The party gods shone brightly over Southbound 2015, giving folks in Busselton, WA a sun drenched and brilliantly talent packed show. As this first timer from the Gold Coast writes, I was very pleasantly surprised.
From the moment you rolled up in car to the camping area, you could sense this was going to be a more laid back festival than most. The staff were pretty adamant on that. Want to camp with your mates, upsetting the placement system? No worries.
We’d already had an incident on the way in, with our mate’s decrepit Festiva over heating just before the gates. We made light of it by telling other drivers we must have put too much vodka in the radiator. Anyway our good deed for the day was done by giving people the gift of knowing they weren’t us.
It was a relatively early arrival at 8:30am, and those that weren’t quite in the mood, soon would be.
The first acts weren’t on for a few hours and this gave you time to get yourself ready for the day.
Searing heat was on the cards and though the walk in from most of the camping area was long, water gun cool downs were along the way to reward you for your efforts.
Once inside the festival, it was clear where the hot spots were. The shaded craft beer hut being one of them. People were swarming around that area like moths on a light. Free cold water, Fat Yak on tap, and New York style rolls were on offer. It’s no wonder it was constantly busy.
The line-up had great depth so acts were solid throughout both days. US hip hop duo Run the Jewels surprised us blowing the roof off early on day one and I suspect they’ll be moving their way up the list very soon. However Icelandic solo singer-songwriter Asgeir drew in the biggest day crowd.
The presets were sensational coupling their classics with new base heavy tracks off their latest album.
Salt’n’Pepa came in as old favourites and fused their hits into a hip hop mega mix that had the crowd going nuts.
Spiderbait were all about the party and got the crowd sweating in all kinds of places. Crowd Control came in after as last minute replacements and were less enthusiastic but still sublime.
Bluejuice did their last set ever, and engaged the crowd spectacularly. They finished with broken leg and this may have been the most hype received for a song all Southbound.
Musically there were only a couple of hiccups. The glass animal’s set was out of action for 20 minutes or so. Apparently someone spilt water over the electronics, and SBTRKT had some technical issues right in the middle of Wildfire. But apart from that there seemed to be a fairly smooth show from everyone.
There were 15,000 attendees this year, up 12,000 from the year before. Promoters Sunset have produced another brilliantly organised festival and done Busselton a service, pulling in great tourism year after year. It was a top tier event and I wish it all the best.
Now if someone could just pack up my campsite next year I’d be laughing.