I can’t believe it’s taken me seven years to get to Sugar Mountain! I mean, I really have no excuse considering I live in Southbank and it’s a three-minute walk to VCA from my apartment. Well, I’m proud to say I will now be Sugar Mountain’s #1 ticket holder every year because it was the damn greatest day I’ve had at a festival.

At first I was really unsure as to how a festival of this size and offering was going to call VCA its home. I’m very familiar with the layout and it had me baffled but By George! They nailed it. The flow between stage areas, food camp, studio exhibitions and hidden clubs was stress-free and creatively designed with artwork and installations setting the tone.

While there are many aspects to Sugar Mountain, I was there primarily for the music and I was more than impressed with the stellar line-up on offer. Oh, and the outdoor Boiler Room was tops. Serious tiki disco vibes in the sun!


Oh! What a way to start the day. A solid 10/10 from me. This duo has so much swagger in their performance which match amazingly with their grimy beats and gravelly vocals. If you haven’t seen ALTA before I urge you to. They will get you feeling all kinds of cool and turnt. Top 3 set of the day.

Moses Sumney

I’d heard the hype but I had to see and hear to believe it, and I believe people. The best way I can describe this outstanding artist is that he is a one man ‘Lion King’ soundtrack. All of the instrumentations he creates himself with his own vocals on loop. His voice is unlike any other and to top it all off, he’s just a really nice guy, who needed to pee really badly at the end of his set #ArtistLife In the Top 3 sets of the day for me for sure.


Kučka is killing it these days teaming up with all sorts of artists and leaving her mark on some cracking tracks, but to see her do her own thing was actually really nice. She’s clearly got the chops to produce and sing and with dem pipes, honey! Keep on singing!

Methyl Ethyl

Fun fact with these guys! I know the lead singer, Jake! We go way back in good ol’ P-town, been to some 18th birthdays together, boogied on the d-floor, and gone on a school drama trip, but to see him actually make his dream come true is the best thing in the world. Jake, you did it! You’re the leading man (giving me those Brandon Flowers vibes) and the music you guys have made is so great. Keep killin’ it!

Big Scary

Just a little bit of soft rock to get you through the day never goes astray. I love what Big Scary are doing in Aussie music and their set was chilled and the crowd was vibing. It wasn’t my favourite set of the day but it was nice all the same.

Little Simz

Hearing this pocket rocket dominate the airwaves had me pumped for her live set and the girl delivered. I am a huge fan of British rap and grime but I can’t say I’ve seen much live. Thank you Little Simz for being such a badass and showing just how gritty and strong you are as an artist. You had my friends and I giving it stank face and booty popping #DayMade. Definitely in my Top 3 sets of the day.

Slum Sociable

I only really heard about these boys early last year and then got to see them at Splendour in the Grass. I am totally digging their vibes and music. Their show has become really solid and they’re definitely starting to draw big crowds. No doubt big things to come from these guys, and I’ll gladly watch their set at any festival I’m at.

The Avalanches

Look I’m not gonna lie, I was devastated when Blood Orange withdrew from the Sugar Mountain line-up. He was the #1 reason I was going. But alas, family first. Getting in the big dogs was a mighty effort and boy did they deliver. Their funky set was 10 times better than their set at Splendour last year and I was happily singing and dancing along in the mosh. With a cute appearance from Oscar Key Sung to keep the night fresh it really was an awesome way to end the day.

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author: Kara Bertoncini
photos by: Kayzar