Another year, another Groovin The Moo! I seriously love this festival because it forces you out of the city, and I’m all about a road trip with my friends. Bendigo turned it up on Saturday with clear blue skies and speckles of sunshine lighting our way. Could not have asked for a better day really!

Let’s just be clear though, even though the sun is out it doesn’t mean it’s going to be stinkin’ hot! We’re still heading to rural Victoria and night time is bloody freezing. I’m no nanna but girls were seriously dressed in next to nothing and looked bitterly cold to the bone! C’mon ladies. Have we not learned yet? I’m honestly not at GTM for the fashion; I’m there for the music and what a day it was.

My day was jam packed from 12:45pm ‘til the end. My timetable was pre-planned, which I urge anyone to do when going to a multi stage festival; you need to be strategic and smart. The biggest blunder of the day however was two of the main drawcards Tash Sultana and Montaigne pulling out due to sickness. I was really looking forward to their sets, especially Montaigne as I haven’t seen her before, but I’d rather see them in full health than not. Next year ladies! Get well soon.

Right, here’s a run down of my day and what I thought of each artist I saw.

Tom Gaynor AKA Allday is f*%cking brilliant. He drew the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen for such an early time slot and to me; this set the tone for the day. He was energetic, engaging and an all-round beast on stage. Definitely worthy of a later billing time in my opinion.

Damn this girl is grungy and sexy all in one. I happened to enjoy her set from the VIP area as I ate what was the best festival lunch I’ve ever had. Look out for Semi-Hard Fromage next time you’re at a festival; it will blow your mind! Back to K.Flay, my bad. Even from afar she was killing that stage and had the mosh raging all set, but particularly when she played ‘ Blood in the Cut’ and ‘FML’. Seriously glad she made it on the GTM line-up.

Northeast Party House
I luckily caught the end of these guys set and it was bang on. They had the Moulin Rouge tent in a state of dance pandemonium, playing some old classics as well as their own tunes.

Alice Ivy
Replacing Montaigne was Melbourne gal Alice Ivy who in fact got the call to replace the ARIA Award winner on her way to the festival. Talk about going from car to stage. She was as humble as pie expressing her sorrow for Montaigne, which I really commend her on, but this was a huge moment for Ivy. This was the biggest crowd she’s ever played to and she dominated. Her set was strong, interesting in her beats and she definitely had the crowd vibing. Great things to come for this young artist.

This duo was on my high priority list for the day and I literally have no words words other then FAAAAAAARK YESSSSSSS!!!!!!! They packed out the Moulin Rouge tent at 3:45pm and had us all turnt as if it was a headlining time slot. They were everything I wanted and more. It was machine electronica at its best with a special feature from K.Flay to perform their hit Like A Version of M.I.A.’s ‘Paper Planes’. I did not want the set to end.

Amy Shark
I feel so bad about missing this set but TBH I completely forgot she clashed with Slumberjack because she was replacing Tash Sultana, and I got my set times all mixed up. Ah well, as I left their set I did catch ‘Adore’ which really was beautiful. I need to see Amy Shark properly though. Soon enough!

Here’s where my night got complicated. Every set from here on up was a clash so I caught a bit of everyone starting with our Aussie hip-hoppers Thundamentals. I really love their chill style and how they play against traditional forms. Their re-working of Matt Corby’s ‘Brother’ was a delight and a crowd favourite.

Milky Chance
Yes yes and yes! I caught the second half of Milky Chance’s set and these rockers certainly know how to get a crowd grooving. By this point of the night as well it was freezing so getting deep in the mosh was essential and made it all the more fun when singing as a chorus to ‘ Cocoon’ and ‘Stolen Dance’.

George Maple
This woman is my #1. I know she’s been working hard over the past few months and her set was nothing short of show stopping! Everything from her outfit, to her mixes, to her interactions; this woman showed how it’s done. She is fearless, flawless and a force to be reckoned with. Watch out world. George Maple is coming for ya!

I’ve known Throttle for a couple of years now and seeing him grow and achieve incredible things has been like seeing a younger brother reach new levels of success. His set was dynamic and fun loving; the perfect segue to what would be the tail end of the night. Proud of you Robbie!

The Darkness
I’m not even coping with the fact that I actually got to hear ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ live. This was definitely a pinch myself kind of moment. I remember watching this on Video Hits on Saturday mornings when I was younger and now; they were live in the flesh. Front man of The Darkness Justin Hawkins is 42-years-old and still a rock God! His persona is outrageous, his six-pack is still chiselled, his falsetto is a dream and boy can he shred a guitar. This was a once in a lifetime experience and I’m so damn glad I can say I’ve seen The Darkness live! Also gotta love how he pronounced Bendigo as Bendeego. Absolute legend!!!!

Hayden James
What a way to build up to the night’s headliner. Hayden James had the Moulin Rouge tent warping out to his wavy electronica, and considering this was his first time at GTM, we were mighty glad he had the penultimate slot. Special mention to George Maple who came out at the end to guest vocal on the Odesza remix of ‘Something About You’. What a ripper end to the set.

Dillon Francis
OMG! The set of the day was hands down Dillon Francis. I’ve been in many a mosh but holy moly; this one was unlike any other. It was the MF best and most euphoric feeling I’ve ever had. I felt so alive and to be able to share this with thousands of fellow music lovers was a moment I’ll never forget. This guy can do no wrong. In his own way he is a showman and a performer, which you wouldn’t necessarily think for a DJ. When I was up on my friend’s shoulders I got to see just what was going on and it was incredible. The crowd was heaving and we were in so deep it just made the musical experience that much more elevated. Dillon Francis is a must see in your lifetime; there’s no doubt about it.

I had the most incredible day at GTM. The line-up was the strongest it’s ever been, and the fact organisers had such solid artists at the start of the day meant crowds flocked and started early. Good vibes all round. Be warned though, to be the designated driver for the trip is no easy feat. The drive home is hard so I strongly encourage playing games to keep your mind awake and alert. Bed never felt so good!

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author: Kara Bertoncini
photo credit: Michael Prebeg
photo credit (Throttle): Kayzar

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