This was the second year of the Grampians Music Festival and the second time that we sent our roving Festival Lens photographer out into the mountains to capture the vibes. He only gets let out these days on very special occasions.
And we have to say that unlike him this festival has definitely matured. The event was bigger and better than the first incarnation whilst retaining that boutique, laid-back feel.
The bands collectively were slicker than an Italian waiters hairdo and the playlist wonderfully fine-tuned by Festival Director Carly Flecknoe and committee. The only thing that didn’t play-nice was the weather. The sun was oppressive on both Saturday and Sunday keeping folks in the shade for much of the day.
Grampians Music Festival 2018. In words.
This fun, family-orientated festival (try saying that 3 times fast!) is all about local.
Local acts, sourced by a local committee for locals!!
Nice right. One of the aims of the ‘GMF’ is to enable music-lovers in Regional Victoria to be able to attend a high quality multi-day music event in their own backyard – without having to drive all the way into Melbourne.
This three-day aural treat is also cleverly thought out. The Friday evening is all about bands from western Victoria. Enabling them to showcase their tunes to a festival-crowd.
The weekend is then handed over to some of the best Aussie Indie acts in the country. A great blend of up-and-comers alongside Triple J A-Listers.
This year’s fest had top acts like WA’s Tired Lion; Saatsuma; Ruby Fields, Greta Stanley; Didirri and Localles all included in a 20-band-strong line up.
Heaps Good Friends and Polish Club. Boom!!
For me however two bands stole the show. First up was SA’s Heaps Good Friends.
Their set was as hot as the day had been until that point. Their sweet synth and bass pop melded with the setting sun to provide the perfect invitation for folks to emerge from their hidey-holes and get stuck into some serious dancing. The bright,infectious tunes were tastier than a packet of yo-yos and you could feel the pulse rising amongst the punters.
By the time the sun had set and headliners Polish Club hit stage the crowd was primed for craziness. I’d never seen this electric Sydney duo before and they didn’t so much walk on stage as explode on to it.
This energy and bombast lasted for the whole hour of their closing set. You gotta check these guys out some time. It’s the first and only time I remember feeling a little bit sorry for a drum kit. It was getting the sweet ba-jesus smashed out of it.
An epic end to a major day of musical goodness!
GMF18. In pictures.
With crowd numbers up about 30% year-on-year the future looks bright for this fest in the hills. The bands themselves sometimes seemed a little in awe of the beauty of the natural amphitheater they were playing in.
GMF’s tagline is Big Mountains, Huge Sounds and they ain’t lying! If you love your music and taking a roadtrip to somewhere scenically stunning then maybe just start sharpening that pencil for February 2019. Keep an eye on their official website for upcoming event details.
Big Mountains, Huge Sounds. A Gallery.
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All photography © Thirty Summers.