate Starfish, is gearing up with his band for the Red Hot Summer Tour, scheduled to hit Kiama on March 3.
“It’s so much fun – this line up is like a family,” he said.
“The way the crowd behaves is fantastic. There’s just no idiots, it’s great. There’s hardly ever a need for police, people are there for the music.”
Mr Thompson said the lineup brought young and old together.
“A lot of the early 20s (who attend), their parents are about our age, and they would have grown up listening to this stuff,” he said.
“Now they can go out and experience what their parents experienced – it’s a great bonding experience, something they can have common ground with their folks.
“It’s a beautiful thing to watch, 20 and 50-year-olds singing and dancing together.”
He said the bands on the bill party just as hard as the audience – but stressed having a good time didn’t depend on alcohol.
As soon as you give them that license to let go and enjoy they do it.Adam Thompson
“I think there are individual members of each band who go hard – our hardness now is probably less with alcohol than it is with showing off to each other,” he said.
“I’ve got this theory that everybody wants to be involved in a show, but often they don’t know that they want to.
“As soon as you give them that license to let go and enjoy they do it. It doesn’t have to involve booze, it’s just being free and enjoying the moment.”
In terms of party stamina, Mr Thompson said Dave Gleeson, of the Screaming Jets, was a clear stand-out.
“He’s performing in two bands,” Mr Thompson said.
“In between sets I try to keep him busy so he doesn’t have time to rest, so he’s really got to dig deep when he gets up on stage.”