Peter Garrett Shares Why Midnight Oil Never Headlined Any AFL Grand Finals

15 March 2024 | 1:16 pm | Mary Varvaris

Peter Garrett had one condition for performing at the AFL Grand Final, which was never met.

Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil (Credit: John Tsiavis)

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Former Midnight Oil frontman and solo artist Peter Garrett has shared the reason why Midnight Oil never headlined any AFL Grand Finals.

No, the Aussie rockers didn’t not perform due to a dislike of the sport—Garrett is a huge fan—or scheduling issues. It’s because the entertainment doesn’t take place at night.

Chatting in an interview with Neil Griffiths on his The Plug podcast, Garrett revealed that playing at night was his one condition and his sole sticking point. “It’s the first time I’ve ever talked about it, but I’m happy to say it,” Garrett told Griffiths. “That’s always been my condition.”

Why is performing at night such a big deal? Garrett discussed the production values of the pre-game entertainment at the AFL Grand Final, stating that performing in the dark “really heightens the experience of the entertainment,” which, today, is as much a part of the game as the Super Bowl.

Garrett continued, “I’m a massive AFL fan, and I totally get that for most AFL fans, it’s not about the entertainment at all; it’s about the game, and it gets played on Saturday arvo at that time… Okay, all of that taken, but I’ve seen enough [Super Bowl shows] to know, why can’t we do something like that? We could do it, we’ve got the cameras and the people and the skills.”

For Garrett, an epic nighttime performance would’ve been a “big proud moment”. Plus, performing at night could even be seen in other time zones, with Garrett elaborating that the show “would really move people.”

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He doubts the impact of the daytime performances (“It’s just really hard to in the middle of the afternoon”) and added, “So to get that intensity… the excitement, the spotlights when the drones and the helicopters come over the G. The rockets go off.”

You can listen to the interview below.

Today, The Music shared a new interview with Garrett to celebrate his latest album, The True North, and upcoming tour with his band, The Alter Egos.

“I am feeling the greatest sense of urgency right now,” Garrett told The Music. “Maybe it's my date of birth; maybe it's partly because of what's around us. And I am still trying to sum it up in a song that works musically.”

The new album finds Garrett accompanied by the Oils’ Martin Rotsey on guitar, Heather Shannon (The Jezabels) on piano and keys, Evan Mannell on drums, Rowan Lane on bass, Freya Schack-Arnott on cello and Ollie Thorpe on pedal steel. His daughters, May and Grace, also sang on some tracks. Garrett is now touring – you can find tickets here.