Falls Festival, the annual festival that attracts music lovers and party goers from all around Australia, held in three locations. This year once again the festival had an impressive line-up that had the party-goers raving, the rockers rocking and the rapping enthusiasts bouncing. It was a well-rounded lineup that had something for everyone and this year I headed to Lorne to experience my first Falls Festival, or should I say first Australia multi-day music festival. Having lost my music festival multi-day festival virginity at one of the world’s best music festival’s, Coachella earlier last year, the standard set was pretty high and in all honesty I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed as I was by my Falls Festival experience.
We left for our festival adventure mid-Sunday morning and was one of thousands of cars leaving Melbourne during the holiday season. Thanks to the handy advice by the Falls Festival team, we travelled to Lorne via the back way through the Otway National Park which was a lifesaver. As we passed the Great Ocean Road exit, cars were queued for more than a kilometre back on the highway, a sight that bewildered us. Once we past the exit, the drive into Lorne along the windy roads of the beautiful Otway forests was cruisey and relaxing. After we picked up our tickets from the collection point in Lorne, we made the drive back up into the Otway forests and joined the modest car queue leading into the festival site.
Having experienced strict restriction rules and car searches at Coachella, I was surprised that it was easy as showing our tickets before being flagged through to the camping site. With such strict ‘No BYO’ rules, I was expecting for a least a small search. I actually felt a little stupid for not trying to sneak in anything. O’well, I guess that what happens being a newbie.
We arrived at the camping grounds early afternoon and set up camp. Later in the afternoon we walked into the festival site, got our wristbands and acquainted ourselves with the stages and the essentials. Being a first timer to Lorne, I must say when I realised how steep the amphitheatre was, I was quite happy. My biggest struggle always as a short person is always struggling to be able to see but the venue was perfect for shorties like me.
On Sunday night, it was the traditional Boogie Nights, a themed dance party that starts the Falls festivities and this year the theme was inspired by an ‘Under the Sea’. Elaborate costumes of an array of The Little Mermaid characters, jellyfish hats, and general green and blue coloured costumes floated in the Grand Theatre as Client Liason, Salt N Pepa and Alison Wonderland got the festivities under away. Knowing I had three big days ahead of me, and being somewhat disgusted by people’s behaviour, we decided to have an earlish night.
The next day, Triple J Unearth winner Japanese Wallpaper officially started the festival with a dreamy set that included a cover of Grizzly Bear’s “Life”. Despite the rain showers throughout his set, he had an impressive turn out none the less. He finished his set with crowd favourite “Between Friends”. Art of Sleeping were up next who announced they were releasing a new album in the new year and took the opportunity to test their new material on the Falls crowd. They finished their set with my favourite “Crazy”.
Kite String Tangle started to get the party started with his beats but it wasn’t until the English group Northeast Party House took to the stage, when the party truly began and it was this set that had me feeling the festival was truly underway. Everyone was dancing and the punters at the front were moshing and dancing pretty hard. They were also the first act of the festival to pleasantly surprise me. I always suspected they would be loads of fun with loads of energy, but I didn’t expect to enjoy myself as much as I did.
Dan Sultan took to the stage next and as usual played a massive set full of energy, passion and displaying huge loads of talent. For a late afternoon set, it was a smaller crowd than I would of expected and what he deserved, but for those people who didn’t show up, they missed out on a fun set that had us all dancing ad singing along. The last act of the night we saw was Melbourne’s The Temper Trap who blasted the amphitheatre with their catchy songs. There was serious sing-a-longs happening which made their show even more special. Cold and wet, we decided to head back to camp after these boys knowing that we had two massive days ahead of us.