A sea of aquatic life swarmed Port Macquarie weekend for the 12th year of Festival of the Sun. Mermaids and mermen, jellyfish, lobsters, and sharks braved the shore to dance up a sandstorm to the likes of Seth Sentry, Gang of Youths, Dune Rats and Montaigne.
Having sold out in record time this year, FOTSUN’s 3000 punters’ eagerness showed, with gates opening at 2pm on the Thursday and the park filling up extremely quickly and early-arrivers nabbing prime camping spots.
Festival goers keen to get into the vast array of activities on offer wandered through the entertainment quarter to sample the range of food stalls and participate in the free art workshops. The smell of spray paint wafted through the salty summer air, and the maritime vibe was brought to life through vibrant murals by FOTSUN’s resident artist Sigh Luxton, who also conducted graffiti workshops with other local visual artists.
As night fell, the giddy Thursday night crowd grew abnormally quiet due to the silent comedy show. Headliners Gen Frickar and Luke Heggie had the masses in stitches, ensuring that giggles and laughter was all that could be heard come nightfall.
Tunes kicked off at 11:30AM on Friday, with West Thebarton Brothel Band officially opening FOTSUN. As the day progressed, punters moshed to hip-hop vibes from Korzdahavoc, got goosebumps from the amazing vocals of Montaigne, and watched in awe at musical genius Tash Sultana. The day reached a crescendo when Gang of Youths took the stage. Lead singer Dave Le’aupepe’s hip-shaking and crowd-surfing amped the audience, and the group’s seductive aura had the fans mesmerised and begging for another song! Their set closed what was a fantastic first day of terrific tunes and sea-horsing around.
With Friday night’s hangover cured by quick dip in the ocean and the cracking of a fresh can, punters rode the party wave to the main stage for Ayla, who commenced Saturday’s festivities. From shimmying to Boo Seeka’s electronica to moshing to Luca Brasi punk vibes to throwing shoes on stage during Dune Rats’ set in the hope of inspiring a shoey, the crowd found FOTSUN euphoria on Saturday. The Smith Street Band rocked the crowd into the night, and Seth Sentry, who closed 2016’s festival, had punters singing along in unison to every word during his dazzling set.
“We’re proud of 2016’s strong lineup that portrayed a diverse mix of bands from the Australian music scene. As always it’s great to see the FOTSUNners so receptive to the bands, with large numbers out supporting acts early on both days. I believe the strength in the lineup and diversity of bands in 2016 led to tickets selling out as fast as they did by our punters who make FOTSUN their annual tradition.,” said FOTSUNdirector Simon Luke.
Watch this space, as FOTSUN officially becomes a teenager in 2017! The planning has begun and dates have already been set for the 7th, 8th and 9th December 2017
Click to View Full Size Images