REVIEW: Ozfest

A beautiful sunny Saturday in Miami and Ozfest opens its gates to punters.

Hosted by the Miami Tavern in a sand covered parking area it truly feels as though you are at a beach festival. The first act up was Brisbane band The Creases whose sound had a modern twist on retro. Unfortunately their bassist had recently gotten into a fistfight with a windowpane, so was unable to play bass. However they did have a friend filling in for him while he took over keys. Closing with their song Point, their surf electro feel and Beatles era look had the crowd buzzing.

Adelaide rapper Allday was second to the stage, facing fans that tried to climb the security fence to take photos with him. With a great mix of covers and originals he was joined by his keys player who did back up vocals as well. He kept the energy high and as the day progressed the crowds were happy. At one point a group of eager festivalgoers built sandcastles to dance around.

Kingswood took to the stage and kicked off with She’s My Baby, ending the song by screaming ‘Thanks Motherf**ckers!’ as it rained smoke and light around the stage. They followed this up with Sucker Punch and people climbed on each others shoulders to do the kind of rhythmic two people wave that you only see at festivals. Calling on people to groove to their ‘sexy dancing song’ the band launched into I Can Feel That You Don’t Love Me and closed with Ohio as a crowd of bodies sang along.

The Preatures were my personal highlight of the night, and after building crowd anticipation with a slow intro they smashed into the crowd with Somebody’s Talking. At one point lead singer Isabella Manfredi shimmied to the floor and laid singing as guitarist Jack Moffit played over her. Fans were so eager to catch a glimpse of the band that they torn down the tarpaulin covering the fences that separate the band from the crowd. With strong crowd interaction and affectionate playfulness between band members this set was definitely my stand out of the day. Isabella also brought her aunt and uncle backstage after her set to, presumably, bask in the amazingness that is The Preatures.

Last but not least was rapper Illy, who initially faced a few technical difficulties. As the fans chanted for Illy and I prayed to the universe that I wouldn’t die in an Illy stampede the music gods did their work and he burst on to the stage singing Young Bloods. With the crowd enthusiastically singing along he followed up with On & On. Energetic and entertaining he bounced back and forth across the stage and closed his set with crowd favourite Heard It All.

The party continued at the Miami Tavern and the music lingered in the air as the night of our annual Ozfest wound down, another great one for the memory bank, and definitely something to look forward to in 2016!

Here are some photos of the event from Jake Wilton


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