Love some of that old time rock and roll? Aussie rock festival Wanstock returns in 2024 with its biggest lineup yet, with the rock’n’roll gods set to descend on the Shoppingtown Hotel in Doncaster on Saturday March 2. With headliners The Animals making their final Australian appearance as part of Wanstock this year, the event will also boast New Zealand-hailing icons Dragon, Aussie heroes Ted Mulry Gang, as well as performances from Standing Room Only, Strait Shooters and Day Dreamers.
Borne from organiser Geoff Wan’s love of the legendary Aussie pub rock era in the 80s and 90s, Wanstock has evolved since 2018 into an annual showcase of world-class acts alongside talented up-and-comers; and the 2024 edition is no exception when it comes to homegrown and international artists from the rock realms. Tickets for Wanstock 2024 are on-sale now from https://www.wanstock.com.au/.
Headlining proceedings this March on the Wanstock stage will be none other than influential blues rockers The Animals with their only Melbourne show. From their generation-spanning hits like We Gotta Get Out Of This Place and The House of the Rising Sun, to their ongoing commercial and chart success, The Animals have remained as one of the most impactful and influential acts of the infamous British Invasion. With a formidable touring history in their wake, including performances alongside The Police, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix, The Animals have also spent decades touring the globe, sharing their timeless songs with relentless vigour in a live setting. Now celebrating the 60th anniversary of their transatlantic hit The House of the Rising Sun, The Animals will be marking their diamond anniversary with an unforgettable swan song run, touring Australia for the last time ever this February and March; and the final stop down under will take place at none other than Wanstock 2024, with drummer John Steel ecstatic to return to Australia once again, “Hello you guys at WANSTOCK! I just wanted to tell you that we are so looking forward to seeing you on our 60th anniversary since The House of the Rising Sun made number one around the world. Every gig so far has sold out and closed with a standing ovation so we must be doing something right. Hoping for the same in Oz, best wishes from the band.”
Forming in New Zealand in the 1970s before relocating to Australia, long-time rock purveyors Dragon have never been ones to play it safe throughout their colourful and ongoing creative journey. Leaning into a heavy progressive rock sound that garnered a cult-like following and early success, the group have remained a stalwart fixture in the rock world, with hit tracks Are You Old Enough, April Sun in Cuba and Rain solidifying Dragon’s staying power and widespread appeal. From their induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2008 through to more recent live performances, including multiple headline shows and appearances at Rock The Races, Mundi Mundi Bash and Sunset Sounds, a Dragon live show is guaranteed to offer hit after hit after hit, with the band also recently wowing Wanstock crowds in 2023 to resounding acclaim.
And returning to the Wanstock stage in 2024 following their headline outing back in 2020 will be none other than Ted Mulry Gang, aka the unforgettable group behind the 1975 smash single Jump In My Car; a track which not only boasts spending 11 weeks at the #1 spot on the Australian charts, but also bragging rights for TMG becoming the first Aussie act to knock Swedish pop sensations ABBA off the pole position. An enduring and beloved group in the Australian pub realm, TMG simply live and breathe rock and roll, embodying their hard-hitting spirit into tracks like Darktown Strutters Ball, Crazy and My Little Girl. With their previous Wanstock appearance taking place at the glam rock-themed 2020 event and followed the very next day by Melbourne’s first lockdown, Ted Mulry Gang are ecstatic to return in 2024 amid much happier circumstances, as drummer Herm Kovac shares, “Hi this is Herm Kovac, drummer of Ted Mulry Gang aka TMG. The last time we played Melbourne was the night before lockdown. That ain’t going to happen again so we are looking forward to coming to Melbourne and having you enjoy some good old rock as well as all our hits. See you there”.
Also performing at Wanstock 2024 will be Melbourne powerhouse trio Standing Room Only, who have swiftly cemented their status on the touring circuit since emerging back in 2017. And Standing Room Only will be joined by Aussie covers sensations Strait Shooters and emerging alternative punks Daydreamers, rounding out the rock vibes for Wanstock 2024.
An event run by a music lover and for music lovers, the spark for Wanstock festival first ignited when organiser Geoff Wansbrough approached some of his favourite bands to play for his birthday a few years back. Spurred by his love of classic Australian rock and the spirit of the original Woodstock Music Festival, Wanstock was soon born, holding its inaugural event in 2018 at the Burvale Hotel before growing into the event’s current home, the Shoppingtown Hotel, in 2019. Featuring an array of incredible bands over the years, including The Kevin Borich Express, Spectrum, Hush, The Black Sorrows and The Baby Animals, Wanstock offers a true blue rock’n’roll experience while also showcasing some of the local scene’s brightest new talent. And, as organiser Wansbrough explains, each year is designed to be bigger and better than ever before, with 2024 set to simultaneously offer a day of amazing acts as well as the once-in-a-lifetime chance to bid farewell to one of the all-time greats, “I grew up in that awesome Aussie pub rock era of the 1980s and 90s. Every pub had bands and the cream rose to the top and we gave the world some great acts. As such, I used to see a lot of bands back in the day, and I still do. Wanstock came about when I was having a birthday a few years ago. I thought I would have a favorite band play. Then I thought: why not have a few of my favorite bands. That, plus the fact that I was a big admirer of the original Woodstock Music Festival, is really how it came about. Each year, I try and make it bigger and better. Now, it consists of a few components: to have two or three of the classic acts from back in the day, to give a some of the emerging talent a chance to play, and to have a cover band playing all our favorites to get everyone partying and dancing. Basically, I put it on to support our local music talent and so we can have a bit of fun while we still can. And this year is really something special with the legendary Animals playing their last ever show in Melbourne.”
Tickets for Wanstock 2024 are on-sale now from https://www.wanstock.com.au/.
Tickets available from https://www.wanstock.com.au/.
(Last ever Australian performance)
TED MULRY GANG
STANDING ROOM ONLY, STRAIT SHOOTERS, DAYDREAMERS
SAT 2 MARCH | SHOPPINGTOWN HOTEL, DONCASTER VIC | 18+