Summer is Here: Festival of the Sun proves to be the perfect kick off event for the festival season

Port Macquarie’s Festival of the Sun – over a weekend packed with festivals around the country – helped kick off the Summer Festival season in style earlier this month, coinciding with the start of Summer holidays for many university students. The event, which has taken over the Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park on the beaches of the NSW coastal town in a variety of incarnations since 2001, is famed for a number of reasons: it’s seconds walk from the beach and sits against a mosh pit of sand; it sells out every year with its limited capacity of 5k punters; it’s BYO; and it always has one of the finest lineups of local talent you’ll see at any festival all year.

The year, the festival – which now runs over three nights and two full days – saw Holy Holy, Meg Mac and Ball Park Music headline the first day, while The Preatures, Horrorshow and Kim Churchill were the names to highlight the second. But this event isn’t just about the headliners. Throughout the weekend you would have found – especially on the smaller side stage – lesser known acts like Raave Tapes and The Pretty Littles impress after the sun set, while the middle of the day was filled with rising superstars like Sampa The Great, who delivered one of the best sets of the weekend.

Amongst Sampa‘s set was a cover of The Fugees’ “Fugee-La”, while many other acts for found time to fit in covers too. Raave Tapes give us PNAU‘s “Embrace”, The Pretty Littles did a rousing version of TV on the Radio‘s “Wolf Like Me” and Horrorshow asked “Can I Kick It?”. Ivan Ooze seemed to fill the majority of his set with covers – Limp Bizkit and all.

For a festival where many of the laid back punters aren’t familiar with the bands, the covers prove a hit – and really that sums up the festival well. This crowd is there for a good time and the well curated lineup know how to deliver it. The BYO drinks and excellent food on site doesn’t hurt matters either. If this is a sign of the festivals to come over the rest of the summer season, we’re in for a spectacular musical summer indeed.

Check out a series of shots from Festival of the Sun 2017, below!

Photo of The Preatures by Larry Heath. Gallery by Matthew Jorgensen Photography.

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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.