Laneway Festival // 2020

Laneway Festival // 2020

How satisfying is ‘2020’ to read and write?? That alone could honestly get me through the year.

Anyway. Not the reason we’re here today is it?? We’re gonna talk about Laneway Festival 2020!! I first went to Laneway Festival last year, which you can read about HERE, and to date, regardless of some hiccups concerning how the event was planned and organised, it’s one of my favourite day festivals that I’ve ever been to. Which is why when the lineup came out sometime last year, featuring some of my all time favourite artists ever who you’ll hear about soon, I told my friends that I was going regardless.

Now I’m not trying to throw shade at any of my friends whom I love dearly, but Laneway was my first festival of 2020, and it was the first chance I had to entirely body this Tweet that I sent out into the world at the beginning of the year.

When I say the lineup for Laneway Festival 2020 was incredible, it was incredible. If you don’t recognise at least some of the names on this lineup from somewhere on my blog in the last three years, I’ll be severely disappointed.

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I mean, how good? Just as good, was the absolute squad we had going into the festival. You guys know my best friend Kate, and you may also know Tessa, if you’re up on my social media. Joining the three of us, we had Kate’s younger brother and his group of friends, my two cousin’s, one of my cousin’s boyfriend, and the other cousin’s group of friends as well. Because Laneway is a 16+ event now, the rule that has been implemented since last year is that anyone with a 16+ ticket, has to enter the festival with a guardian who has an GA 18+ ticket, with each guardian allowed to bring in five minors. So because of this, Kate, my cousin Alishia and I all had five 17 year old’s registered to us as our children, to bring into the festival, which is a lot more fun than it sounds.

Cue a little fence hopping to get into the line and being partially split up for a few minutes, and getting into the festival this year literally took twenty minutes, opposed to the two hours we waited last year, but we won’t talk about that.

Getting in so early, meant we literally had the whole day to see every artist we set out to see, and I’m so glad I got to catch everyone I had on my list. It was such a successful day. Here’s some of my favourites.

AGUNG MANGO
Agung Mango was added to lineup for Laneway as the Melbourne winner of the Triple J Unearthed competition which was super exciting for me, as he was an artist who’d been on my radar, but I’d never gotten to see live or really listen to properly. Luckily, we managed to catch majority of his set as soon as we got in, and it was such a great start to the day. His high energy performance consisted of several songs spent moshing in the pit with everyone, bringing guys on stage to rap and mosh with him, hyping and directing the crowd, and genuinely giving his all to the set. It was enough to make a fan out of my cousin Alishia and I straight away. I definitely recommend giving him a listen if rap, hip-hop, RnB is your type of stuff!

OMAR APOLLO
No surprises here, but Omar Apollo was one of the main artists I wanted to see live. After listening to his music and being thoroughly obsessed for close to three years, I made sure that I was ready, drinks in hand, in the mosh for his set to begin. And begin it did with Omar making his entrance in a silver, shiny button up, strutting across the stage knowing he owned it. It was such a good set, with amazing solos from not only him but his band as well. He started with Ashamed possibly one of the best opening songs I’ve seen in a set ever, and played all my favourites like Kickback, Ugotme, Headlights, and Hit Me Up. Thoroughly energised for that entire set, and the high just continued for the rest of the day.

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KAIIT
If you think the name Kaiit might seem familiar, you may have caught my live review of her concert earlier last year when I saw her at Max Watt’s with some of my friends. If you happened to miss that post, you can read it HERE. She also features heavily in a plethora of my personal playlists. Over the years Kaiit has become one of my all time favourite musicians, and she was a big part of the reason I decided to bite the bullet and buy tickets to Laneway for the second year in a row. Her set was magical. The energy she brought to the stage, and the love she was able to share with everyone in the audience and on stage with her was contagious, and made for one of the most wholesome mosh pits I’ve ever been a part of. I made friends with complete strangers while singing along to her songs, and it was incredible to see how the crowd grew and grew as her set went on.

OCEAN ALLEY
I mean, would it even be a You Should Hear festival post without mentioning Ocean Alley?? Probably not. They had such a breezy set. The more festivals I’ve gone for, the more I’ve been happier to hang at the back of the mosh pit and actually get to see and hear the act on stage a bit more clearly. This was definitely the case for Ocean Alley who had a huge crowd for their set. They played so many of their fan favourites, it was such a wholesome set. I don’t know, there’s something about them that just makes me feel so content the few times I’ve got to see them live. Their set was a great mix of chill-er, laid back songs, mixed in with some of their heavier stuff that allowed you move around and bang your head, perfect for the readily waiting Laneway crowd.

MAHALIA

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Arguably, my favourite set from the day. I had such a fun time in this mosh-pit. We managed to get there about ten minutes before she was scheduled to go on, and get quite close to the stage. The crowd literally tripled in size over the course of her set, and it felt like the entire festival was behind us, but I’ve never had so much fun. I was with my cousins, my cousins friends and Tess and Kate, and it was such a wholesome forty minutes of just dancing and screaming along to her songs. The video below probably sums up the vibe a lot better than I can describe it to be honest, so I’ll leave you with that.

THE 1975
The finale. I’m gonna be honest, I had no intentions of trying to fight my way through to get anywhere near the front, or even the middle of the mosh for The 1975. I like them. Am I in love with them? No. Am I in love with a very limited selection of their songs? Yes. So I was quite content hanging out closer to the back of the mosh for their set, and considering majority of festival goers were there for the final act of the day, it was pretty far back. That had no real impact on how much I enjoyed it though. I’ve always wanted to see The 1975 live, purely for how atmospheric and ambient their music is. You just get hit in the face with a wave of nostalgia anytime you listen to their music. Getting to hang at the back with my arms around my cousins, absolutely screaming the lyrics to Somebody Else and Love It If We Made It really just topped off my entire day to be honest.

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To be real with you, I’ll probably be at Laneway Festival again next year (here’s hoping I don’t jinx it). It’s kind of become a little family affair over the last two years, so I’m keen to see how 2021 Laneway Festival pans out.

x

Priya

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Festify – The Next Move

Festify – The Next Move

Hello friends.

I hope you’re all well.

Today’s post is an interesting one, pretty fun actually.

Recently I was looking at my stats, and saw that a lot of people were still reading the posts I did about Visualify, a website that gave you visual rundown of the music you listened to on Spotify, within much smaller time frames. It was a great alternative compared to waiting until the end of the year for your Spotify Wrapped. (Btw – you can check out mine HERE).

Unfortunately, the Visualify website has been down for a few months now. Upon seeing that quite a few of you were still clicking my Visualify link and reading the posts, I thought I’d share the alternative I’ve found, for the alternative I had.

Enter, Festify.

Festify basically has the same premise as Visualify, however, they’ve put a fun little twist on it. While it only shows your most listened to artists, rather than most listened to songs as well, they present it as your ultimate festival line-up, tailored to everyone’s listening habits, based on time frames of a month, six months and all time.

I think the best way to explain, is to show you how mine shaped up.

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That’s how my festival line-ups look so far!! Wanna check out yours? Head to Festify HERE to check it out! Let me know in the comments how your line-up looks!

x

Priya

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GIG GUIDE 2019 // SO FAR

GIG GUIDE 2019 // SO FAR

Hello hello hello!!

Hope you’re all well and good – today’s post is an attempt at the subtle brag. It’s not entirely subtle, but I’m sharing it as humbly as I possibly can. I’ve shared a Gig Guide before, if you’d like to check out my 2017 Gig Guide, you can find it HERE, and for the basic Gig Guide for 2019, which has changed a little bit, you can find that HERE, but for the most updated version of what’s happening with me gig wise in 2019, keep on reading!

Why suddenly share another Gig Guide post when the year is only half way done, you ask? Because today, I bought tickets to four different gigs. In one day. Define; insanity. Also, define; impulse spending. That said, I’m insanely excited for literally all the gigs I’ve got lined up so far.

So let’s get into it!! Any gigs with applicable posts will be linked, I highly suggest you check them out!

FEBRUARY

LANEWAY FESTIVAL
Honestly, 2019 started amazingly. I started the year at Falls Festival, which you should definitely check out HERE, and by February, I was ready to keep the momentum going, which came in the form of Laneway Festival. Laneway was a fantastic festival, with a stellar lineup, and despite a rocky start to the day I had a fantastic time. I saw some amazing acts like Masego, Rex Orange County and DJDS, and had heaps of fun with my gal pals taking photos, hanging out and chatting and listening to amazing music.

LAURYN HILL
Lauryn Hill. The queen. She’s one of my favourite musicians ever, so getting to see her live, especially now, was a once in a lifetime opportunity – that said…I’ve seen her twice??? She was amazing, and it was a masterclass in musicality.

MARCH

JOHN MAYER
John Mayer, may just be God’s gift to the world. I say this about a lot of people, but I mean it this time. I mention in my recap of the concert, but he’s one of those artists who’s just been there forever, if you know what I mean? There are so many songs we love by John Mayer, but never think about until you hear them. Not only is he a musical genius, but he’s truly been a huge part of my life in terms of his songs, his artistry and his talent.

APRIL

MATT CORBY
Again, a magical, magical man. This was one of the most beautiful live shows ever. He was so humble and gentle when speaking but put so much passion and power into his songs. I was completely still for majority of this concert, just in awe of the musician on stage.

BLUESFEST
I promise, a BluesFest post is coming. I’ve said it a million times, but it’s one of the heftiest posts to do, which I learned last year, but I promise it’ll come up eventually. BluesFest was so amazing, this year was definitely better than last year for several reasons, but there were some incredible acts for 2019. People like Hozier, Ocean Alley, Allen Stone, they were all such class acts, and I’m so glad I got to see them.

MAY

G FLIP
What. A. Cutie. G Flip put on such a great show, with the perfect balance of energy and vulnerability between all her songs, many of which were unreleased. The energy of the show was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

LAUREL
I got the chance to see LAUREL through my university placement, at a magazine where I reviewed the gig. She has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard and it was a great opportunity to see her live. She didn’t disappoint and I’m still obsessing over her music.

THE FORECAST – AS OF TODAY (12/06/19)

So there are quite a few shows I have lined up for the rest of the year, since I haven’t been to them yet, I won’t really expand on them – but definitely keep an eye out for the posts when I do go.

JUNE

KIM CHURCHILL

JULY

ELIOTT
KAIIT
CHILDISH GAMBINO

SEPTEMBER

JULIA MICHAELS
BRUNO MAJOR

OCTOBER

SHAWN MENDES

NOVEMBER

JON BELLION
SPILT MILK FESTIVAL

So there you have it! I’m clearly super excited about the music I’m experiencing this year – I honestly doubt the list will stop here, you’ll probably end up seeing a few more gig reviews than predicted as of now, but that just means more content for you!!

Hope you enjoyed this post, let me know what your favourite gig of the year so far has been! I’d love to know what everyone else is heading to!!

x

Priya

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Laneway Festival // 2019

Laneway has been running for approximately 15 years, and what was once a self-proclaimed ‘hole in the wall’ speakeasy, has transformed into one of the countries most beloved day festivals.

I’ve been keeping an eye out on the Laneway line-up ever since I first became aware it existed, and 2019 is finally the year I got to go.

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So on the 9th of February, I was up and getting myself ready in the morning, prepared to be at the station by 10:00, rain, hail or shine. It was rain, thank god, not hail. Not exactly shine the whole day, but there was definitely rain.

I met up with Jess, Kate and Kate’s younger brother on the train, and we rode into the city where we met up with my younger cousin and her group of friends who we were accompanying into the festival, and our favourite here at You Should Hear, Mia!

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It definitely wasn’t an act heavy day for us, we were quite selective with who we went and saw, rather making the most of the great food and drinks available, the covered areas to sit and have chat, do some people watching and commentary, take photos and generally enjoy the vibe of the festival. We managed to catch a bit of G Flip’s set as we walked in and wandered around the festival, and the sounds of Skeggs, Smino, Camp Cope, Mansionair and The Smith Street Band accompanied us throughout the day, as well as a few other of the artists who were playing at the festival.

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The first act we really saw was DJDS, a DJ duo from the US. Most of in the group had never heard of them before, but I can guarantee I probably enjoyed them the most. They played a great set, filled with amazing songs, some incredible remixes and they were one of the firsts artists from the festival I searched on Spotify when I came home.

After DJDS, it was straight to the stage right next to them to watch Masego, who was one of my most anticipated acts of the entire festival. Considering he started with Tadow, it was safe to say I went insane and had one of the best times of my life watching him play the sax, having a boogie myself, staring in awe as he pieced together songs bit by bit and play nearly every instrument up on stage.

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After Masego it was a bit of a break with some more drinks, and soon we found ourselves gearing up and joining the ever-growing mosh pit for the one and only Rex Orange County. Rex has continuously been mentioned here on You Should Hear, so I was super duper excited for this set, and I think my friends all gathered that from how much I screamed when he walked onto the stage. It was such a great set. He sang some of my favourite songs, as well as some songs I haven’t listened to half as much, as well as a beautiful cover of No-One by Alicia Keys which nearly had me sobbing as everyone sang along. It was phenomenal.

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Unfortunately, I had to be at a friend’s engagement party the same night as the festival, so I was out of there by 8:00 and changed into a fancy dress and heels half an hour later on the way to the engagement, but nonetheless, it was a fantastic day. The music was great, I had an amazing time with my friends, drinks weren’t super expensive like I had thought and the fried chicken was an absolute winner in my opinion. What more could you ask for?

x

Priya

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Gig Guide 2019 – SO FAR

Gig Guide 2019 – SO FAR

Hello, hello and welcome back to my humble abode.

At the date of writing this, it’s currently the 26th of January, and in celebration of yet again purchasing some more concert tickets, I thought I’d share with you my gig guide for 2019, so far.

For some reason, I failed to do a Gig Guide for 2018, so I’ll do a really quick dot-point rundown of the gigs, festivals and concerts I attended last year before I move on to this year.

  • The Kooks – January, 2018
  • Rudimental/Jakubi, Australia Open Live Stage – January, 2018
  • Let Go Fest – February, 2018
  • Billie Eilish – February, 2018
  • Jet – March, 2018
  • Bruno Mars – March, 2018
  • Ed Sheeran – March, 2018
  • Blues Fest – March/April, 2018
  • Harry Styles – April, 2018
  • Niall Horan – June, 2018
  • Gang Of Youths – November, 2018
  • RINI – November, 2018
  • Peninsula Showcase – December, 2018
  • Falls Festival – December/November, 2018

So 2018 shaped up to be a banging year for music and live gigs, concerts, stadium tours and festivals, and if I continue the way I’m currently going, 2019 looks like it’ll be much the same.

Here’s the Guide so far for 2019:

Laneway Festival – February
Besides the disappointing news that my queen Jorja Smith won’t be performing anymore (I mean, a clash with the Grammy’s is reason enough I guess), I’m still super keen for this festival. I’m going with a great group of gal pals who I love, and I mean when I’m seeing Rex Orange County, Masego, Cosmos Midnight, Crooked Colours, G Flip and Middle Kids, I can’t complain too much. I am however missing Gang Of Youths because I have to leave early, but still, stellar line-up for what I’m sure will be a fab day.

Lauryn Hill – February
If you know me, you know this is a huge one. Heck, you know she’s one of my top favourite artists of all time, she featured in a squad of five artists I drew and framed for my room, and I’ve been singing Killing Me Softly since I exited the womb. My cousin, who I basically grew up with and have been best friends with since birth and I are going as a kind of celebration for her 21st birthday, and I cannot wait. If you read my write-up for Blues Fest which I attended with my family last year, you’d know I’ve already seen Ms. Hill, but a whole concert dedicated to her? A whole few hours of just Lauryn? Yes please.

Bene – February
Again. If you’ve been around the blog for a little while, you’ll know how keen I am for this concert. Hopefully you’ve read my write-up all about Bene and what a cool chick she is. Heck, I was 100% prepared to go to the concert on my own, luckily my best friend Jess jumped at the chance to come with me when I asked her if she was down. Currently Bene only has two singles out, so I’m keen to see what else she performs at the show!

Kodaline – March
This was a moment for 14-year old Priya. There are so many songs by this band that I listened to throughout high-school, so when I saw they were coming to Melbourne, I quickly messaged Jess who is 90% of the time always down for a cheeky concert, and booked our tickets straight away.

John Mayer – March
I’M SO KEEN. As soon as even the whisper of a concert was mentioned, I was on it. My mate and I waited for tickets and I spent the most stressful twenty minutes of my life trying to secure some decent tickets. Getting the confirmation email that we had our seats was such a relief and I’ve been counting down since that moment. John Mayer live, what more could you ask for? Nothing. The answer is nothing.

Matt Corby – April
Another magical man I get to see and hear live this year, and again, I’m counting down. I’m going with two friends who I’ve never been to a concert with before so I’m excited to experience it with them. Again, if you’ve been around for a little while, you’ll understand my obsession with Matt Corby and his incredible voice. Stay posted for the blog post all about seeing this man in the flesh.

RINI – April
Literally the day after Matt Corby, one of my close friends and I are going and seeing RINI, a homegrown, Melbourne RnB artist who we saw only in November! I can’t wait to see him again, he’s released a few new songs, and I’m sure there’ll be some stuff coming out before this concert as well.

Blues Fest – April
I’m super duper keen for Blues Fest. Like more so than I was than last year. ALSO! I’d like to make a small announcement. A few months back, I wrote an short article about a band called Ocean Alley, and said this:

 


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Low and behold, guess who was added to the Blues Fest line-up earlier this month? Ocean Alley. But anyway. Besides Ocean Alley, they’re are a heap of artists who I love coming to the festival, like Norah flipping Jones, Tash Sultana, Six60, one of the first bands I ever wrote about here, Allen Stone, Jack Johnson, Snarky Puppy and heaps more. Plus, this time my family and I decided to book an apartment in Byron Bay rather than camp at the festival, so I’m keen to enjoy some beach time and wandering around Byron before heading into the festival for the day.

Shawn Mendes – April
Possibly the cutest concert I have booked this year. I’m going with my best friend Kate, my little sister, and my little sister’s best friend. I genuinely can’t wait to see Shawn live, his vocals and his lyrics are amazing, and there are so many songs off his latest album that are sure to be hits in an arena setting.

Falls Festival // A Year In The Making

Falls Festival // A Year In The Making

So December was decidedly one of the best endings I could have had to the year 2018. It was a great month filled with hanging out with friends and family, going out to celebrate birthdays and the big gear up towards what I had spent the last half of the year waiting for, Falls Festival.

If you read my wish-list post from a little while ago, you may recall that I was absolutely shattered when my best friend and I missed out on tickets last year to scalpers who basically bought up the bulk of all tickets. If you then read my updated wish list post, you’d know that this year we managed to snag five tickets for the festival, which takes place over New Year’s Eve, from the 28th of December to the 1st of January.

So the remaining months of 2018 were spent in wild anticipation. This was only made even better when one of our tickets opened up and your favourite blogging superwoman Mia, ended up joining our group of gals!

Three days of live music, camping with my best friends and a road trip that Mia and I had wished for since the start of the year that somehow manifested itself into existence? Yes please.

The drive to Lorne was beautiful. I’ve never done the drive myself before, I’ve always been a passenger with my family, but getting to drive down with Mia was great. We had great music playing and highly intellectual conversations about Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Aquaman and other thought-provoking topics.

The car line to get into the festival was a lot better than I had expected and all our efforts of hiding alcohol in moisturiser bottles, setting spray bottles and Victoria Secret sprays went to waste when they waved our two cars through without a second glance.

One of the downers for the camping situation that wasn’t so much of a downer more so  huge nuisance, was the fact that we were the first car on our lineup for the hill, meaning we were right at the bottom of the hill, meaning our tent was on a noticeable tilt. As in it was a decent workout putting it up while staying upright, let along sleeping without sliding all the way down to the end of the tent. It was a great laugh if anything.

 

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After setting up our campsite and sorting our stuff out, we got to work getting ready for the rest of the day, which meant changing out of our T-shirts, into more festival appropriate outfits and using the mirrors in our cars to do our make-up.

Unfortunately we were only able to get three-day tickets, meaning we missed out on acts like Hockey Dad, Ocean Alley, Mallrat and Dizzee Rascal but the remaining acts on the three days we were there were all fantastic.

If you’re not into reading about all the details for each day, first of all, why? And second of all, I got you, with this minute long video I literally made the day we got back because of how much I loved the entire experience. Hopefully you like it, and hopefully it inspires you to keep reading because I would greatly appreciate it.

 

 

The first day was a shorter day considering a large bulk of the people at the concert came that day as well, but it was incredible. Okay, so I wasn’t completely down with 88 Rising and Rich Brian and the fact that they performed their last song, then came back and performed the same song as their encore, but Anderson .Paak more than made up for it. The mosh pits we found ourselves in throughout the entirety of the festival were some of the best I’ve ever been a part of and the energy throughout each day was fantastic.

 

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That night was, to put it lightly, a struggle. Sleeping on such a slant meant I was waking up every half an hour or so to shimmy my way back up the tent after sliding down to the bottom and on Sunday morning the rest of the girls shared my frustrations. However, we soldiered on, and after a lazy morning eating fruit, drinking Up-N-Go and chatting about the night before, we decided to get started with our day and get ready. It was a very relaxed morning/afternoon, having some drinks and chatting with the people around our tent, before making our way into the festival at 3:30 to see what was going on inside.

We got to see Ruel, who’s name you might recognise from a few of my playlist posts in the past, and right after him was Dermot Kennedy. Both were incredible acts and we managed to get quite close to the front, with only a few people in between us and the barrier.

 

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Honestly, I have to say that seeing Running Touch next was the highlight of the entire festival for me, with Anderson .Paak the day before being the only one who came close. Running Touch was one of my most listened to artists of 2018, and I was super ecstatic when I found out he was added to the lineup a few weeks before the festival started. To make a good set even better, as we walked into the tent about twenty minutes before he could start, my eyes zoned in on the practically empty barricade, with the perfect amount of space for the three of us who were still left together, and I basically sprinted from the back of the tent to snag the spot.

Runnin Touch’s set was incredible. It was so different, very intense and energetic, and I couldn’t take my eyes off him the whole time. As well as his stage presence, his bass player and drummer were superb, and matched his energy the entire time. I got some of my best photos and video footage from that set, but enough to still have my phone away for majority of the set and really enjoy the music, head-bang to some of his heavier stuff and have a boogie to all his dance tracks.

We decided to stick around for the next act in that particular tent, Cashmere Cat. I haven’t listened to a lot of his songs that aren’t on the radio, but his set was very energetic as well and he packed the tent completely.

From Cashmere Cat we left the tent to join the hoards of people filling the main Valley Stage grass area for Hilltop Hoods. Flight Facilities were next and we decided to move as close as we could to the front, but when that got a bit too much, I pulled us over to the side, near the speakers where we ended up finding a huge group of our friends as well as one of our friends from our group who had been split up from us earlier in the day. Flight Facilities were fantastic and a great set to have a dance to.

They were the perfect way to end the day, and we were very pleased as we made the short walk back to our tent. That night Jess and I made the decision to test out sleeping in the cars, so we split up and dragged our bedding into the cars for the night. Let me tell you. Much more comfortable. So good. 10/10 in comparison to the night before.

The next day was our last full day and we were keen to make the most of it. We got up a bit earlier to get our outfits and makeup on, have a few drinks and chat in front of our tent, and we were inside the festival by 1:30.

 

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We decided to have a fairly early lunch, and by 3:00 we were in front of the main stage, drinks in hand, ready to see Bishop Briggs. She was another one of the standout performances for me and I loved watching her set. After Bishop we split up and it was just Jess and I for a bit, so we decided to grab our final lunch for the festival, and sit down to enjoy Odette’s set, another singer you’ve probably heard me talking about it a bit on here.

After Odette, we caught up with a much larger group of friends for The Vaccines, before a short break back at the tents, after which we caught the end of Toto, making sure we were there for Africa and Rosanna of course. DMA’s were next up, and their set was fantastic, a set where we pushed ourselves a bit further into the moshpit.

 

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After DMA’s, we headed back to the tent to grab our jumpers as it was getting a bit colder, before returning to the festival grounds to get a good spot for Catfish and The Bottlemen, who were playing at midnight, right after CHVRCHES.

 

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Catfish and The Bottlemen were one of the most hyped up acts of the festival, and for good reason. They played an amazing set, counting down to the New Year with everyone in the middle of their set before welcoming 2019 with some new music that got everyone jumping and cheering. The mosh-pit was just like many of the others I’d been caught up in throughout the festival, welcoming, energetic and loud.

 

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After Catfish and The Bottlemen, Jess and I decided to hang around for Golden Features, a bit of a different style of artist compared to the others we had been hanging out to hear, but it was definitely an experience that we shared.

The entire festival was one of my favourite experiences of 2018, and an incredible way to end a very busy year.

Honestly, sign me up for next year already.

x

Priya

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CHANGES Music Summit 2018: A Volunteer’s Experience

CHANGES Music Summit 2018: A Volunteer’s Experience

Hello friends, and welcome to another blog post.

I had a few second thoughts about sharing this post, because I wasn’t sure if my experience was deep enough to merit an entire blog post, but I’ve just finished up my second and final day, and thought…’what the heck, my blog, my posts‘, so here I am.

Over the 4-5th of July, the CHANGES Music Summit took place in Melbourne for the first time ever. What is it? Well, if you head to their website, this is the rough gist of it;

Over two days, CHANGES will outline the future of the music industry. Across the realms of music, tech, talks and ideas, CHANGES has assembled a roster of ground-breaking voices to ignite one question: what’s next?

Headquartered within the stunning ACU Melbourne campus, on July 4 and 5, CHANGES will begin to draw a roadmap for the future.

It sounds cool, right?

The summit covered changes throughout the entire industry, ‘music, tech, talks and ideas’. A plethora of subjects were covered over the two days such as;

  • The Changing Mindset Of Contemporary Artists
  • The Importance Of Covering Artists Outside of The Mainstream
  • It’s Not Digital Marketing: It’s Marketing
  • Elevating A Visual Experience With Technology
  • DIY Party And Event Projects
  • Gameboy Music Workshop
  • The Benefits Of Being Multi-Disciplinary
  • Women In Music – Hearing Voices You Can’t See

and a ton more.

Not only that, but from around 6PM onwards, the summit transformed into the music festival, and instead of stages that you would have at a regular festival, iconic live music venues, some that I’ve mentioned in my Music In Melbourne post, became stops to see up and coming as well as well-known Melbourne artists, allowing live pass and summit pass holders to travel around the city, and catch some amazing acts.

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However, I found out about the summit, through my university email inbox. I often take it for granted, because on the odd occasion that I choose to check those emails, and go through the pile of mostly junk, I’m always certain to come across some sort of opportunity, tickets available, free passes, internship offers and so on.

A couple months ago, I came across an email seeking volunteers for the CHANGES Summit, and without really giving it much thought, decided it would be cool to give it a go and fill out the application. I’m telling you, the second I closed the tab on my phone, the entire thing was forgotten.

Which made it all the more surprising for me when I received an email last month telling me I had been selected as part of the volunteer roster for the summit. The best part, I had a free pass for the day I wasn’t rostered on. Hence, my short volunteering stint began.

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Having been rostered on for a half day shift on the first day of the summit, I was quite pleased considering some of the the talks I was keen on seeing were the following day. The day before the festival kicked off, I headed to Fitzroy, catching a tram out of the city, to find out where I would be stationed, get my volunteer pass and my T-shirt. It was a short, quick, fun meeting, and I met a couple other people from my university course who were all going to be in and around the event.

For the first day, my role as an Event Runner had me stationed at the CHANGES Hub, which was the first port of call for anyone and everyone who was going to be attending the summit. Considering I started at 1 and finished at 5, it was a pretty breezy shift, taking into consideration most people arrived earlier in the day. My role quickly turned into one of security/attendee assistance/registration.

I spent quite a while keeping people out of the staff and volunteer areas, helping them with  problems that arose with finding schedules and maps and knowing where they were meant to be, and when the next wave of people came in, I ended up helping out at the registration desk, finding people their passes, putting on live past wrist bands, printing out new name stickers for passes and watching as industry professionals struggled with the sliding door that refused to open on command unless you were one centimetre away from it.

It was a fun shift, and a lot of the other volunteers were students like I was, either interested in music, event management or festival work. It was a great atmosphere.

The second day was a lot more chill, considering I didn’t have a shift, so once again, I caught the tram in and headed towards my first talk, Music Passport: Live America.

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The talk was really interesting, and covered a lot of grounds around the export of live Australian music in the USA, festivals like SXSW in Austin, making decisions surrounding taking bands over there for managers and labels, the costs involved, the processes and so on.

Following that session, a couple other volunteers and I headed back to the Hub, for the all ages lunch showcase, with RAT!hammock playing that afternoon. If you’re looking for a funky, bedroom-pop, Mac DeMarco type sound, definitely check them out because I loved their set! My favourite song was definitely Mud, though all the songs they played were really good, and easy to listen to.

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After RAT!hammock, I caught one more keynote talk, one that I was really keen to listen to, and that was The Benefits of Being A Multi-Disciplinary. The talk was incredibly interesting for me. While being a musician, working towards songwriting and maybe performance one day, are my main aspirations, they haven’t stopped me from becoming a ‘slashie’, as they say; someone with a couple of slashes in their title. For example, old blog favourite, Donald Glover. He’s got all the slashes. If you looked at his title it would probably be something like;

Rapper/Singer/Songwriter/DJ/Record Producer/Actor/Comedian/Writer/Director

Along the way, I’ve kind of picked up my own set of skills, and while I’m not incredibly mind-blowing amazing at all of them, I’m good enough that I can list them as a skill set, which in turn makes me more valuable to hire or work with. Things like photography, videography, music journalism, blogging, editing and producing (we are getting there) can be added to my singer/songwriter/musician title, and help me hopefully get more jobs that carry more weight. I know a lot of us bloggers are already ‘slashies’, due to the nature of the endeavour requiring not only a lot of extra out-of-pocket work, but also different avenues to make money and sustain ourselves at the same time.

Uppy, the speaker, a radio host at Triple J and currently a Music Director at Red Bull Australia, also gave seven key tips to help us ‘slashies’.

  • Ask questions from colleagues: there is always something to learn, and if you can dip your feet into all aspects of a project or work, then you can gain more insight and knowledge into how those roles are filled, the skills needed and how you can make it work for you.
  • Find someone you trust who can mentor you.
  • Read about the stuff you can read about: Keeping on top of everything that’s out there for you, puts you a step ahead.
  • YouTube is a rad resource of how to do things.
  • Attend music conferences and summits: they are one of the best places to network and navigate the industry, make connections and form relationships you can rely on further down the track in the future.
  • Consider doing an online course or qualification if the traditional educational route is more your jam: while DIY self-taught work ethic is well respected, so is someone with a degree or qualification that guarantees their value.
  • Take care of yourself because burnout is real: the point of being a ‘slashie’ is to be good at a lot of things, which doesn’t work if you yourself aren’t in your best form.

I made sure to note those tips because I could see how well they could lend themselves to all types of career movement and trajectory. Those tips, as well as the entire session were really worth the time it took to get to and from the summit.

Although it started out as a mindless process for me, one I forgot about almost instantaneously, the CHANGES summit was an amazing experience. I really enjoyed attending the festival, meeting all the amazing people I did over the two days, and opening myself up to the real inner workings of the music industry and the people within it. Who knows, I’ll probably be back at the summit next year, either as a volunteer or a regular pass holder!