Buses, cars, and clusters of people in their banana suits and cow onesies navigated their way through the small country streets to Maitland Showground.
The numbers at the beginning of the day, in hindsight, started off somewhat slow, with only around a third of what was to come shuffling into the showground.
Catching the end of one of the first sets of the day, Tuka and Ellesquire had people under the Moolin Rouge tent energetically jumping along to ‘Die A Happy Man’ and ‘Just Wanted To Feel’. They also had plenty of early morning energy themselves, constantly running back and forth across the stage. Their feel-good music was a good foresight for what the rest of the day was to hold.
Jumping over to the main stages, Last Dinosaurs, with their chilled indie music, were the perfect fit for the countryside festival. Particularly when playing ‘Andy’, which had anyone in hearing vicinity of the stage moving; from those right up front, those viewing from the back, and even those waiting in line to get on the SlingShot.
Hungry Kids of Hungary pulled a considerable crowd. Playing ‘Set It Right’, ‘When Yesterday’s Gone’ and ‘Twin Cities’ in their set as person after person climbed the tent poles to grab a better view. (Word of warning: when climbing the poles, it is cool for all of 30 seconds, any longer and than that and the crowd will just throw things at you).
Dipping out of the tent at this point to grab some ‘refreshments’ and heading back in for The Bronx, the atmosphere had definitely changed.
Heading into the heavier acts of the day, while there was a decent audience watching, only those right down the front – obviously the hardcore fans – were really moving along to tracks such as ‘Shitty Future’.
It cast a bit of doubt on how the even heavier The Amity Affliction would do later on in an audience that seemed to be here for the indie and DJ sets.
Speaking of which, when DZ Deathrays came on for their second set behind the decks, there was a lot of anticipation to hear some of the tracks off their latest album, but they proved to disappoint, instead choosing to play old, classic rock songs and other popular hits (though they had decent song choices).
As the Amity set drew nearer, it was like the tent had been transformed and transported back in time to Soundwave. Previous worries were vanquished As Amity played hits like ‘Chasing Ghosts’ and ‘Anchors’ the crowd screamed and sung along, and the circle pits opened up.
Though a lot of people filtered out as DJ Woody played his 90s mixtape, those hanging around got right into it and proved that the decade’s music can still entertain.
What may have seemed like a bad idea during the day, the cow onesises were definitely a winner now as the sun began to set and temperatures dropped.
Not that the wintery atmosphere dampened anyone’s spirits. As Pez’s set drew closer, the numbers began to dramatically increase, and by the time his slot began, the tent was filled from corner to corner, with even the outside bar area filling up.
Clearly quite unaware of how popular Pez was, it was a shock to see just how many people decided to pack in for the set. The sea of punters screamed and jumped along to rap after rap, and didn’t let up until the very end.
Though about half that mob drained out as Alison Wonderland came on for her first set of the night, the other half stayed however, as the area transformed into a nightclub, and dance hit after dance hit was smashed out.
Strangely, things chilled out as the Midnight Juggernauts come on. Though there were clearly a few fans in range, as the set drew to a close, the placed filled back up as everyone knew party central was about it set in under the Moolin Rouge for the rest of the night.
Kicking off that party was the return of Alison Wonderland. As swarms of people continued to pack in for Flume’s upcoming set, the energy picked up. Pumping out current club hits, Wonderland seemed tiny in comparison to the stage she was on and the swelling masses in front of her.