After a year on ice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the one and only UNIFY Gathering – aka Mosh Christmas – will make its return to regional Victoria next month.
Lovingly dubbed UNIFY FOREVER, the comeback edition sports an all-Australian lineup stacked with acts both familiar to punters of years past (see headliners Violent Soho and The Amity Affliction, plus pit-splitting legendaries like Ocean Grove, Thornhill and WAAX) and newcomers poised to make the debut of a lifetime (like Teenage Joans, RedHook, Plini and, believe it or not, Short Stack).
Among the acts we’re primed and pining to catch is one that, in all honesty, we never thought we’d see again. Five years since their dissolution, Stories – the Sydney-based post-hardcore powerhouse that made cataclysmic waves with their UNFD debut, 2015’s The Youth To Become – will play an exclusive set at UNIFY ’22. ‘Exclusive’ really is the operative word here, too, as a press release makes it clear the band have no plans to perform again after their mainstage set.
Stories grew to become somewhat of a cult favourite in the years since they first bid us farewell, with The Youth To Become – as well as 2013’s phenomenal Void EP, plus the ‘Dreamwork’ single in 2014 – ageing like a fine wine with their blistering beats, soaring riffs and gut-punching vocals. They make a fine addition to the UNIFY lineup, bumping shoulders with a stack of bands that were undoubtedly inspired themselves by Stories.
Also announced this month was UNIFY’s official “pre-party”, set to go down on the night before the festival truly kicks off. As always, it’s a collaborative effort between AM//PM (known for their life-affirming ‘emo night’ events) and team UNIFY, and boasts a short, yet unequivocally sweet lineup of up-and-coming crushers sure to get the pits raging. In addition to DJ sets from AM//PM regulars, punters will be able to catch live sets from Alt, Dregg, Drown This City, Grenade Jumper and Rumours.
As for where and when it’s all set to go down, the UNIFY Gathering will return to its usual home of the Tarwin Meadows in Gippsland, about 130 kilometres south of Melbourne, over the four-day stint of Thursday, January 20th through to Sunday 23rd. Should it not be able to go ahead (because, y’know, pandemic stuff), organisers have locked in a set of backup dates between Thursday, March 10th and Friday 13th.
Tickets can be found on the festival’s website, as can details for camping, parking and all that other fun stuff. You can also check out the lineup below:
UNIFY GATHERING 2022 (aka UNIFY FOREVER)
The Amity Affliction
Dream On Dreamer
The Last Martyr
Teen Jesus & The Jean Teasers
Drown This City
When: Thursday, January 20th – Sunday 23rd
Where: Tarwin Meadows, Gippsland VIC