Pitch Music & Arts, Moyston, Victoria, Australia Review 2019

Pitch Music & Arts

Located in Moyston, Victoria, Australia and close by to the arresting Grampians mountain ranges, Pitch Music & Arts this year celebrated their third-year showcase of electronic music and artistic visual arts. Running from Friday 8th March until Monday 11th March, the creative extravaganza was one of the last of the festivals held in the Australian state of Victoria of the summer.

Promising an impressive line-up of both international and Australian DJs including the likes of Brit DJ Four Tet, Belgian DJ and producer Charlotte de Witte and Melbourne-based DJ Merve, it’s fair to say we were more than keen to spend a long weekend raving in the Australian countryside to some top artists and producers.

Pitch Music & Arts

Friday

As we drove – yes, drove into our campsite – our immediate thoughts reflected on how relaxed, straightforward and easy-going the entry process was. A very small, intimate festival, guests were even able to camp next to their car or sleep in a camper-van for ultimate ease.

After applying lashings of colourful glitter, sticking shimmering gemstones to our foreheads and adorning pieces of sparkling clobber, it was time to head to the arena. Pitch Music & Arts pride themselves on their creativity, and it’s certainly fair to say that the outfits of the crowd mirrored that. If you hadn’t thrown together a weird and wonderful ensemble – you were the one standing out.

Pitch Music & Arts

We headed to the two-storey and partially covered Stage 3, the Boiler Room, to take a retreat from the looming clouds . Pretty simple but genius, the scaffolding construction proved to be an ideal rave enclosure where local Melbourne-based Merve delighted with her techy-tappy beats. Peeking up from the swarms of bopping ravers, a whole host of homemade creative signs could be seen knocking about with their glitter-clad owners.

Pitch Music & Arts

Then we took a visit to Stage 2 hosted by Resident Advisor, where German dance DJ Perel was churning out the tunes with an old-school spin, including a remix of Nice & Wild’s catchy ‘Diamond Girl’. The disco hits continued on in the Boiler Room as Dutch duo Optimo heightened the crowds with a remix of The Human League’s super-hit ‘Don’t you want me.’ Powering through on the fresh, first night of the weekend, we managed to catch one of the last sets of the evening at the main stage – a closing spectacle from Belgian DJ and producer Charlotte de Witte.

Saturday

Arising from our tents with pounding heads midday on Saturday, we advanced into the arena in a quest to satisfy our grumbling bellies. Impressively, a wide array of food stalls offered everything from super-food healthy smoothies, to vegetarian ‘pulled jack fruit’ poutine to the usual greasy hangover burgers, so we didn’t have to venture too far for some yummy grub.

Stage 3, renamed to Pitch Black, during the day offered a completely different vibe and we frolicked in the sand and sun to DJ Hookway. Everyone had gone all out with their theatrical dress-ups, and as we swung around our bright oriental umbrellas in the desert-like surroundings, it felt as though we could have been attending the renowned Burning Man festival located in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada in the United States.

Pitch Music & Arts

Next, we ended up following around a manoeuvring float hosted by Melbourne’s famous gay club, Poof Doof. Skipping aside and singing along to Kylie Minogue with the colourfully-clothed drag hosts was a definite highlight of the weekend. Later, when the float became stationary, we rejoiced in dancing atop of hay bales as we watched a scarily accurate Cher impersonator belt out the singer’s catchy hit ‘Turn back time’.

Pitch Music & Arts

After dark, we returned to the Pitch Black stage, where we remained until the early hours of the morning shuffling along to trancey tunes from the likes of New Yorker Anthony Naples and Cologne-born Tim Engelhardt.

Sunday

Easing ourselves into another day and night of revelry, Sunday afternoon we took the time to explore what else was on offer at Pitch Music & Arts. Drawn to a tent emitting old school 80s hits, we discovered a small rink offering free roller skating and a range of stalls selling eccentric vintage clothing.

It didn’t take too long for us to be pulled back to the stages, however, and we headed over to Stage 1, Pitch One, which we had so far mainly neglected. There, Âme & Dixon had recently started their epic six-hour long set and the crowds had swarmed in.

But Sunday night, it was Stage 2 hosted by Resident Advisor that really impressed and we were treated to electric sets by the likes of DJ Harvey and electronic duo Dusky. Finally, we couldn’t resist another visit to our favourite stage, Pitch Black and we ended our night on a high jigging along to Dutch duo 16 Bit Lolitas.

Pitch Music & Arts

Monday

Although we were feeling a tad dusty from the weekend’s escapades, we headed over to Stage 1, Pitch one, fairly early on Monday afternoon to catch the last sets of the party. With the music finishing at seven pm and only Stage 1 being open, the atmosphere was pretty special with the last ravers of festival making the most of the scarce time left. What followed were some of the best sets of the festival and we raved unrestrainedly to Brit DJ Four Tet who impressed with a range of tingly tunes and earth-vibrating thumpy beats.

Our wild weekend came to conclude with a euphoric finale set from Scottish DJ Denis Sulta, where we thrived to catchy remixes including the likes of Masters at work’s ‘Work’ and Empire of the sun’s ‘Walking on a dream’.

Thank you Pitch Music & Arts – see you next year for a weekend of wonderfully creative chaos.

Pitch Music & Arts

Pitch Music & Arts in Moyston, Victoria, Australia – last remaining tickets available

Pitch Music & Arts 2019
Friday 8th March – Monday 12th March

 

Situated close by to the strikingly beautiful Grampians mountain range in Moyston, Victoria, Australia, Pitch Music & Arts returns this Friday 8th March until Tuesday 12th March with a perennial weekend of elevated electronic music and visual arts. For four days this satellite community flows through an incompressible setting; swift-footed, well blended and sensually engaged.

Following the recent announcements that Pitch Music & Arts will host techno tastemaker Daniel Avery, the live electronica of David August, and the USA’s fastest rising techno star Avalon Emerson here we show the full international lineup (plus a handful of local artists)..

View the full lineup, below:

 

 

16 Bit Lolitas (NED)
30/70 (Live) (AUS)
Âme b2b Dixon (6-hour set) (GER)
Andrés (USA)
Anthony Naples (USA)
Avalon Emerson (USA)
Baba Stiltz (SWE)
Banoffee (Live) (AUS)
Charlotte de Witte (BEL)
Courtesy (DEN)
Daniel Avery (UK)
Dasha Rush (GER)
David August (Live) (GER)
Denis Sulta (UK)
DJ Harvey (USA)
Dr. Rubinstein (GER)
Dusky (UK)
Eclair Fifi (UK)
Four Tet (UK)
Horse Meat Disco (UK)
Job Jobse (NED)
Made In Paris (AUS)
Mall Grab (AUS)
Marc Holstege (NL)
Marvin & Guy (ITA)
Merve (AUS)
Michael Mayer (GER)
Milan Ring (Live) (AUS)
Monolink (Live) (GER)
Oliver Huntemann (GER)
Oliver Schories (GER)
Optimo (UK)
Palms Trax (UK)
Perc (UK)
Perel (Hybrid live) (GER)
Recondite (Live) (GER)
Retiree (Live) (AUS)
Roman Flügel (GER)
Ross From Friends (Live) (UK)
Sven Väth (GER)
Tim Engelhardt (Live) (GER)
tINI (GER)
Toni Yotzi (AUS)
Total Giovanni (Live) (AUS)
Tourist (Live) (UK)

 

Tickets

Select tickets can be purchased from the official website below:
www.pitchfestival.com.au

 

 

Community Festival 2018 review

With a stickiness lingering in the hot air, we could have easily been heading to a music festival in a bustling city in Southern Europe. But, no, it may have been 30 degrees and sweltering, but instead, we were making our way to North London’s Finsbury Park, home for the day to Community Festival.

Celebrating the best of British guitar bands and new music, my companion and I were both excited and curious about the day ahead. For me, a UK summer festival exclusive from indie gang Two Door Cinema Club and sets from The Vaccines and pop rockers You Me At Six were the main draw, as they were each a band I fondly remembered listening to rather frequently in my late teens.

As we slunk our way through the gates it soon became evident that the bands still attracted a similar clientele: the crowds were young and excitable, though seemingly harmless and friendly.

After sipping a cider or two under the rays, it was time to head over to the main stage to catch the first on my hit list: You Me At Six. I instantly became awash with nostalgia, as the familiar punky vocals flooded the arena, provoking lots of movement within the crowds. The boys treated us to a selection of newer and older hits, the obvious favourites of mine being ‘Underdog’, ‘Loverboy’ and ‘No one does it better’ from their first couple of albums.

‘We are young, we aren’t dead, we are reckless’ stated Josh Franceschi, the band’s jubilant frontman, before leading into their hit ‘Reckless’.

A scrumptious portion of Pomodoro pasta from one of the many varied food stalls fought off those hunger pangs and made for the perfect set break. And, before we knew it, we were soon bouncing around to The Vaccines’ indie belters, a mix of catchy hits including the likes of ‘Post-breakup sex’, ‘No hope’, ‘I always knew’ and ‘If you wanna’. With the crowds swarming with energy, the balmy summer atmosphere paired with well-received tunes made it seemingly impossible not to let loose and revel in all the day’s glory.

It was time for the concluding set: our Northern Irish boys, Two Door Cinema Club. Donning eclectic outfits including the likes of a studded denim jacket, a bright red shirt and a trilby hat, the team’s combined fashion choices immediately set them off with an intriguing stage presence. Settling somewhere mid-way in the crowds, we were impressed with how spacious it was; we could actually watch the headline act at a festival and breathe comfortably at the same time.

The feel-good, tinkling indie tunes proved to be the ideal material to finish off a sublime day of music in the sun, including a string of fan-favourites such as ‘Undercover Martyn’, ‘What you know’, ‘Come back home’ and ‘Something good can work’. It was heart-warming to notice that intimate groups of dancing friends had formed, stretching back as far as the eye could see.

‘I’ve never been to a festival where everyone looks so happy, where everyone is dancing so much’ my friend’s voice muffled in my ear, whilst I tossed my arms up into the sky. It seems that summer Sundays really don’t get much better than this.

Razorlight at Kew the Music 2017

A week long summer series of picnic concerts spanning from 11-16th July, Kew the Music is set within the picturesque grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, in the suburban district of Richmond, London. A UNESCO World Heritage site offering stunning landscapes, unique plants and impressive architecture, it’s difficult to imagine a dreamier atmosphere to soak up the sun, enjoy a picnic and listen to some fantastic live music.

This year’s star-studded line-up included talent such as ballad-queen Mary J Blige, pop girl band All Saints and indie rockers Razorlight. Off to see the latter on 12th July, I was very keen to lend my ear to a band I had loved so much back in my late teens.

As I bounded through the gates and into the greenery with my companion, it’s fair to say we were feeling pretty warm underneath the early evening sun. We were extremely lucky with the weather; it had been pouring buckets for Brit Singer-Songwriter Passenger’s performance the previous evening.

Being able to bring in as much food and alcohol to a concert (especially one in London) was a novelty for me, and one I appreciated very much! It was quite a laid-back affair, so we didn’t go all out with the boozing but it was a definite time and money-saver (it’s always annoying having to queue for another drink at the bar between sets). It also made us feel that little bit more appreciative towards the organisers.

Settling down with a good spot in front of the stage, we embraced the relaxed atmosphere and stunning verdant scenery. We were just in time for the start of ‘The Bluetones’ set which made for ideal background music as we munched on our picnic snacks and sipped from our cardboard cups of Prosecco in the early evening. There were, however, quite a few already rocking at the front as the opening song, the joyous ‘Slight return’, was played – my personal favourite of their set.

After a break and more time to chit-chat and fill up on Prosecco, it was time for Razorlight’s much-awaited headline show. The boys burst onto the stage with their hit single ‘In the morning’ from their second self-titled album ‘Razorlight’, a tune I’m sure we can all relate to at times! As it was still daylight, the atmosphere was relatively calm, with many enjoying the set from their picnic spots on the grass. Up next we enjoyed ‘Stumble and fall’, followed by ‘Keep the right profile’. With the mass of crowds at the front growing with each song, crowd-pleaser ‘Golden touch’ definitely brought even more fans swarming forward.

It wasn’t until a familiar favourite was played until my ears pricked up again – ‘I Can’t Stop This Feeling I’ve Got’ which had the now sizeable crowd chanting along in time. Up next, was the more morose ‘Wire to wire’; another song I’m fond of, from their last album ‘Slipway Fires’. It’s fair to say front-man Johnny Borrell’s voice shone in that one!

Picking up the tempo again, we were treated to 2006 single ‘Before I fall to pieces’, prompting lots of singing along to the recognisable chorus. As darkness fell upon us, the edgier the tunes got, encouraging more vigorous dancing (or shall I say, jumping up and down), singing and overall, a lot more energy. A string of bouncy hits heightened the atmosphere, including ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Lies’, ‘Don’t Go Back to Dalston’, ‘Who Needs Love?’ and ‘LA Waltz’.

I have to say, the energy in the crowds had really picked up and by the time the encore was starting, the masses were begging for more music. Concluding with the eagerly-anticipated number one single ‘America’ (my friend and I had been waiting for it throughout the whole set!), the show finished on an exhilarating high with plenty of liveliness, singing and dancing.

I had never been to a concert that had started off so relaxed and chilled, but then proceeded to finish with so much energy and character. I do feel that is what’s so special about Kew the Music and its stunning location – you can enjoy the best of both worlds at a concert there. Razorlight delivered a fantastic set that drew in my nostalgia and I eagerly look forward to returning to Kew the Music next year for another fantastic summer evening.

The Jacksons at Greenwich Music Time 2017

Spanning from June 30th – July 7th, Greenwich Music Time is an outdoor festival hosting a series of concerts and boasting impressive backdrops of the historic Old Royal Naval College and the River Thames in London. Topping the bill this year included big names such as Little Mix, Cliff Richard and The Jacksons. Lucky for me, I was heading off to see the latter on 6th July and I could hardly believe I would be catching a show from perhaps the most recognizable family in music history, and in such a spectacular setting too. Consisting of the original members Jermaine Jackson, Tito Jackson, Jackie Jackson and Marlon Jackson, it was certain to be a spell-binding show packed full of their mega-hits.

As I bounded through the gates with my companion at the Old Royal Naval College, we were both instantly impressed. A world heritage site, the venue was absolutely stunning and on a warm July evening, a golden sunset was making the atmosphere all that more beautiful. The four brothers made a mighty entrance with their chart-topping disco hit ‘Can you feel it’ followed with ‘Blame it on the boogie’, prompting the adoring audience to get jigging along. A clear tribute to Michael’s hanging absence, we were treated to his own solo fan-favourite hit ‘Rock with you’ before the group’s aptly-named ‘Enjoy yourself’.

A touching video montage including clips from The Jackson’s childhood proved to be a lovely inclusion before one of my favourites was played ‘I want you back’, encouraging the masses to sing along. A string of upbeat mega-hits followed, including the likes of ‘ABC’, ‘Dancing Machine’ and then my personal favourite of them all, ‘I’ll be there’. This time the crowds waved their arms as they sang along, making it a moving performance from the boys.

The emotions continued running, with a touching tribute to Michael with a cover of his own song, ‘Gone too soon’, paired with heartwarming images and clips of Michael on the big screens.

The remainder of the performance thrilled with more upbeat disco hits such as Michael’s ‘Wanna be startin’ somethin’’, and finalising with The Jackson’s ‘Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)’ and ‘State of shock’. Combined with plenty of impressive dance moves (yes, moonwalking included!), the classic Michael ‘hee-hee’ notes and a tonne of energy, The Jacksons sure showed that they most definitely still had it.

James Morrison at Hampton Court Palace Festival 2017

As music venues go, the royal Hampton Court Palace, situated snug in the borough of Richmond, Greater London is arguably as impressive as it gets. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Hampton Court Palace Festival, which takes place annually every June, once again confirmed world-class acts including Bryan Ferry, James Morrison, Jools Holland, Rick Astley, Björn Again and The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra for their outdoor summer concerts.

It was a grey and slightly rainy summer’s day and I was off to see singer-songwriter and 2007 Brit Award winner James Morrison on Thursday 8th June take centre stage in Henry VIII’s historic open air Base Court, one of the stunning Tudor Courtyards of the palace. As an avid listener of his chart-topping album ‘Songs for You, Truths for Me’ back in 2008, a nostalgic trip down memory lane was very much appealing, and I was also keen to lend my ear to some later tracks I wasn’t as familiar with.

With ample time before the 9 pm start, there was plenty of time to enjoy a glass of red and admire the East Front Gardens. And my, what a picture they were. Perfectly preened lawns and distinctively shaped trees shaped the area, and despite the lacklustre weather plenty of people had made an impressive effort with their picnics spread out on the grass. For those that were less organised (myself included!), there were plenty of delicious food stalls selling a variety of different dishes. It really was an absolutely stunning setting to unwind in before a show and I felt relaxed and content sipping my wine in such beautiful surroundings.

                                          

It was soon time for James to take to the stage, and we made our way through the palace to Base Court, completely in awe at our surroundings. Bursting onto the stage, an introduction with the 2009 single ‘Nothing ever hurt like you’, elevated the crowds, some even rising to dance already. After a bit of light-hearted chit-chat to the 3,000 strong audience, up next it was the slower, mid-tempo ballad ‘I won’t let you go’ from 2011 album ‘The Awakening’, the slower rhythm inviting arm swaying from the audience.

‘Stay like this’ from the more recent 2015 album ‘Higher than here’ brought on swooning and wolf whistles, after which James’s sweetly explained it was written with his girlfriend in mind, followed by smooth and velvety vocals of ‘Something right’ from the same album.

Crowd-pleasing 2006 hit single ‘Wonderful world’ had the audience up on their feet, many singing along and turning to the catchy chorus. Interestingly (and as James hilariously pointed out – quite ironically) we learnt that the song was actually penned for a deaf man – though this wasn’t expanded on. Taking advantage of everyone up on their feet, hip-swayer ‘Slave to the music’ was next on the playlist, with everyone jigging along.

My personal favourite ‘Broken Strings’, an original duet with Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado seemingly had everyone feeling emotional and singing along, and paired with stunning female vocals it was my personal highlight of the show.  

As the performance slowly started to draw to a close, we were treated to the likes of ‘I need you tonight’ from ‘Higher than here’, and of course it wouldn’t be a James Morrison show without the unforgettable 2006 hit single ‘You give me something’ – a classic that everyone knew the words too.

The spectacular setting, matched with a delightful performance from James Morrison made the evening a truly memorable experience and a wonderful way to spend a summer evening, even despite the rain! The Hampton Court Palace Festival showcases outstanding acts year after year, so I eagerly look forward to checking out next year’s line-up.

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival in Sydney: LIVE review

As I strolled through the entrance of St Jerome’s Laneway festival in Sydney, I was instantly impressed. Set in Sydney’s college of the arts in Rozelle, the venue was a devastatingly beautiful and unique choice, and certainly different to any music festival venue I’d set foot in before.

It was mid-afternoon, and as we twirled past hordes of impressively fashionable groups of girls (and guys too actually) and aging sandstone buildings, we soon managed to squeeze our way towards the front of the Park Stage to catch our first set of the day; Australian duo Big Scary. I hadn’t heard of the pair before but I soon became drawn in by their chilled out tunes, swaying in time slowly with the masses under the scorching hot summer sun, taking a particular liking to the smooth and slow ‘Thinking about you’ and ‘Twin rivers’.

Next we moved towards the Future Classic Stage to catch talented multi-instrumentalist Japanese Wallpaper, whose name I was very much fond of. Once again, I was captivated. Paired with stunning vocals from singer-songwriter Airling, his enchanting melody ‘Forces’ rippled through the crowd, sounding ever-more delightful teamed with the crowd’s enthusiastic singing.

Soon it was back to the Park stage for something slightly more upbeat in the form of Australian hip-hop duo Hermitude, and upbeat is certainly what we got. The crowds had stretched pretty far back, so perched slightly on a hill we were soon jumping around messily, drenched in sweat, to the likes of the extremely catchy ‘Speak of the devil’ and ‘Searchlight’. Lots of fun was had indeed.

With a two hour gap until Scottish electronic band Chvrches (who I’d been most eager to see) were taking to the Garden stage, we took the opportunity to feed and water ourselves with burgers and plenty of cider. Yum. And with 20 minutes left before the big entrance, somehow we luckily managed to cram our way to the front.

The lovely Lauren Mayberry, Chvrches lead vocalist, soon bounded onto the stage, instantly enthralling the bounds of fans with ‘Never ending circle’, the first track on their latest album, proving to be a fantastic introduction. Mixed in with some witty banter from Lauren, the trio set the stage alight playing tunes from both their albums, Every Open Eye and The Bones of What You Believe. This included the likes of some older picks such as ‘Gun’, ‘We Sink’ and my personal favourite, ‘Recover’, along with fresher stuff such as ‘Leave a trace’ and ‘Clearest blue’. They concluded with a bouncy track everyone would recognise; hit single ‘The Mother We Share’. I was impressed!

With limited time, we snuck off to the Mistletone Stage to catch the end of dream-pop duo Beach House’s set. We were soon spellbound by their mystical-sounding hit ‘Myth’ as their set came to a close. Well, one song was better than nothing, and it was definitely a good ‘un!

It was completely dark by the time we head off to catch our last set of the day, Scottish electronic music producer Hudson Mohawke, back at the Future Classic Stage. By the time we’d arrived, there were tons of groups sitting cross-legged on the ground, most completely drunk from their day out at the festival. Yet soon we were up on our feet again, treated to what was perhaps the most energetic set of the night. As the crowds bopped frantically to the beat along to the likes of hit ‘Chimes’, with the elevated highs and dramatic drops, I couldn’t help but lose myself in the music. It was the perfect way to end a fantastically unique festival.

Photo credits: 

Daniel Boud (images 1 & 3)

Jacquie Manning (image 2)

Sydney’s Electric Gardens Festival lineup for January 23rd 2016

This summer Sydney is about to experience something very special… for the first time in many years a new boutique house music festival arrives next to the city centre – an event which aims to change the way you celebrate your Australia Day Weekend.

ELECTRIC GARDENS will premier in the lush surrounds of the city’s famous subtropical Centennial Parklands. It will be a showcase of the biggest international names in dance music on Australia’s most iconic date, with exclusive extended DJ sets from a line-up of global stars.

Our headliners have defined electronic music over the last few decades across the planet, many are institutions in the house music scene and lauded for their legendary performances.This Australia Day Weekend, ELECTRIC GARDENS brings together all these elements to celebrate the pinnacle of summer.

ELECTRIC GARDENS IS PROUD TO REVEAL THE NAMES IN WHAT PROMISES TO BE A SUPERSTAR DJ LINE-UP:

FATBOY SLIM

DUBFIRE

ERICK MORILLO

HENRY SAIZ

HERNAN CATTANEO

JAMES ZABIELA

JEREMY OLAANDER

JOHN DIGWEED

NIC FANCIULLI

NICK WARREN

NORMAN JAYMBE

PACHANGA BOYS

STACEY PULLEN

 

Check out the positively salacious Main Stage line-up HERE: 

https://www.facebook.com/electricgardensfestival/videos/678692468900382/?theater

 

DATE: SATURDAY JAN 23rd 

LOCATION: CENTENNIAL PARK, SYDNEY

GATES: MIDDAY – 10:00PM

LIMITED NUMBER OF FINAL RELEASE TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW

www.electricgardens.com.au

Stereosonic Sydney: LIVE review

Wow Stereosonic, is all I can really say. The annual electronic-dance festival is held across Australia, cropping up in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne and is currently Australia’s biggest and fasting growing music festival. This year on Saturday 28th November I was off to check out the famous dance festival I had heard so much about. A lot of it had been positive, but many people I met had warned me of the typical ‘Stereosonic crowd’, stating that the festival was notoriously rowdy, full of groups of muscled guys searching for a fight and over-made-up bikini-clad girls seeking attention.

However with a line-up boasting the likes of trance king Armin Van Burren, Swedish dance duo Axwell ^ Ingrosso and electronic music squad Major Lazer, there was no way a few Chinese whispers would sway me from dancing the night away to some of the world’s most impressive dance acts.

And as we flitted through the entry gates, donning clichéd neon paint and flower headbands, I wasn’t worried at all. Sure, there was a lot of bare skin on show, but isn’t there always at a festival? And besides, it is the start of one of Australia’s (hopefully?) super-scorching summers.

After grabbing an (extremely over-priced) can of cider, we made a beeline for the main stage to catch Swedish electronic music duo Galantis set. It was early on in the day and already the mood was electric, with the crowd dancing along to the beat rampantly. Their catchy 2014 hit single ‘Runaway (U & I) caused the whole mob of fans to sing (or scream) along to the lyrics and we all danced along ridiculously to the tune. The atmospheric was euphoric, and I couldn’t help but feel really, really happy. So far so good!

Dutch brothers Showtek took to the main stage next and they sure managed to carry the crowd along with their thumping rhythms and blinding neon visuals. Their impressive hit single ‘Bad’, produced with EDM legend David Guetta, really hit the crowd running, prompting insane amounts of rapid arm waving and extremely vigorous jumping. The music paired with the enthusiasm of the crowd, the colourful showering confetti and the rather humorous inflatables being chucked around (there was a ‘naked woman’ floating through the crowd at one point) made the scene feel absolutely surreal (no, really). Another fantastic set.

It was soon time for Australian electronic duo Peking Duk, and I was eager to have a listen. They were a pair I had only really heard about since arriving in Australia but their name had risen up a fair few times in conversation. I was quickly impressed – the music was exhilarating, feeling like the beat was running tingling through your body. Their single ‘High’ proved to be very popular, with the crowds clapping and singing along to the catchy vocals and bopping along in time. My favourite part of the set involved an incredibly interesting remix of The Lion King’s ‘Circle of life’. I honestly hadn’t heard anything like it before!

Next up was a big one – the notoriously wild EDM group Major Lazer. Having seen them live before, I mentally prepared myself for a crazy performance that may involve me being hurled through the crowd. We certainly weren’t disappointed and were treated to a concoction of exciting interactions including the likes of lead member Diplo crowd surfing across the masses in a zorb ball (!!), scantily-clad dancers dancing vigorously in time to the music and strict instructions for the men of the crowd to whip off their shirts and chuck them high, high into in the air. Ending their set with everyone’s favourite chart-topper ‘Lean on’, I felt satisfied that once again Major Lazer had proven they are one of the most fun and exciting dance acts out there – their continuous interaction with the crowd really is something else.­­

Utterly hooked into the main stage (who can blame us really with that line up), it was Axwell Λ Ingrosso (Swedish House Mafia reformed without Steve Angelo) up next. In all honestly, I was absolutely captivated from the start and their set proved to be my favourite of the whole festival. ‘Barricade’ engrossed the crowd with a long and tantalizing lead up, along with crowd favourites such as ‘On my way’ and ‘Something’. The atmosphere made me feel completely and utterly encompassed in the music and their feel-good hit single ‘Sun is shining’, teamed with fantastic visuals and sky-high flames was a highlight of the set.

Finally, it was time for trance royalty Armin Van Buuren to take to the stage. As usual he was absolutely phenomenal, treating his dedicated supporters to crowd favourites such as the catchy ‘Another you’ along with hidden gems such as the Dan Stone rework of ‘See the sun’. With eye-blindingly amazing visuals, countless bursts of confetti and insane lighting it was an absolutely amazing show to be part of, and crowds and crowds of fans had gathered to dance away to the dance legend. A suprise appearance from singer/songwriter/producter Mr Probz was also hugely welcomed and he joined Armin to treat the crowd to his massive 2013 hit 'Waves'.

Towards the end of the set we were shaken up with the psychedelic and fast-thudding ‘Vini vici’ by The Tribe, before an emotional W&W remix of ‘This is what it feels like’, arguably Armin’s most commercial and most popular hit. I found the slow and dramatic version of the hit rather mushy and melodramatic but didn’t mind too much at all. The whole crowd was singing along zealously, hands clapping and arms waving and it really did feel like the end of something truly amazing. The song concluded with fantastic flashing lights, thumping drops and a spectacle of colourful fireworks. A fantastic end to an incredibly memorable day and night.

Stereosonic – I am utterly impressed and you exceeded my expectations fully. There will always be some rough crowds at music festivals but personally I didn’t even experience that at all and to me, it seemed all about the music.

The Beach Boys at Bondi Beachfest LIVE review

The newly-appointed Bondi Beachfest sure pulled out the stops, with their first ever summer beach show this November 2015 boasting an incredible lengthy set from one of the most lasting and popular bands in music history. Who, you might ask? Why, the complete wonders that are The Beach Boys! And with a promise that the pop-rock superstar hit makers would be playing all their classic tunes, it's fair to say that I was pretty excited to see them to say the very least!

There’s no denying that as we head over to Sydney’s Bondi beach – quite easily one of the world’s most famous beaches, there was a stir of apprehension dancing in my stomach. Ironically, The Beach Boys, the musical icons of summer cheer, surfing and sunshine were playing the Sydney leg of their Australian tour on a day that, well… was absolutely bucketing it down.

However those worries soon evaporated as we hurried through the throngs of fans and into the arena. The Beach Boys hadn’t even taken to the stage yet and the atmosphere was buzzing pleasantly, made up of a surprising concoction of both younger and older fans, many already bopping away in preparation for the well-awaited show. And with the impressively stormy waves of Bondi setting a rather excitingly atmospheric backdrop, who really cares about the rain eh?

With a short and sweet introduction, the boys took to the stage donning colourful floral shirts, opening their lengthy set with their 1961 hit ‘Surfin’’. The hive of catchy melodies immediately prompted fans to start their boogying as the rain shed down on them. As I peered around at the crowds, I could see all was very well indeed, most completely ignoring the rain.

The first half of the show picked up for a fantastic start, with the boys treating fans to a string of hip-swingin’ hits such as the aptly-named ‘Goin’ to the beach’ and ‘Catch a wave’, the wonderfully enthusiastic ‘Dance, dance, dance’, and the soothing-sounding ‘Good to my baby’ and ‘Don’t worry baby’. We also saw the boys perform several of their well-known covers, including the likes of The Crystals’s ‘Then he kissed me’ and Lead Betty’s ‘Cotton Fields’, much to the joy of the audience.

‘God only knows’, easily one of The Beach Boys most popular hits was played halfway through the set as a moving tribute to former band members Carl and Dennis Wilson. As classic visuals were shown of the former bandmates, it was difficult not to feel choked up! A very heart-warming moment indeed.

The boys ‘Good vibrations’ caused the emotional atmosphere to shift, triggering, well, extremely good vibrations! Seemingly most of the audience were up on their feet to jig animatedly to the much-loved hit, making for a brilliant atmosphere.

And what came next proved to be a real even more of a treat. Golden hit after hit came rocking for the rest of the second half, including my personal favourites ‘Wouldn’t it be nice’, ‘Help me Rhonda’ and ‘Surfin’ USA’. It was almost impossible not to dance, and it’s completely fair to say the rest of the crowd must have felt the same!

The encore saw the set conclude with the wonderfully relaxing beach hit ‘Kokomoko’  and the ultimate dance classic ‘Fun fun fun’, paired with beautiful visuals of stunning bikini-clad model types and stretches and stretches of caster-sugar white beaches. And that song rather sums up the night – it was fun, fun, fun and the boys definitely proved they’ve still got it. An amazing night with the absolute legends that are The Beach Boys!