Oz: My First Music Festival

Australia’s hot new music is broadcasted on Triple J radio station, which is filled with different sounds—incredible tunes—that I never heard until I moved here. I am so fortunate that I was able to attend my first music festival partly sponsored by Triple J and see some of my new discoveries in the land down under.

Getting to Groovin’ the Moo was not an easy process. I was supposed to attend with an acquaintance I met, and we even paid for an Airbnb. Unfortunately, he cancelled, I lost my accommodation money, and I was stuck with two tickets. However, I very quickly sorted the situation out because my roommate, Seirra, was more than happy to purchase the ticket and we bought bus vouchers, which were charted by Groovin’ the Moo. Once we got there, all the issues I had melted away and I experienced one of the best and longest days of my life.

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In front of the Cattleyard/Triple J stages

Upon arrival, all I could say was “Wow,” as I saw the main stage and another area covered in a giant tent which reminded me of the circus appear before my eager eyes. There were four stages at Groovin’ the Moo (Cattleyard/Triple J, Moolin Rouge (the circus-like structure), Mootown and Silent Disco), the Cattleyard/Triple J stages being the largest. These stages were on one huge, main platform, only being separated by a divider so that acts can perform one after another on alternate sides, which worked out beautifully.

Sierra’s and my day began with some incredible food truck munchies: I bought a vegan doughnut and Sierra got some tasty fries. I did not expect there to be a vast array of food trucks at the festival, and it really pleased me when I realized I would not be eating overpriced, run-of-the-mill venue food.

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After our delicious treats, we headed to Moolin Rouge stage to await our first favorite Performer, Amy Shark. Amy shot to fame with her song “Adore You,” which rose to the number two spot on he Triple J Hottest 100 Chart in 2016. Luckily, we arrived at the tent at the right time, because we were front row for her performance! She was so talented and sounded completely the same in person as she did on recording.

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Amy Shark

Our luck grew when we were able to meet her and receive her autograph at the artist signing table. She told me she liked my shirt and was such a pleasant person to meet. She is heading to America soon for a small tour and I am so excited for her!

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Amy Shark and I

After this meeting, Sierra and I moved over to the main stage almost three hours before our next two favorite artists, Tash Sultana and Milky Chance. We were again extremely lucky that we arrived when we did, because after the fist performer we saw at the stage, the crowds did not dwindle and steadily grew. Before we knew it, we were in the second row of a wild mosh pit. If I have any advice for people attending general admission shows, it is to not enter the main crowd if you cannot handle being pushed, shoved and touched by random people. It is not fun. The only reason I survived the hours of waiting was due to the fact that two people in front of Sierra left the crowd before it got too packed and I shoved her onto the barricade. That’s right—we found ourselves front row again for our two favorite performers!

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Tash Sultana

 

The hours of standing and alternately watching people on the stage in front of us and musicians on the other side of the stage via giant screen was worth it. After what seemed like forever, we were enveloped by the sweet music of Tash Sultana. Tash is a singer, songwriter and looping artist from Melbourne. A looper is a tool that allows one to record herself singing or playing an instrument multiple times and layer the recordings together. Man, does this girl know how to jam! She does not even need to sing; I could listen to her on the looper working her magic all day long. When she performs, it’s like all my worries fade away and it is just me captivated by her beautiful music. Tash is by far one of my favorite musicians I have ever seen live, and that says a lot because I have seen a fair share of artists.

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Milky Chance

Luckily, our final favorite performer played on the same stage as Tash one act later. Milky Chance is a German electronic/alternative/folk group whose single “Stolen Dance” lead the men to the number one spot on music charts in several countries in 2013.  Seeing Milky Chance in person is even better than hearing the band’s recorded music. The lead singer’s on-stage presence was so much more animated than any video I had seen of him. I also did not expect his adorable German accent to draw me in so much. Between Tash and Milky, I was in music heaven.

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The Wombats

The festival ended with Sierra and I shoving our way out of the mosh pit to find some food. After we finally sat down in the barely lit grass, we returned to the Triple J stage to watch The Wombats, another notable and pretty famous band, and back to Moolin Rouge, to see Dillon Francis, an American DJ.

Sierra and I got back to Perth city around 12:30 at night and had probably the best idea that day, which was to take an Uber home. I cannot believe I experienced my first music festival and that the experience was as incredible as it was. This without a doubt will be one of my favorite shows I have ever witnessed.

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Oz: Magic, Music and Markets

Wizards assemble! My busy weekend started Friday with a Harry Potter-themed pub crawl to which I won tickets through a company called Blue Elephant Promotions. This company successfully runs crawls through the UK and Ireland, and decided to bring them to Australia, which I think is pretty cool. My crawl started at seven (there were multiple time slots), which is a bit early to be out on the town, so it definitely was not as energetic as it could have been. Regardless, I received a hand-made wand and completion certificate, tasted magic-themed drinks and got to be surrounded by people decked in Harry Potter apparel, so it was still a pretty magical night.

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It only took 21 years and moooo-ving across the world, but I finally made it to my first music festival, Groovin’ the Moo. This is a three-weekend travelling festival that spans all of Australia to let the whole country come enjoy the beautiful vibes and pure talent provided by the performers. Something that I didn’t expect when I moved to Australia was to find new music and fall in love with it. When I found out my new discoveries were going to play at the festival, I knew I had to go. There were several bumps in the road from the start, but I made it there with my roommate and had the time of my life. The best part was that I was front row for my three favorite new artists and got to meet one. There will definitely be another post coming about this incredible time.

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To end the weekend, Sierra and I visited the Freo markets for the first time since the first time we went, which was all the way back in February. Our friend Shelby is really into crystals and their energies, and I talked to her a lot about her beliefs over the Southwest IMG_1678trip. I have been wanting to restart my crystal and stone collection, so I thought this was the prime time. She brought us to a few crystal shops and advised us to pick a stone with which we connected. I almost did not get anything, but then I saw a bag of gemstones meant for people with the Taurus zodiac sign and felt like it was the perfect option. I am excited to learn more about crystals and the belief system behind them!

Random luck brought me to something I never imagined I would participate in Friday night. Determination drove me to finding a way to GTM on Saturday, which turned out to be one of the best days of my whole semester. Curiosity lead me to purchasing some crystals at the lovely Fremantle Markets on Sunday. All these things added up to giving me one of my favorite weekends in Australia yet.

Oz: Festival Day

You didn’t think my first week of classes was all work, no play, did you? I don’t work that way!img_1426

On the first day of classes, there was a mock tail night put on by the university village. The resident assistants showed us alcohol-free drinks we could make, and add alcohol into on our own (in a responsible way, of course). I really enjoyed the daiquiris, which were basically frozen fruit and ice. Because it was the first week of classes, I did not have a science lab or workshop that day, so I used my free time to go to the beach beforehand. Is anyone surprised?

Between Tuesday and Wednesday, I was pretty busy buying my expensive books and getting started on my plethora of pre-lecture homework and readings. I was lucky enough to score a new textbook for $100 less than its cost, thanks to a Murdoch buying and selling page. I am also lucky that Brian is in half of my classes, so we could figure out the first week together.

Thursday was super fun because it was Festival Day. This is held on Bush Court, the central area on campus. Clubs and organizations are not too popular here, but there were a few, including Quidditch, mixed in with many outside organizations aimed towards students. I also indulged in a Nutella crepe, which made my day.

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I made some last minute plans with some of the group after classes finished Thursday. We headed into Perth to check out some spots the others wanted to see. This included a fast food place called King of the Fries. The name tricked them, because they thought the place would have a variety of fries, which it did not.

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We spent most of the night at Elizabeth Quay at a really cool pop-up bar. We watched the sun set behind the city and then took a stroll across the bridge there.

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We ended up stumbling upon the Cider and Pork Festival, which was really cool. All the food there was centered around—you guessed it—cider and pork. We sat on the grass there listening to a great vocal/guitar duo before heading back home. To our surprise, on our way out, we passed a music concert that was part of the PIAF (Perth International Arts Festival).

Thursday night was the perfect way to end a fairly stressful week. The best thing was knowing I did not have class the next day.

 

Fall Concert Series: Fetty Wap

I still can’t believe Hofstra University hired Fetty Wap to perform for its annual Fall Fest. Fall Fest weekend is a weekend for family, friends and alumni to gather together and celebrate. Hofstra jam-packs Saturday and Sunday with sporting events, tours, talks on special topics, and more for all visitors. The main event is the actual festival, full of carnival games, rides and a lineup of performances by students and professional artists. 

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Organizations on campus work together to make displays for all to enjoy during Fall Fest

This year, the lineup was The Purple Xperience, which is a Prince cover band, The Gin Blossoms, which is a rock band formed in 1987 and the headliner, Fetty Wap. Student dance groups and DJ Spynfo performed between sets to keep the energy alive.

I had the chance to work during Fall Fest, so not only did I get to assist my bosses back stage, I also got a front row pass to the concert. I had always assumed artists relaxed backstage before the show, but they actually stay in green rooms in the sports complex, which is where the presidential debate was held. The artists are then brought to the waiting room on location to do a meet and greet. Finally, they take stage.

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My front row view of Fetty Wap

The day for me was filled with various tasks and watching the performers, which were all great. Let’s jump ahead to Fetty Wap. I actually did not have much expectation for Fetty’s performance, as I had seen him at Z100’s Jingle Ball last year, and he maybe sang half of the words to about three songs. However, he definitely brought his A-game to Hofstra. He and his warm-up crew were energetic and seemed excited to be on stage. Fetty’s music is not something I would be caught dancing to in the shower, but I was overall impressed with the concert.

Fun facts:

  • Fetty drove himself to the stage, but was accompanied by multiple security cars.
  • Fetty does not have a license.
  • Fetty had security on stage, who simply stood there during his performance.
  • Fetty wore a Hofstra basketball jersey during his performance. Thanks for the PR!
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Fetty Wap performing in a Hofstra basketball jersey

This was the best lineup I have ever seen at Hofstra. The school really listened to its students and came through with a great festival. Now the countdown begins for next year!