From Maitland to Bunbury – A look back on our time with Groovin’ the Moo 2016

And so, the dust has settled on another Groovin’ the Moo tour. The international visitors have wrapped up their brief Australian visits, the local heavy hitters have returned to plotting the rest of their plans to dominate 2016 and fans around the country no doubt have been left with some brilliant memories of yet another successful festival in the bag.

A lot of eyes are now fixed on Splendour in the Grass, but it’s safe to say that Groovin’ the Moo definitely set a good standard for Aussie festivals still to be rolled out this year.

While there were many artists on the bill for a variety of different music fans to enjoy, discover and become engaged by, there were some particular highlights our writers dug across the tour.

As Dylan Marshall points out, Client Liaison and Illy each held huge numbers in Maitland.

“These guys [Client Liaison] know how to get a party started. They’ve crafted their outlandish onstage persona over the past couple years, with their costumes just as important as the music. Needless to say, with a bunch of bangers like “Feed The Rhythm”, “Pretty Lovers”, and “Queen”, they were never going to put on a bad show.”

“Playing his third GTM tour, Illy knows what the fans wanted and in his case, it’s wall to wall bangers. Playing a best of set, Illy’s spot as second to closer in the Moolin Rouge Tent was more than justified.”

Client Liaison (Photo: John Goodridge).
Client Liaison (Photo: John Goodridge).

Both acts were incredibly well received at the Oakbank leg of Groovin’ as well; in fact, the Moolin Rouge Tent was pumping with excellent talent throughout the day and night programs. Whether it was Remi and NGAIIRE hyping the crowd up early, Client Liaison bathing the packed out tent in shades of purple lighting later on in the evening, or RATATAT bringing the Tent’s night to a thrilling close, Moolin Rouge had it going on.

Over in Bendigo, Aussie hip-hop and some electrifying live music courtesy of Twenty One Pilots reigned supreme, according to Thomas Flynn.

“Drapht conjured up the perfect festival atmosphere during his set in Bendigo, with the combo of catchy rap lines and live brass instruments proving to be more than enough to get the crowd moving, especially with hit track “Jimmy Recard”.”

“Twenty One Pilots showed why they’re one of the biggest names in world music right now with a huge crowd assembling to see the American duo do their thing. With the sun setting over Bendigo the group cranked out hits in “Stressed Out” and “Car Radio”, as well as a bangin’ cover of House of Pain’s “Jump Around”.”

Drapht. (Photo: John Goodridge)
Drapht. (Photo: John Goodridge)

SAFIA were strong favourites across the board, particularly impressing both Ally Koster and Steph Payton at Groovin’ the Moo Canberra and Bunbury, respectively, their home town stop being particularly special.

“There was a definitive energy that was being radiated by them,” Koster says. “Being back in their hometown had brought with it a new confidence, giving them the complete ability to command a crowd of thousands. We were their slaves.”

RATATAT also stood out as a strong highlight of the Canberra stop for Ally, “RATATAT are up there as one of the most innovative and breathtaking live shows I’ve ever come to experience,” – a sentiment felt by us as the festival would continue to roll on.

At Oakbank, the earlier portion of the day brought early highlights, with A.B. Original and Adelaide’s own West Thebarton Brothel Party both bringing the noise early, definitely elevating the bar of quality which the rest of the festival then had to meet.

West Thebarton Brothel Party (Photo: John Goodridge)
West Thebarton Brothel Party (Photo: John Goodridge)

Bunbury’s festival had a slight edge over the rest at Groovin’ the Moo this year, with special guests Of Monsters and Men performing an exclusive WA set during their whirlwind Australian trip. As Steph explained, their set had doubters put back in their place, “While there were debates about whether the chilled out indie folk rock was suitable for the late shift, the crowds were in full force swaying along in the freezing night.”

So while Groovin’ the Moo parks its breaks for another year, it’s evident that they still know how to pack a punch when it comes to programming a national tour of eclectic, diverse and entertaining artists.

Looking forward to going toe to toe with you again next year, Moo!