In its third year, Sprung Festival has once again bought their unique take on the festival experience to Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. Beginning in 2011 at the Riverstage, then moving to the RNA Showgrounds, before settling at Victoria Park for this year, Sprung has gone from strength to strength while consistently maintaining their backyard party, hometown feel. The camaraderie is palpable, and the acts fresh and fun.

The sun was shining, the crowd was excited and the set up was top notch, three things that make a festival great. Smaller than most, worries over the oversaturation of the Australian festival industry were long forgotten at the Brisbane leg of Sprung Festival.

With two stages, a unique idea and the cream of the crop of Australian hip-hop, punters were treated to a chilled day of quality beats and great lyricism.

The festival was opened by Triple Js Unearthed artist Blaq Carrie. A Zimbabwe born female rap artist who prides herself on her amazing songwriting skills and amazing skills, Blaq Carrie was a great opening to what was planning on being a great celebration of Australian hip-hop. As crowds poured in, the winner of Triple Js Unearthed Sprung festival commenced the festival with fantastic style and lyricism.

As the day progressed, punters were treated to some of the best artists Australian hip-hop has to offer. From WA’s K21, to absolute crowd favourite Bam Bam, to the always amazing Dialetrix, to the entertaining Diafrix, each and every artist to grace either stage wowed the crowds and kept feet moving. Artist after artist made their way onto one of the two stages and wowed audiences as the sun beat down above.

The artists kept up their solid level of greatness, the crowds jumped between stages and kept their feet moving. The festival has had a great, homey feel since its inception and this year was no exception.

A great late afternoon addition to the lineup, Horrorshow entertained the smaller crowd with the solid rhymes and beats that he has become so well known for. As with most of the acts of the day, there was plenty of weed references and banter with the mosh pit, which is added to the fantastic set Horrorshow bought us.

As Thundamentals hit the stage, the day cooled down and the punters warmed up. Keeping the crowd moving with hit after hit, the Sydney boys showcased their amazing lyricism and danceable beats, including their wonderful Like a Version cover of Matt Corby’s “Brother”. With a wonderful dancey vibe they’ve come to be known for, Thundamentals continued to spit rhymes with a great energy and vibe. Adding to that a few new songs that have yet to be laid down, these Sydney boys certainly rocked this Brisbane audience.

The Funkoars were the next set on at the main stage, and as punters headed over their set, it was clear to see that they were certainly a crowd favourite. With a signature style and absolutely captivating stage presence, the South Australian hip hop powerhouse kept energies high with hit after hit. As a band that has been around for over 13 years, The Funkoars known how to work a crowd. With hits like “Larry Emdur”, “The Hangover” and plenty others, this was one set that was surely not to be missed.

As a few stragglers made their way to the second stage, Urthboy was in full swing. With one of the most recognizable voices in Australian hip-hop, Urthboy was joined by Jane Tyrell and a live band, which was a great change up from the standard DJ set of the day.

Halfway through their set, Urthboy called up one of the artist relations managers who then went ahead a proposed to her boyfriend on stage. Following up this wonderful occasion with the fantastic “No Other”, love was very much celebrated in the moment. Smashing out other hits like “Hellsong” and ending with “We Get Around”, Urthboy and Jane Tyrell were laidback and utterly charismatic, a wonderful way to say goodbye to the sun as the night took ahold of the punters and everyone was ready to party.

Seth Sentry took the stage to a massive crowd full of people ready to dance and rage. As someone who has been in the industry for some time, but has exploded in a big way in recent times, it was obvious the crowd was looking forward to what he had to offer. Unfortunately, he was one of the more disappointing acts of the day. Feeling somewhat flatter and disconnected than other artists, he didn’t seem to be as engaging as previous performances. However, when playing his hits, like “Waitress Song” and “Disconnected”, the mosh pit was wild and entirely in the moment. Coupled with some great freestyling, Seth Sentry almost redeemed himself, but not quite.

While the big name was rocking the larger stage, Melbourne crew Crate Cartel took the second stage in a blue of quick beats and solid lyricism. Rawer than most, the four MCs got the disappointingly small crowd moving. Harder, dancier and all around and different than most, Crate Cartel are ultimately a group to keep an eye, and an ear out in times to come.

Next up on the first stage, Drapht took the stage in a flurry of hectic messiness. If any punters have seen Drapht before they certainly wouldn’t have been disappointed, and any Drapht versions would have been pleasantly surprised.

More chaotic than most, Drapht always manages to put on a really fun show. With many, many fantastic songs under his belt like “Where You From”, “Bali Party” and “The Dan The Paul”, the Western Australian powerhouse bought the house down. He then hit the crowd with a favourite with “Jimmy Recard”, before slaughtering him with “R.I.P J.R”. Ending the show with “Rapunzel”, the mosh pit were revved up for the last two acts of the night.

Hitting up the main stage was Brisbane’s own Lazy Grey and Jake Biz. Like their predecessors on the second stage, these locals were raw and incredibly entertaining. A wonderful warm up to the last act of the night, the crowds were moving and grooving and loving every minute.

As a Brisbane favourite, the home town spirit was alive and kicking on the second stage. Spitting incredibly rhymes and keeping punters cheering, it was great to see some real fresh talent on stage. Once again, while their musicality is somewhat out of the mainstream, these boys are definitely both ones to watch.

To close out a wonderful day full of Australian hip-hop, 360 took the stage in a blaze of smoke and the sound of gunfire. Every single punter at the festival made their way over the main stage to see 360 rock it out. As possible the main draw card of the entire festival, he unquestionably did not disappoint. An awesome stage presence, coupled with song after quality song, it was clear to see why so many Brisbanites were looking forward to this portion of the festival the entire day through. Proving to everyone why he is a multi-award winning artist, 360 blew the roof off Sprung Festival and ended the night with a bang.

As a celebration of the best of Australia’s hip-hop talent, Sprung Festival has continued to wow Brisbane audiences for three years in a row. Now adding Melbourne to their tour, it’s clear to see that this festival will continue to do the same for a few years to come. With a unique outlook, a wonderful feel and consistently fantastic line ups, Australian hip hop fans are never disappointed, and this year was certainly no exception.

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