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The Falls Music & Arts Festival was hosted over the 2013/14 New Years period in it's new home in the Byron Bay Shire for
the very first time, over four days in the idyllic setting of Yelgun, in Northen New South Wales.
Music festival fans couldn't be more happy to see the popular event extend to a third location, having seen local and international
bands feature over the past two decades at either of it's other homes in Lorne, Victoria and Marion Bay, Tasmania.
Fans were treated to a great array of acts, from home and abroad, as well as a plethora of food, clothing and art stalls/vendors to choose from. On top of that, the steamy Australian summer assured us that most punters would be keen to cool down with multi-colored slurpees, take multiple naps in their pitched up tents, or have a snooze under a tree upon the "big hill", which
separated a majority of the site from the Ampitheatre stage ("the main stage").
The festival attracted up to fifteen thousand music fans, with an intent by organizers to potentially extend that number by up to
a further five thousand people for the 2014/15 event.
Brisbane quartet Violent Soho play a early afternoon set on the Forest Stage, assuring those present that they would make the loudest noise of the entire festival. They did not dissapoint!
Hailing all the way from Austin, Texas, four-piece rock band White Denim entertain a slowly building crowd to the Ampitheatre stage, covering tracks over their six albums to date during the upbeat forty minute set.
The view from the "Big Hill". The festival was able to accomodate for several campers, supplying them with plenty of room to set
up tents, park cars, trucks or/and camper vans. Portable toilets and showers were also readily available, for those needing to
clean themselves from the dust clouds, caused by the humid temperatures and the dry dirt roads surrounding the campsite,
over the four days .
Technically a duo, Melbourne four-piece (at least on stage today), Big Scary have created a growing following since
The Mini EP was released in 2009. Their sound has expanded significantly since then, with the records and live performances featuring everything from electric guitars, to mandolins to ukuleles. Single "Phil Collins" already seems to be a fan favorite,
if today's reaction was anything to go by.
When the lineup was first announced, seeing ex-Smiths guitarist, Johnny Marr was high up on my "must-see" list. The 2013
NME awarded "Godlike Genius" certainly lives up to that tag, even if the crowd gatheredcdoesn't match the man's legendary
status. Even despite a late start, Marr winks and bobbles is head like a sixties version of McCartney, thundering through tracks
from his first solo album, The Messenger as well as much loved Smiths classics.
Kicking off with The Right Thing Right, it doesn't take long for the cocky Mancunian to get both die hards and casual fans
onside, but it's The Smiths favourites such as 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" and the timeless "How Soon Is Now?",
that evoke the biggest singalongs, the latter bringing a close to a shortened, but thoroughly enjoyable set.
Johnny Marr Setlist
Video: "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" @ Falls Festival, Byron Bay, 01/01/2014
Brooklyn rock band Grizzly Bear are no strangers to the Australian festival circuit, having graced our shores no less than four
times in the past five years. They may not have the big singalongs that the likes of festival chums Vampire Weekend or
The Wombats contain, but they're well aware of it. But for those who do enjoy their psychedelic pop/folk (and sometimes
experimental rock) are treated to a near flawless set. And for the rest that aren't so well acquiainted with the New Yorkers' back catalogue, they just might have taken up lead singer's Edward Drostes' offer to "aggressively sway" to their tunes if it suits them.
Grizzly Bear Setlist
Having only been here twelve months earlier, New York City Indie Rock band Vampire Weekend sure no how to pull a crowd,
which probably explains why they have returned to Australia so soon after their last visit. There's a near even spread of songs from their three albums to date (over the sixteen song set), with first single "Diane Young", from latest album "Modern Vampires of
the City" being received well from fans, new and old. With the likes of "Step", "Oxford Comma", "A-Punk" and closer
"Walcott" included, the band already have more than enough crowd pleasers to almost deem tonight a "Greatest Hits" set.
Even after a long arduous day in the sun, fans still head off to eat, drink and dance their way into the early hours of the following
morning, eventually easing their way back to their makeshift places of rest to bring Day #3 to a close.
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