In a flooded and highly competitive music festival market, organisers have to go that extra step to make their festival stand out . Gone are the days when a big headliner will draw crowds. Festivals are no longer purely about the music; the masses want something novel, an excellent atmosphere, and overall an experience worth throwing a couple of hundred dollars at.
Stranded was something new: a ‘beach party’ that you got to ride a boat to on South Stradbroke Island; how cool does that sound?! Overall, the vibe was there, but tiny elements of execution let down what could have been a truly excellent day.
I rode the 11.50 ferry up to the island from Marina Mirage, drank expensive drinks on the boat, and arrived at the site of the festival. The first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t even on the beach; rather a paved area just off the beach. No swimming was allowed, and the beach was basically off limits. Nevertheless, I was keen to drink some more, hang out with some artists backstage and dance to some music.
The music was incredible, however. One thing that was brilliant about the day was the effort put into the live production of the two stages. Usually at music festivals I am let down by incompetent/lazy mixing, but Stranded really nailed this. What wasn’t as great was the closeness of the two stages. The main stage, was inside a little gazebo next to the beach, and was struggling to fit the crowds coming to see the big acts. The second stage, the ‘boogie shack’ was a little stage with a space for drugged up punters to dance the day away. Again, slightly disappointed, but we persevere.
Jamming to Young Franco as the rain poured down, after having chatted to him earlier in the day about his neu-disco sounds, was a highlight. Joey told us that he “just want(s) people to have fun”. That they did.
Paces was similarly just as fun. Playing his music, self-described as “something completely different”, was a nice change from the Kanye West remixes from earlier in the day.
The legends from Fishing played a crazy set, that got everyone jumping, and was as clean as ever. Selections from their debut ‘Shy Glow’ were welcomed warmly by the crowd at the main stage.
Just A Gent closed the night, with a banging set. The 17-year-old “love-trap” superstar played hit after hit. In our interview with him, he revealed his up-coming remix of a Nick Jonas tune. Undoubtedly he is destined for the ceiling, and he will punch through that with an almighty bass drop.
I had fun at Stranded. Sure, it was crowded, different to what was expected, but it was genuinely a fun time. And for the price most punters paid, well worth the money. The organisers seem to be hinting at another festival coming up in the near future, and I wish them luck. Going to be tough to top that line-up and that success of last Sunday’s festival. Stranded knows what it is doing; putting on not only a music festival, but also a bloody brilliant party.
Stranded #2 takes place Friday 14 November and features The Kite String Tangle, UV Boi, KLP (live), 95 Royale, Gurps, Lyndon Kidd, Elleyet, Tucker, Finger Ring and more. Get tickets at Moshtix.