FALLS FESTIVAL DAY 1
Walking into the festival grounds it was clear that people were full of energy and ready to spend the next 3 days surrounded by music, sun, good people and good vibes!
Getting wristbands was a painless process and the lines weren’t long at all which was relieving. A quick stop in at the Jack Daniels bar before getting right into the mix of things was the perfect opportunity to meet some of the other festival goers and get a bit of a buzz on.
First up was DZ Deathrays to kick off the festival. The sun was blaring down on the crowd and everyone was covered from head to toe in sweat but this didn’t stop people from bursting out the sides of the tents, out in the sweltering sun, sitting up the hill watching DZ Deathrays do their thing, and do their thing they most certainly did!
Throughout the set there were people being tossed in the air, shoes being thrown around and it seemed the entire crowd was moving and dancing. The set was high energy and very fun to watch, DZ Deathrays ended their set by performing ‘Total Meltdown’ and setting off confetti cannons much to the delight of everyone in the crowd.
After DZ Deathrays, everyone had about 30 minutes to get drinks and food and head over to the Valley Stage or commonly known as the Amphitheatre to watch Confidence Man or should I say, dance to Confidence Man. At the beginning of the set it began to rain slightly but this didn’t stop thousands of people hiking up the hill and over to the Valley Stage to get down and boogie with Confidence Man. The dance moves from Confidence Man were synchronized and incredible to watch, it just made you want to get up and dance along with them. It seemed like the goal was to have everyone just dance like no one was watching – that goal was reached a hundred times over. They ended their set with ‘Boyfriend (Repeat)’ which seemed to be the crowd favourite, they added 2 extra dancers on stage for the performance and the crowd was going absolutely wild singing and dancing along.
The rest of the acts would be on at the Valley Stage so thousands of people began pouring over the hill and setting themselves up for the night on the hill surrounding the stage while thousands of brave festival goers made their way to the front of the stage to catch a glimpse of the next act, Darryl Braithwaite. It was a very relaxed atmosphere throughout his set as people socialised on the hill and danced. Horses was the obvious crowd favourite, bringing everyone to their feet as the song started and of course, everyone was singing along to the chorus.
By the time Darryl’s set had finished it seemed like everyone in attendance at the festival had made their way to the Valley Stage, it was absolutely packed to brim. If you’ve ever seen the amphitheatre at North Byron Parklands, you’ll know how massive the hill surrounding it is, and when I tell you that hill was absolutely covered in people I mean it.
The Jungle Giants kicked off their set as people were still running over the hill to catch them, everyone in the crowd has their hands in the air and there are people all the way up the hill on their feet, dancing around with one another. Of course when “Used to be in Love” played, absolutely every single soul in the vicinity was dancing and feeling the vibe that The Jungle Giants were putting out there – a time when everyone could come together through music.
Up next was Foster the People. Everyone in the crowd was screaming for them to come onto the stage so when they finally did, the roar from the crowd was enormous. It is around 10.00pm, everyone at Falls is at the Valley Stage right now, and the temperature was still around 30 degrees, but this did not stop one single person from having an awesome time, everyone was dancing, even if people were sitting down they were still tapping their feet along with the music.
Mark Foster, the vocalist for Foster the People, was so impressive with his ability to sound exactly like the studio recordings but when they played a cover of the Ramones song, ‘Hey Oh, Lets Go’ it was clear that Mark Fosters voice was not only built for the angelic, high pitched sounds that we usually hear from Foster the People, his voice could go deep and the band truly sounded like a rock and roll band as they played the cover. The crowd absolutely loved it with everyone chanting along and clapping their hands.
Last but certainly not least was Flume, he kicked off his set at 11.45pm, just enough time to pump the crowd up with a song before counting down to midnight with what would have had to of been the entire 20,000+ people in attendance at Falls Festival. The lights went dim as Flume called for the audience to pull out their phones and light up the valley. Thousands of phones erupted as the black abyss turned into a sea of mobile phone lights. It was truly breathtaking to see so many people in one place, all for the same reason, to celebrate the New Year with amazing musicians and their loved ones. As the clock struck midnight the crowd erupted into screams and cheers as confetti burst out from the stage and the sound technicians deck all over the crowd. It was absolutely heart warming, beautiful and so fun – thank you to Flume for helping everyone at Falls Festival in Byron Bay bring in the New Year the right way – together!
Review by Tayla Sudall
Photography by Jake Sandtner