And there was sun! Hallelujah. That’s right, Bendigo absolutely turned it on with the sunshine at this year’s Groovin’ The Moo festival. For my fellow well-seasoned Groovin’ veterans, it will be known that sunshine and Groovin’ the Moo – particularly at the Bendigo leg of the festival – don’t tend to go in the same sentence, so it feels necessary that this rare and wonderful occurrence is acknowledged and appreciated.
Weather aside, this year’s Groovin’ the Moo brought with it yet another impressive lineup of both national and international acts. Known for its diversity in its featured acts, this year was no different, making the task of picking a top five somewhat challenging.
Never one to say no to a challenge though – and after careful consideration and deliberation – Forte’s top five acts from Groovin’ The Moo 2018 are as follows:
5. Baker Boy – Baker Boy, otherwise known as Denzal Baker, is an up and coming artist who was raised in the remote areas of the Northern Territory. He is the first indigenous rapper to rap in Yolngu Matha language (representative of his Arnhem Land bloodlines) to break out into the mainstream.
The second act for the day to take to The Cattleyard stage, it was barely midday, yet Baker Boy still managed to bring with him an unparalleled energy. A true performer, he incorporated a series of impressive raps and dance moves into his set, which had the crowd jumping in unison regardless of the hour.
Baker Boy sincerely is the definition of a multi-talented artist, who has a clear goal to inspire younger generations to embrace their culture, as well as become leaders within their communities – and boy, does he know how to work a crowd!
4. Vera Blue – Vera Blue, also known as Celia Pavey, is a Sydney-based singer-songwriter who has taken the music scene by storm since emerging. Talk about Lady Powers! The fiery redhead hit the Moolin Rouge stage at 1.20pm and she absolutely lit the crowd up.
With a set list which danced back and forth (quite literally – the girl has moves!) between intimate tracks which expose Pavey’s sheer vocal talent, and tracks which feature more sonic elements, the performance was the perfect lead into the mid-afternoon.
Pavey left the audience basking in the good vibes and energy needed to kick on into the remainder of the groove.
3. The Amity Affliction – The Amity Affliction is an Australian metalcore band from Gympie, Queensland, who has truly captured our hearts and tugged at the strings since forming in 2003.
The boys took to the Cattleyard stage just after 3pm, which appeared to be just the right time to take the energy at the Moo up a notch or two. Fans of the band flocked to the stage to get their daily dose of heavy – and that they did. It wasn’t long before the band’s leads Birch and Stringer were calling to the crowd for a circle pit – and it can confidently be said that the crowd indeed delivered.
If any one band on the day had the audience screaming back their lyrics word for word, it was well and truly Amity.
2. Grinspoon – Grinspoon is an Australian rock band from Lismore, New South Wales. Having formed in 1995, it was perhaps one of the more anticipated acts of the day, as the desire for nostalgic tunes which remind us of younger days and simpler times, cannot be denied.
As the sun set on the Prince of Wales Showgrounds and punters reached for their jackets, for a moment we might have been concerned about the inevitable forthcoming chill that would set over Bendigo come night fall; that was until Grinspoon brought the heat with their set on the Triple J stage.
Grinspoon delivered a true spectacle for audiences – one that threw it all the way back to the ‘90s, sped it up to current day, then threw all the way back again. If a bucket list band on the lineup were to be named, it would without a doubt be Grinspoon.
1. Duke Dumont – Adam George Dyment, commonly known by his stage name Duke Dumont, is a British musician, songwriter, DJ and record producer. Taking to the Moolin Rouge stage toward the end of the night, at 8.30pm, Dyment brought the party like no other.
Wandering through genres of Deep House, Tech House and Nu-disco, he had the crowd in a steady heave as he delivered hit after hit, until we experienced our first cannon drop of wondrous confetti for the night. That paired with the big tunes, the incredible lighting show and the vibe that was in the air, made for a set which punters wished would never end (until our feet began to give out, of course).
Written by Helena Metzke
Photos from the official GTM 2018 photography team: Jackson Grant, Mackenzie Sweetnam, Jack Toohey & Joseph Mayers