Adelaide has a new music festival and if last Friday was anything to go by, it’s got what it takes to be a roaring success into the future. With a carefully curated line up of indie-electronica, dance rock and an international DJ superstar, OH YES Festival, has the perfect formula for easy danceable music that pleases a young, fashion-conscious, yet still discerning crowd.
Rising electronica star Just A Gent making an entrance in a top hat, suit jacket and bow tie drew in the crowd for his mixture of ambient music and high octane trap. The live guest vocals from Samsara really took the show up a notch and her assured stage presence was captivating. Northeast Party House again proved why they have become such a bankable live act with slick, hook driven dance rock with fans singing along to old favourites like Youth Allowance, or swaying to this year’s hypnotic Calypso Beach.
Like a modern Australian Portishead, Vallis Alps have an aura and a sophistication about them that translates brilliantly live. The combination of chilled ambient synths and bombastic drum pads showcased how textured electronica can and should be executed. This was an ideal launching pad into SAFIA who once again prove why they have emerged as one of the best acts in Australia. The memorable hooks of Make Them Wheels Roll rang out across the young crowd now starting to swoon with a few drinks under their belt. Listen to Soul, Listen to Blues still sounds amazing and their stage presence and smattering of great tracks more than justified their place on this fantastic line up.
When PNAU took to the stage the whole night lifted, arguably reaching the apex of the festival. The lead in to Wild Strawberries created an aura, while Nick Littlemore hovered and haunted his way around the stage. Chameleon is arguably the best dancefloor banger by an Australian act for a long time and it’s a sure-fire way to get a crowd moving.
UK dance giant Duke Dumont was a fantastic choice to finish the festival, although without the stage energy of PNAU. With consistent pulsing beats with enough complexity and hooks to keep the crowd moving, predictably I Got U and Ocean Drive sounded huge live and were lapped up by the audience.
The sound was near perfect for most of the festival with solid staging and lighting another highlight. With a vibe of a smaller Laneway and Parklife and a line up focused on dance music, OH YES, hits all of the right notes to be here for the long term. Perhaps the VIP area could have been raised or spruced up and a coffee place wouldn’t have gone astray, but that’s just picking at straws. For a first time festival, it’s fair to say OH YES was a huge hit with attendees and one of the parties of the year. Praise should go to the Social Creative, Fat Controller and 5/4 Management for running such a fantastic party. Here’s to next year!
If you were lucky enough to go, see if you can spot yourself in our OH YES photo gallery.