Falls Fest a resounding success
Daily News photographer Blainey Woodham gives his impression of the first Falls Music and Arts Festival at Byron Bay, which was held from December 31 to January 3.
AFTER years of working and partying at musical festivals I think I have the experience to be able to know a good thing when I see it.
For the first time, Falls Music and Arts Festival ventured to Northern New South Wales/Byron Bay and made, in my eyes, a huge success of it.
Of all the festival sites I have been to this one was the best; with its grassy hills and shady trees complete with rope swings, the venue is a vast improvement on others in the area.
Good weather definitely helped with the mud factor, or lack thereof. A little bit of dust was blowing around but nothing to make anyone uncomfortable.
Camping was easy to access and all of my neighbours over the three nights were polite and friendly, as were all other festival goers I spoke to.
Food can be a massive expense at these events and the quality has been known to be below average at times.
But this what not the case at Falls. In fact, quite the opposite, with reasonably priced options and a fairly high standard of anything eatable, whether it was a kebab, Chinese or a hotdog, everything tasted good.
So let's talk music; that thing we actually go to these things to listen to.
I didn't see an average performance the entire time, except for one of the headliners, MGMT, who were not so much bad as boring.
For a grunge fan such as me, Violent Soho were a standout.
The Brisbane four piece had a few hundred people listening on at the start of their first song and by the end of the set there were at least 3000 moshing, crowd surfing and enjoying their sound.
Neil Finn had several thousand punters singing a bunch of Crowded House numbers along with a few new solo tracks.
British pop rockers The Wombats played an amazing final night set with the amphitheatre venue packed to the tops of its surrounding hills as rain poured down to the relief of most punters, who were only too happy to cool down.
I was told about and witnessed other great performances at the Falls but there are simply too many to list.
All in all it was a great four days of music, food, friends and fun, so here's hoping that Falls Festival returns again at the end of 2014.