More Australian music followed Courtney (read about her in part one) with Angus and Julia Stone taking the stage to play tracks from their latest self-titled album and old favourites like "Big Jet Plane" and "For You". The duo played well, accompanied by a four piece band. But their down tempo tracks didn't quite match the loud, raw energy of the band that followed. Brighton duo Royal Blood cranked everything up to 11 in what was the best performance I've ever seen from them - they really are at the top of their game right now. After a year of non-stop touring, that comes of little surprise.
With 13,000 punters from Singapore and around the Asian region descending on the iconic Gardens By The Bay, yesterday saw St Jerome's Laneway Festival take place for the fifth consecutive time in the city, with organisers selling out tickets for the first time ever.
Meandering through the kept gardens of Werribee Mansion, there was a certain je ne sais pas that drifted, stirring the sensibilities. Melbourne’s typically impulsive weather had smiled upon the French gathering, turning on a particularly beautiful Summer’s day. Upon arrival, the stretch that lay in front of the mansion greeted patrons with a sea of white umbrellas, a flurry of red lips and a bare chested dancer with a scarf draped over his head (basking in the sunlight and good times).
Despite the weirdness of day three weather-wise, there was more confidence with what the skies gave us for the remaining two days of Woodford. We at least got some semblance of normalcy with an overcast day and a pleasant coolness in the air. It made for a good time watching bands.
The concept of a music festival the day after the biggest global celebration, New Years Eve, seems flawed from the get go. But the crowd and energy tell a very different story. Festival boys are wearing deep, deep v-neck singlets matched with beards and bucket hats, every other girl is either in a black trilby hat or a bra-less midriff, and everyone is there for a good time.
While RnV's second day was dominated by hard beats and EDM-driven celebration, the massive festival's final day saw a bit more diversity with headliners Bastille bringing in 2015, a show-stealing set from locals Broods, an encore from the unstoppable P Money, EDM chaos from Zane Lowe, and classic rock from NZ legends Mi-Sex.
The crowd was looking just a little tired and dusty as the fourth and final day at Falls kicked into gear. It was the coolest day thus far, breezy and cloud covered, but it was nonetheless still baking when Sydney’s Sticky Fingers wandered on to the Valley Stage.
It was as if the gods suddenly looked down on the Lorne site of the 2014 Falls Festival and told each other, 'You know what? They've suffered enough with the rain.' - the clouds disappeared for our New Year's Eve in the forest and the temperature rose considerably, a perfect atmosphere for our final day at the festival. Moods were high (weed was probably helping in that regard, too) and the music was totally fitting as one's soundtrack to the end of the year.
It’s five minutes to midnight, Flume’s remix of “Tennis Court” is spinning out from the Valley Stage, where Alison Wonderland ducks and jumps behind the decks. Confetti is falling, lit up gold by the fierce strobes, drifting and sticking to the 10,000 sweaty people that are crammed into the Valley. The music cuts for the countdown, and Day two of Falls ends as the New Year begins – with another explosion of confetti.
New Zealand's picture perfect Rhythm and Vines NYE festival entered into the second day with ideal weather, sun peeking over the high mountaintops and looking into the pop-up village that the festival has become. The communal aspect was in full swing by now, with a massive Day One now come and gone.
As dawn rose over day three of the Woodford Folk Festival, revelers didn’t seem to mind the pitter-patter of rain felt on their thongs, boots or whatever else was deemed appropriate attire for that day (Some even felt underwear was appropriate to strut around, not that I’m complaining, I only mention that in bemusement). Little did anyone know that the pitter-patter would turn into something significant, but more of that later.
By Day Three, everyone's hitting their stride; it's the first day of Falls where both the Grand Theatre and Valley Stage are in operation, more international visitors are in the joint and punters stand to bear witness to some more world class festival sets. And we've still got one full day and night to go.
The misting stations offered the only reprieve. The barometer was pushing higher and higher and with barely any shade to be found, walking through a green tunnel that sprayed water at you seemed like the best option. Shirts clung to skin, whether through sweat or water spray it was impossible to tell, as the second Falls Festival in Byron Bay shifted into life.
The mountainous Waiohika Estate is the site of New Zealand's biggest music festival Rhythm and Vines (affectionately known as RnV), now in it's 12th year and firmly established as one of the most eagerly anticipated events on New Zealand's calender. With headline slots from big international names like Drum & Bass maestro Netsky, UK pop-rockers Bastille, and EDM giants Chase & Status, plus the debut of the spectacular Arcadia Afterburner stage - imported from super-festival Glastonbury - RnV has managed to put together a music program that is perfectly in line with what people have come to expect each year - big, bold, and diverse.
While the Grand Theatre took centre stage last night, Monday at Falls Festival Lorne was all about partying in the Valley. A great line up of bands and artists performed through the day and night, not letting the freezing cold weather and rain deter them - the crowd wasn't letting the dropping temperature get them either.