Southbound 2016 was one of the most anticipated festivals in recent memory. After the last event was cancelled earlier this year due to bushfires, and with headliners Sticky Fingers at risk of not making the line-up, plus a huge line-up of acts, excitement and expectation were huge
Tuesday was (for the most of us) the big drive down south and the arrival at Busselton's Sir Stewart Bovell Park. Security did their best to separate large groups of campers and then flooded the campsites on the hunt for any sneaky alcohol. But once campsites were set up and the park was almost full, then it was on to the opening night acts and Tash Sultana got the crowd rolling with 'Jungle' an early highlight. People piled in to Remi and he delivered an energetic show with 'Substance Therapy' and 'Sangria' getting big reactions. Festival favourites Hermitude then delivered a huge end to the night with campers deciding whether to conserve energy or continue the excitement in the silent disco.
Wednesday the festival came to life with the 3 stages splitting the huge crowds. Montagne wowed with her powerful vocals and awesome stage presence. It was a headline worthy act during the day that had everybody talking. Inside the cosy, couch filled tent near the markets, we watched Comedians Vs Rappers in a side splitting battle to see who is quicker at combining witt, rhymes and comedy. Catfish and the Bottlemen helped the sun down with the crowd joining in most of the set. Then it was time for SAFIA to continue their amazing run of festival shows with an amazing show, proving themselves as one of the countries premiere acts. Then after months of speculation, the release of a stunning album and subsequent tour Sticky Fingers were summoned to the stage by a crowd that couldn’t have left many people for the corresponding acts. Lead singer Dylan Frost delivered and with the whole band, performed an incredible set highlighted by classics 'Rum Rage' and 'Liquorlip Loaded Gun', as well as hits 'Sad Songs' and 'Outcast at Last' from their latest album Westaway (The Glitter and the Slums). If Stickyfingers don’t survive the next year they gave fans everything on this show.
Thursday delivered a procession of quality artists, which suited a crowd reeling from two big nights. Early on local trio Lilt brought the campers back to life under the cool shade of the festivals 'Leftys' tent stage. Vera Blue stunned with her flawless vocals, like Montagne she will be performing as headline acts before long. Nicole Millar also showed she is a headline act with a sexy and vocally solid set, dropping collaborated tracks with Golden Features and Peking Duck, building excitement for what was only a few hours away. The Bennies dragged the crowd out of the afternoon haze with monster Aussie energy, the crowd doing shoeys’s on the big screen in the spirit of the bands energy. San Sisco were sharp as a tac and capped off the high quality of music for the day. Peaches delivered an off the walls, wild sex show and The Cat Empire bought back those festival vibes in readiness for the headline act, Peking Duk. It was a huge finish to the festival with everyone in celebration mode, 'Let You Go', finishing 3 days of festival fun and an amazing quality of artists that has Southbound up there with the best shows of the year.