The Sydney Swans took home the AFL premiership on Saturday with a ten-point lead, but they weren’t the only winners for the day as the sporting body and some 11,000 punters helped celebrate with The Temper Trap and Paul Kelly at the post-match entertainment.

Saturday’s inaugural Premiership Party is set to become a mainstay of the AFL’s annual event according to The AgeFollowing their triumphant win, supporters were treated to a free, post-match set of music at a custom-built stage inside the MCG before the Sydney Players returned to the ground to share in the celebrations with supporters.

As AFL’s General Manager of Strategy And Marketing, Andrew Catterall told Tone Deaf in our interview in the lead up to AFL’s day of days, the aim of the Premiership Party was “to give more people and more fans of the participating clubs a chance to touch and fell the premiership cup,” allowing free entry after the match.

More than 11,000 people turned up for the free concert, while only 1,000 spectators were permitted onto the grounds, leaving the rest to watch from the stands.

Following some initial technical difficulties caused by the wet, windy weather, it looked like The Temper Trap might have nearly suffered a trifecta of bad weather – following their cancelled sets for both Lollapolooza in Chicago and at Triple J’s One Night Stand earlier in the year.

Luckily it was only a few minutes setback before frontman Dougy Mandagi led the group into a five-song set, opening with ‘Fader’ and closing with international hit ‘Sweet Disposition,” while Paul Kelly followed with a set of his best-loved classics, with the highlight being 80s hit ‘Dumb Things’.

James Tonkin, spokesman for the AFL says that due to the success of the event, they plan to make it a permanent fixture.

”It is certainly our intention to make it a mainstay of grand final day and perhaps increasing over time the number of people that were actually allowed on the ground,” said Tonkin.

“From our perspective, we thought it was a great atmosphere and it was really well received by the players,” he continued. “They were really surprised with how many people were there, so they certainly enjoyed the experience. And the fans that were there seemed to thrive on the music and the interaction with the players. So we were really happy with the whole exercise.”

Organisers are hoping the success of the event will make last year’s poorly received Grand Final performance by Meat Loaf a distant memory. It helps the AFL cap a year of supporting local, live music, including the launch of Live at the Footy, which saw the likes of Lanie Lane, Last Dinosaurs, San Cisco and more Australian artists perform throughout the season.

The Live at the Footy performances were broadcast to an estimated 1 million, while the Temper Trap’s halftime medley of ‘Trembling Hands’, ‘Drum Song’ and, of course, ‘Sweet Disposition’ reached a television audience of 4.05 million nation-wide; making the Hawthorn/Sydney play-off the most-watched Grand Final since 2006.

Sydney player Jude Bolton said that the post-match celebrations with the Melbourne quintet and their reams of supporters on-ground was an excellent way to celebrate their victory.

“Apparently The Temper Trap’s album was sitting at No. 66 and it’s now been pushed up into in the top 10,” says Bolton “…and they were trending on Twitter very high globally during the performance.”

It looks like the National Rugby League’s Grand Final, and their international musical selection in Good Charlotte, is going to have a lot to live up to now…

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine