The brand new Listen Out Festival launched over the weekend, with the first of its three national dates taking place in Sydney’s Centennial Park.

Some 9,000 punters flocked to the first leg of the new festival (replacing the long-running Parklife) to catch the likes of hot to trot British duo Disclosure, AlunaGeorge, and Brooklyn femcee Azealia Banks. who offered a troubled live set.

New South Wales police have praised the behaviour of the Listen Out Sydney crowd, despite reportedly charging 95 people, with all but one being for drug-related offences, in stark contrast to the tragedy that marred another recent electronic music festival in Sydney, Defqon.1.

A NSW police report notes that officers were targeting alcohol and drug-related crime as well as anti-social behaviour at the 18+ event, with five drug sniffer dogs on site at the event leading to the 94 drugs-related charges, with 92 detected carrying drugs, one for breaching bail, and two more for drug supply.

Despite the rate of offences, Detective Superintendent Gavin Dengate said that Police were “extremely pleased” with punters at the Sydney festival. “The overwhelming majority of those attending were music lovers who wanted to have a fun and trouble-free afternoon,” said Det Sup. Dengate, “they behaved responsibly and helped ensure a great atmosphere for the event.”

“Unfortunately, there were still some people who wanted to bring illegal drugs into the event but our police operation ensured that a large number of them were detected, charged and refused entry,” continues the Operation Commander.

“Alcohol-related incidents and anti-social behaviour were certainly at a minimum and that’s testament to not only the police operation, but the working relationship we have with the festival’s promoters,” said Dengate of Listen Out promoters, Fuzzy Entertainment.

Aside from the drug activity, Listen Out’s Sydney leg also featured a troubled set by one of the higher billed acts, 22-year-old Azealia Banks, who reportedly cut her set short after storming off stage halfway through her evening slot on the main Atari stage.

As our Tone Deaf reviewer of Listen Out Sydney noted, the rapper, “draped in a turquoise outfit, stepped out onto the Atari to a packed crowd with DJ Cosmo and two similarly dressed backup dancers… during ‘No Problems’ Banks threatened to walk out after fans were throwing junk on the stage and in her cover of ‘Harlem Shake’, Banks actually did walk! It was shocking and totally unprofessional that the co-headliner walked out 20 minutes into a 50 minute set.”

Disappointed fans took to social media to vent their frustrations at the shortened set, as Sydney Morning Herald reports, with one punter describing her walk-out as “pathetic”, while another defended Banks’ decision, writing: “people were throwing things on stage and she didn’t like it! Fair enough.”

The truncated set and subsequent backlash from angry punters, is reminiscent of Banks’ performance at Splendour In The Grass 2012, in which the New York rapper played a thrifty 25 minute set, later apologising for leaving the stage early while blaming poor equipment and staging for cutting her set short.

Following the Sydney leg ListenOut hit Perth on Sunday and takes place in Melbourne this Saturday 5th October and then closes in Brisbane on Sunday 6th October.

Check out our photo gallery of Listen Out 2013 Sydney here.

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