It was a lineup of classic, and classy, Australian Acts at the popular one day event.
The hill was already alive with a sea of people, chairs, picnic blankets and hampers when we arrived at Sirromet Winery, signaling an epic day and night ahead. We snagged a cosy spot just in time for the opening set by Australian 90’s pop duo Bachelor Girl, who were given a warm welcome by the near-capacity crowd on the 32 degree day. They busted out faves ‘Buses and Trains’, ‘I’m Just a Girl’ and ‘Permission to Shine’.
In between acts the always-hilarious DJ Grand Master Baitz kept the crowd energised, pumping out an array of classic tunes from Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ to The Violent Femmes’ ‘Bister In The Sun’, much to everyone’s delight!
As first timers, it didn’t take long to realise this was not your usual festival. With a huge blend of ages and characters (and no ‘glitter tits’ in sight), it was clearly a civilised affair. Bottles of bubbles from the bar, brilliant entertainment, cheese boards, fancy frocks and friends and families were what it was all about.
Up next was the legendary Russell Morris, a rich part of Australian music history. He kicked off with smooth grooves on guitar, performing the two of his songs that were featured on ‘The Dish’ soundtrack, as well as his classic ‘The Real Thing’. Russell joked about how in the seventies they used to hand out small bags of grass to the crowd at their gigs. Clearly he was longing for the good old days, but there was nothing old about his shredding. A master of his craft.
As the day wore on we were impressed with the simplicity and stress-free nature of the whole event. The port-a-loos were immaculate and had plenty of staff on board making sure they were fresh and stocked at all times, food was super easy to get and we were properly spoilt for choice with pizza, Asian cuisine, and arancini balls all available as well as an option to pre-order your very own hamper to collect on arrival. Next time…
Richard Marx brought us back to the days of the mullet and love stories of lifetimes ago with his 90’s chart toppers ‘Endless Summer Nights’, ‘Hazard’, ‘Should’ve Known Better’ and of course he left us right there waiting (sorry not sorry) until his very last song to bring out the keys and belt out a little ‘Right Here Waiting’.
The sun was starting to set with the sky cast in an orange glow and the temperature started to give us a break, (man it was a hot day).
Daryl Braithwaite took to the stage with no introduction and surprised us all. He opened with a beautiful ballad which really showcased the fantastic range and diverse tones of his voice. Daryl was stoked to be there. “It is so good to be back to the best venue in Australia!” The four part harmonies of ‘Howzat’ had everyone singing along and dancing on the green for days gone by. ‘Horses’ was Daryl’s final song and the whole of the audience were up and belting out this Aussie favourite.
John Farnham hit the stage to the massive audience, opening with the beloved Queen stadium anthem ‘We will Rock You’. As the seasoned performer worked his way through his classics almost everyone sang every word along with him.
We look forward to returning to the cleanest and classiest festival you can attend. Oh, and children under 12 are totally FREE to attend.
IMAGES (c) Simone Gorman-Clark