Falls Festival

Sidney Myer Music Bowl

For as long as the collective memory can remember, New Years Eve festival Falls Festival has taken over the coastal town of Lorne to showcase some of the world’s best music. After two years on hiatus, Falls is back and in a whole new location to welcome punters back to ring in the new year with three fantastic days of music to day good bye to the old and in with the new,

Kicking things off on the Thursday with a Welcome to Country, we see acts like Elsy Wamwyo, Wongo and 1300 hit the El Capitan Stage. This year the grounds have been thoughtfully laid out, with the main stage being under the sails, and the DJs being relegated to the smaller Sugar Loaf stage. This makes for easy getting around, and an array of food trucks lining the grounds.

The vibe for the day is chilled, the weather pleasant and as we head into the late afternoon Rico Nasty is a surprise performance that will have punters looking her on Spotify. The crowd packs in for the OG Wiggles to take everyone back to their childhoods by performing songs that  everyone grew up with. This is probably the most wholesome and silly event of the day, ans seeing everyone dancing and reminiscing is captivating.

Wrapping up the evening with a full stage theatrical performance American Little Nas X, showcased whart has to be one of  the more memorable performances the music bowl has ever seen.

Friday sees temperatures soar, and there is not a lick of shade to keep cool. That didn’t stop  the crowd from dancing along to popular Tik Tok star Peach PRC. The pink-clad pop star is a bundle of cute energy that is refreshing and delightful. Bringing on G-Flip to play drums for a cover of ‘ Teenage Dirt Bag’ the stage is virtually bouncing.

G-Flip has the crowd in the palm of her hand for her set and she commands the stage with a professional and expert stage presence. The crowd are absolutely loving her and the feeling is obviously mutual, she is very excited to be on a home stage. Bouncing through her set she is a bundle of non- stop energy.

CHVRCHES haven’t been on Australian stages form some time and its a breath of fresh air to watch lead singer Lauren Mayberry dance around the stage in a gold tinsel dress. The Scottish band are enthralling to watch and as the sun goes down its a pleasant way to wind down the evening.

Ending the second night’s proceedings is DJ Jamie XX closing the night with dance beats and the largest disco ball in Melbourne.  The sun may have gone down but Jamie XX manages to heat up the dance floor.

The final day rolls around and the crowd has almost doubled, the weather still unrelentingly hot.  That doesn’t stop people from having a good time and dancing under the burning sun. The Sugarloaf stage is in full swing again, and everyone is in high spirits.

The day brings some big names to the EL Camino stage with Telenova, The Vanns and Lastings all giving memorable performances. With the heat unrelenting, the UKs Pink Pantheress seems in high spirits during her performance, despite sweltering under the hot sun. Security do a fantastic job of keeping people hydrated, and as the sun begins to se there is no sign of the heat letting up.

As usual, Amy Taylor of Amyl and the Sniffers gives a stellar performance, decked out in a gold bikini top and crochet mini shorts ( probably vintage) as she prowls around the stage like a lioness. She is wild and untamed, and in fine form. For anyone experiencing the band for the first time, their quintessential bogan haircuts and larrikin attitudes are nothing short of fun, a band that clearly doesn’t take themselves too seriously.

Ocean Alley seem to be one of those bands that like to create a sense of mystery. With dark blue and purple lighting its almost impossible to see any of them. They play a reasonably good set, despite being hard to see. The large seven piece band work well together to provide the cored with a unique psychedelic sound.  The early set of fireworks pop off overhead mid- way, reminding us we are almost in the New Year.

Following on from Ocean Alley and the second last act for the evening are English band Arctic Monkeys. If coolness and swagger was a vibe, then the Arctic Monkeys sure are a vibe, thrown in with a little air of nonchalance. Lit purely in orange its a sobering thought that this will be the last band the crowd see before the official end of the year. Camelphat have party goers covered though, playing well into the new year.

As the new year draws closer, there is an air of anticipation that 2023 will be better than the last few years, that festivals will return and that live music will once again rule. The return of the much loved festival can be likened to your best friend going on holiday and being welcomed back with open arms.  With the grounds of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl being used to their full potential and the crowd exceptionally well behaved the shift to the city has proved to be a huge success. Falls Festival is back, and let’s hope it never goes away.

Words and images by Amanda Lee Starkey


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