All week long, the weather bureau predicted storms for the weekend. I got my gumboots out, said farewell to the cute felt (totally not waterproof) hat I’d planned on wearing and braced myself for a soggy day at the Big Pineapple Music Festival.
Come Saturday, I awoke in my tent to blue skies and radiant sunshine. The weather gods had spoken, and all 13,000 fruitilicious punters were in for a stellar day filled with the holy trinity of Aussie festivals: sunshine, music and mates. Heading into the festival grounds, there was no denying the festival’s theme. Oversized citrus fruits were everywhere you looked, as were a seemingly endless number of food stalls, a giant Ferris wheel and a plethora of young Aussie music fiends dancing their hearts out.
In its fourth year, Big Pineapple has quickly established itself as one of the must-attend music festivals on the calendar. It falls in that perfect sweet spot where the temperature is just right to enjoy a day in the sun, and as one of the cheapest festivals around, there’s no doubting it’s phenomenal value. This year, the three stages were graced by the greatest line-up Aussie music has to offer. Luckily for you, I’m here to give you the low-down on everything you missed/everything you don’t remember from the juiciest music festival to rock Queensland soil this year.
Best chill vibes: Ocean Alley
Since releasing their debut album in 2016, Ocean Alley have had nothing but smooth sailing, and this performance was no different. Their most popular track, Yellow Mellow, had the crowd well and truly on board. As well as laying down some smooth reggae-esque vocals from leading man Baden Donegal, Ocean Alley wins the prize for the most people swaying their hands in the air like waves.
Most hectic mosh pit: Northlane
Although Northlane are a clear winner for this category, I can’t say it was unexpected. Playing tracks from their new album, Mesmer, Northlane were everything I’d hoped for and more. The energy these gents brought to their performance was infectious and it carried into the audience as countless fans let it all out and a circle pit formed front and centre. Big ups to everyone involved here, as this was equal parts raucous and yet still manageable for a 5’6” gal like me.
Stand out performance: Vera Blue
Vera can do no wrong this year in my books. She rocked the stage with effortless cool-chick vibes and chatty interjections, while her voice carried through the crowd like the ethereal queen she is. Vera Blue’s set felt like the love child of London Grammar and Broods and I wasn’t mad about that in the slightest.
Best set list: SAFIA
There was no doubting SAFIA had the whole crowd going from start to finish. Coming off the back of their first album release in September 2016, SAFIA weren’t shy of material for their set. They had the amphitheatre rocking out to tracks like Make Them Wheels Roll, Listen to Soul, Listen to Blues and Over You. Everyone went absolutely bananas (or should I say pineapples) for their funky electro track Counting Sheep too. All up, it would impossible to summarise their set with any word other than bangers.
Most unexpectedly amazing: The Veronicas
Returning to Big Pineapple for the second year running, the pop-punk princesses were the act that polarised my crew the most. Some were hectically keen to see their set, others weren’t fazed at all. I sat somewhere in the middle. In high school, I loved The Veronicas (like any other girl born in Brisbane in the ’90s), but I wasn’t exceptionally keen on their new music. HOLY COW DID THEY BLOW ME AWAY. I guess I’d forgotten that, just as I grew up, The Veronicas did too. Their stage presence was incredible and their voices were outstanding. They played all their classic tracks and even included a sultry cover of Drake’s Hotline Bling in their set. The entire mosh pit was singing along at the top of their lungs. Somehow, this crowd of 20-somethings still knew every word to every Veronicas song. Watching Lisa and Jess rock out on the Sea Shepherd stage was definitely the highlight of the whole festival for me.
Until next year BPMF, peace out!