1995 hit and the organisers realised that the Festival was growing out of control. As a result tickets were limited for the first time, and sold on a first in, first served basis. There were no tickets sold at the gate. It sold out completely two weeks prior to the event. Tickets were $27. It was unfortunate for Festival regulars and for others who couldn’t get a ticket, but organisers held firm. The site couldn’t cope with many more people and plus, the grassroots, intimate and special appeal of the Festival needed to remain intact. The Festival has always been run under a policy of “better before bigger”.
A dam had been put in, the stage was made bigger again and Leaping Larry L of RRR was installed as the host on the Sunday. Standout sets were put on by Magic Dirt, Rebecca’s Empire, Spiderbait, Powder Monkeys, Chris Wilson and Shane O’Mara, The Mark of Cain, Ricaine, Joel Silbersher and Charlie Owen, and the rain on Saturday was stopped by Combo La Revelacion, a 10 piece Latin-American band who inspired a 500-person conga line. Anyone who went to this Meredith or any of the ten after it would know what an impact Combo made at Meredith. They are perhaps the festival’s biggest hit, and yes they indeed went on to hold down a ten-year residency at the event. Thankyou Jorge, Moses and all in the Combo.
The two brothers discarded the helicopter that year and arrived in a 10-berth motor home, complete with colour TV and all other mod-cons. They parked out the very back and put on a Lebanese BBQ which was attended by everyone in their paddock. Close by a large group of fun-lovers from the Jan Juc area had set up their own bush discotheque, complete with mirror ball dangling from a tree and dozens of fancy-dressed groovers. It is rumoured that one young man from this group did not see any bands at all.
One Meredith organiser, The Raccoon, was talking to Powder Monkey Tim Hemensley (RIP) at a pub in 1995. The Raccoon was making a bit of old chat, talking a bit about Meredith. Tim was barely paying attention, until Raccoon said off-handedly that the Meredith organisers planned to have a bit more variety on the line-up the following year. “Variety?” exclaimed Tim, incredulously. “Fuck variety”.
Here is some of What Was Said about the festival:
Beat – Beers, Billies and Bands – Meredith’s Back!! – by Jarrod Watt
Forte – Meredith Music Festival – by Robert Guy Davis
Forte – Meredith Music Festival In Review – by Cinnamon Francis
Forte – MMF1995 Advertisement
Inpress – Meredith Music Festival – by L.B. Bermingham
The Age – Starling Talent and Stinking Weather – by Andrew Masterson
Combo La Revelacion
The Mark of Cain
Louis Tillett and Charlie Owen
Joel Silbersher and Charlie Owen
Chris Wilson and Shane O’Mara
Special Guest MC: Leaping Larry L.