author: Andy Capp
The 14th of November was a hot day. Really, really hot. Coincidentally the 14th was also the date set for round two of Stranded festival, Queensland’s newest addition to the constantly growing the festival scene. I had my doubts about leaving my air-conditioning and going outside into the heat, but I put on my sunscreen and off I went.
The day began with a wait (in the sun) for the ferry, which would take everyone to Stradbroke Island, the location of the one-day event. There is a bar on the ferry though, which is a really nice touch as it almost feels like the festival starts before you even arrive. After the 45-minute ferry ride, you depart onto the island and your Stranded experience begins.
Firstly, the location is excellent. It really feels like you are Stranded. All the huts and shaded areas are made out of wood; you are right on the beach. You can even swim if you’d like. They have really nailed the location and theming of their event, the whole place screams of tropical, beachy vibes which is ideal for a festival taking place in the hot Queensland summer.
Onto the music: following the excellent line up of the first round of Stranded featuring the likes of Allday and Alison Wonderland, round 2 did not disappoint. The coordinators seem to really understand what Australian festival-goers want picked a solid lineup of well-rounded artists.
First up on my to-see list was Tkay Maidza, who has been dominating the Triple J airwaves with her new single ‘Switch Lanes.’ Unfortunately, as I caught the later 2:30pm boat, as opposed to the earlier 12pm boat, I missed the entire of Tkay set. This mishap was really unfortunate, as the boat was full of people who I’m sure would have loved to see Ms. Maidza in action. We were assured that the main acts would all take place after the second boat arrived so I think there might have been a logistics hiccup somewhere. Not a massive deal though, as she was playing Alhambra in Brisbane the next night for those desperate to catch her.
Next up, was the ever-smiling UV Boi, who has recently blown up all over the country following his fantastic collab with Ryan Hemsworth as well as a few singles and remixes which seem to be heavily influenced by Yung Lean. UV Boi’s set was exactly what I expected it to be, full of pitch bending 808 kicks and iMessage samples. Personally, I reall enjoyed his set, his production skills are impeccable and he seems to love what he is doing. However, I would love to see some variety in his production as I can see how 45 minutes of similar sounding samples could be overbearing to some. I also think his set might be more suited to a night time spot, as opposed to broad daylight. The amount of people dancing to his set seemed very small compared to the amount of people lazing around the rest of the island.
After UV Boi, KLP took the stage. KLP has found a lot of success recently following her Triple J residency. KLP brought two friends with her to help with her live set, a drummer and a backup vocalist. I thought her set was well done, I enjoyed her crowd interaction but I feel like her repertoire may be a tiny bit bland. That may just be my personal preference however, and I look forward to seeing new material from her, she has a lovely voice.
Aryay took to the stage next, an American producer who has recently blown up thanks to a heavy trap-like drake remix and a single entitled ‘the lawnmower.’ Aryay had clearly done his research on Australian music, he played a DJ set filled with Australian bangers which the crowd seemed really into.
The highlight of the day was definitely The Kite String Tangle, aka Danny Harley. Danny’s set was engaging, well put together and sounded fantastic. He is definitely a role model for electronic musicians as far as live sets go. His voice really translates to a live setting very well. I was quite frustrated during his set as there seemed to be far too many people dancing at the side DJ stage, and not enough watching Danny’s set. Surely if you go to a music festival you would want to watch one of the headline acts rather than dance at a side stage? I guess people must go to festivals for different reasons.
Overall, round two of Stranded was well put together. There was a good selection of acts and the festival had a very enjoyable vibe. My only qualm was that the ferry taking you back to the mainland was not as frequent as promised, but that’s pretty minor. I look forward to round 3 of stranded, and am sure that it will be a strong up and coming force in the Australian festival scene.