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News October 2, 2018

Huge crowds come out for four NSW festivals on the weekend

Huge crowds come out for four NSW festivals on the weekend
Image: Skrillex and FISHER, credit: Jake Scevola

Four NSW festivals held over the long Labor Day weekend drew strong crowds.

The Sydney stop of the national four-city Listen Out drew 34,000 to Centennial Park.

Among the acts were A$AP Rocky, Brockhampton, Skrillex, Skepta, Confidence Man, Kira Puru, Manu Crook$ and Snakehips.

154 were charged with drug possession while five were charged with drug supply offences.

The Sydney show also had more CCTV, customer lists, security and police surveillance, after a sexual assault was reported at the Melbourne show a weekend before.

At the after-party at the Ivy, punters who’d come to see FISHER got a bonus when Skrillex arrived unexpectedly and they did a trance set together – which also included Toto’s Africa and the Titanic love song My Heart Will Go On.

The Deni Ute Muster celebrated its 20th anniversary with a crowd that edged over 18,000 to Deniliquin in Southern NSW.

The draw was the only Australian live set from Carrie Underwood (who two days before opened the Footy Show’s AFL grand final TV special) whose set of old and new, from Jesus Take The Wheel to songs from the Billboard #1 album, Cry Pretty.

Friday featured Kasey Chambers (who told the crowd her first appearance at the Muster was a watershed moment because it was the first time she performed Am I Not Pretty Enough and the crowd knew all the words),  Troy Cassar-Dale, Thirsty Merc, Doug Bruce & The Tailgaters, Kirsty Lee Akers and a welcome home roar for Gord Bamford who spent his first five years in Australia before moving to the US; here he is now a rising star.

Saturday belonged to Travis Collins, Busby Marou, Amber Lawrence, The Pigs and  Fanny Lumsden.

At 2pm the main arena was filled with black and white and yellow and blue for a nail-biting AFL Grand Final.

The Muster includes barrel races, wood chopping and whip-cracking demonstrations, bull rides, a circus, camel rides and lawn mower races.

The inaugural Speed Dating, thanks to charity partner Can Assist, drew close to 200 attendees looking for love, or at least a new friend, on Thursday and Friday.

The Deni Ute Muster holds two Guinness World Records: one for the most number of blue singlets worn at the one time; and the greatest number of utility vehicles gathered in the one place.

This year’s Blue Single Count was an impressive 2,998 and organisers counted over 7,000 utes around the ground.

Yours & Owls in Wollongong hit a new attendance record of 18,000 over the two days.

Its promoters increased the Stuart Park’s site’s capacity from 14,000 in 2017.

With a bill that included Peking Duk, Alison Wonderland, Middle Kids, Jungle Giants, Angus & Julia Stone plus local acts Hockey Dad and Tumbleweed, it was no surprise the festival sold out months ahead.

The Greens were on hand with their Sniff Off campaign, circulating a petition to stop sniffer dogs presence at music festivals.

Alt-country, Americana and psychedelia Dashville Skyline reported the biggest ever crowd in its four-year history for the Sunday, when The Waifs headlined.

Promoter Matt Johnston had been trying to get The Waifs and C.W Stoneking since the festival began, and both turned in much-cheered sets.

Over 1,500 headed to the secluded bushland Lower Belford in the Hunter Valley for the three days, with high marks for The Bushwackers, William Crighton, Halfway, Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes, Georgia State Line, Melody Pool, The San Sebastian, Perch Creek and James Thompson.

The Settlement, from Victoria, were generally regarded as the new find of the event, while the songwriter sessions – where they collaboratively played the songs which inspired them – also proved a popular draw.


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