Festival Review: Heaps Good Adelaide – Wayville Pavillion, Adelaide (06.01.24)

Last year’s Heaps Good Festival was such an incredibly great show that it’s hard to understand why this year’s wasn’t bigger and better. Moving the stages from the main oval at the Adelaide Showgrounds into the pavilion area seemed to dampen the festival vibe. Fortunately, the food court was outside, which gave something of a festive vibe.

The Heaps Good Festival contains no South Australian acts, however, there was a plethora of female artists, such as MAY-A, UK’s Holly Humberstone and Griff who were all warmly embraced by the crowd. MAY-A’s collaboration with Flume, “Say Nothing” was particularly well received. Equally, Humberstone’s “Paint My Bedroom Black” was a crowd favorite.

At this festival, the drum and bass action was confined to the outside atrium area. Banging tunes came from the likes of female DJ’s Rona and Denim, however you could see the ravers struggling in the harsh afternoon sun. The morning thunderstorms had cleared by the afternoon, leaving a warm humid day for the punters.

Out in the food court, plenty of food offerings were available including burgers, curly potatoes and Indian curries. A Sizzler carnival ride looked lost and lonely in the morning but picked up patrons as the day went on.

The mass of people came and went as the artists in the main hall finished their sets. Luckily it was a fast turn around and the music continued. Also from the UK, Declan McKenna was well received as a substitute for Basement Jaxx and SBTRKT as per the Melbourne leg of the festival. He danced and gyrated for the audience and earned himself some new fans.

The Avalanches played a DJ set, with familiar tunes from their what 20 year back catalogue. British outfit Foals did what they do best with driving rock and roll. Lead vocalist and guitarist Yannis Philippakis knows how to work a crowd and songs such as “Spanish Sahara” and “Mountain at My Gates” were as fantastic as other times we’ve seen them.

Flume topped the day with his familiar tunes set against an incredible laser light show. He also bought MAY-A back on stage for “Say Nothing” and in a welcome surprise Vera Blue came on stage to sing “Never Be Like You”, “I Can’t Tell” and “Rushing Back”.

Will people remember fondly and talk about this festival in years to come? Would it fit the mantra of Heaps Good? It was okay, and those that were there to show off their teeny tiny fashions were suitably entertained. Let’s just say it was fairly good.


Lead image courtesy of Samuel Graves