Those who partied a little too hard the night before spent the morning of day three either having a sleep-in or relaxing at their campsite. The lucky ones, however, spent the morning laying on the natural amphitheatre grass listening to Oliver Tank’s dreamy take on ambient music.
Tasmania’s princess of pop Asta soon followed. Donning an eclectic outfit and a strong following, the young vocalist performed her take on lyric driven pop/rock to the ever-growing number of punters.
For those who craved a little bit more than the music on show, there was The Village. The small area hosted Falls’ more kooky artists, showcasing 10-minute bike-powered dance parties, circus acts, and a bunch of other sideshows that made the somewhat hidden pocket enjoyable to everyone who wandered from the festival grounds.
Punters heading back to the main stage were undoubtedly going for one thing – Chet Faker. Shortly before his set, there was a huge crowd influx to see the bearded soul singer play. Despite having a frighteningly large gathering, Faker managed to keep his cool throughout the entirety of his set, playing originals, new tracks, and his extremely groovy cover of ‘No Diggity’.
Much like the previous nights, the festivalgoers flocked to the amphitheatre as soon as the evening hit – though twilight on day three was more of a singalong than a dance party. Indie favourites Grizzly Bear brought their thinking man’s rock to the stage with hit ‘Two Weeks’. The four-piece drew loud cheers from the tipsy crowd, while NZ legend Neil Finn solidified the vibrant atmosphere. It was a fantastic sight to see thousands upon thousands singing ‘Better Be Home Soon’ whilst pointing directly at the sole Finn on stage.
They might have been an unusual choice for such a prime set time, but beat-rockers Crystal Fighters were awe-inspiring and kept the positive mood rolling – something they managed to do with aplomb. Much like The Roots’ performance, there was a high level of crowd interaction and seldom a moment where the performers weren’t breaking a sweat and moving around.
The Wombats’ set was short, sweet, and a whole lot of fun. At a limited 60 minutes, the Liverpool three-piece tried their hardest to cram in as much of their signature indie rock tunes as possible while maintaining their humorous banter. No matter what song it was, the majority of the crowd knew the words to it – a true indication that the headliners are favourites on Australian shores.
When the last day arrived, it was natural to feel a sense of disenchantment. It’s scarily easy to fall into a state of mind where a festival feels like it will never end, and you’ll never have to return to your day-to-day troubles.
The last day was easily one to remember. From indie sweethearts Big Scary, the stunning Meg Mac, and the left-field additions Violent Femmes, there was something for everyone to enjoy.
Up the top of the hill and behind the natural amphitheatre was the Grand Theatre tent where a couple of hidden gems performed, including the forward-thinking indie rockers Dappled Cities. The five-piece seem to build a cult following no matter where they play. The same can be said for the kings of good summer feelings, Twinsy. Even though the artists were clashing against Johnny Marr and The Rubens respectively, there was nary a time where the Grand Theatre wasn’t filled with an indulgingly positive atmosphere.
When the New Year celebrations grew closer, people coated themselves in glitter and grabbed some pre-drinks before trickling from the campgrounds to the main stage.
The party really started when ska kings The Cat Empire arrived. Even though the six-piece jazz outfit showed no signs of playing the fan favourite track ‘Hello’, there was enough talent throughout the 50-minute set to entertain onlookers and keep the movers dancing. If there was a Falls award for the tightest band of the festival, these guys would have won it ten times over.
When The Cat Empire finished, the anticipation was so thick you could practically see it. It was at this moment, when everyone was clad in cheap glow sticks, that punters subtly looked around in hope of a New Year’s Eve kiss – and dashed for last-minute bar runs.
As the charming Vampire Weekend set foot, there was an unsurprising crowd roar that led the rockers into ‘Diane Young’. Fast-forward to compulsive dancing, cheering, and general enjoyment spurred on from hits such as ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’, ‘Horchata’, and ‘Cousins’, and the excitement levels rose higher than over the entire festival.
When Vampire Weekend ducked backstage to grab some champagne for the celebrations, the start of the countdown began. It was nothing short of magical.
Vampire Weekend then stole back the limelight when the New Year arrived, playing ‘A-Punk’ followed by ‘Walcott’ – the perfect start to 2014.
When their set finished, the majority of punters split into smaller groups. Some chose to stay and party with Hermitude, others enjoyed the famous fiesta at The Village, while the rest celebrated with their own friends at campsites. One thing’s for sure, though – people looked like they couldn’t be happier.