In recent times, we have seen the demise of larger Australian festivals (Big Day Out, Soundwave, Stereosonic etc etc), leaving gaps for boutique festivals to fill and cater to more niche demographics. The Sunshine Coast, for a long time, had tended to miss out on such festivals, with only major (and brilliant) festivals – Caloundra Music Festival and of course, Woodford Folk Festival – leaving their mark.
Over the last few years, however, we have seen a rise in smaller festivals in our area attract punters from near and far, and do quite well. Just look at the success and growth of Big Pineapple Music Festival. It should be noted though, that most of these newer festivals still catered for a majority – a younger crowd.
So, this is where I’m going to give massive props to the Sea N Sound Festival, held recently (Saturday June 11) at The Wharf in Mooloolaba.
In comparison to some of the ‘larger’ boutique festivals in our area, this was only a smaller one (but by no means lacking), and honestly, it worked well because of this. About a third of the Wharf carpark was cordoned off for the outside festival area, with acts later playing on two different stages inside as well.
When you look at the line-up, Pete Murray, Ash Grunwald, Sahara Beck (who’s popularity is sky-rocketing right now), Carl Wockner Band (on one of his last Australian shows before moving to the US), Band of Frequencies, Transvaal Diamond Syndicate, the so-hot-right-now Pop Cult, Selahphonic, Tyrone Noonan and more, and for only a $45 admission, personally, this little festival had a lot of bang for its buck.
Combining the line-up with an easy lay-out, pop-up seafood stalls (and other food), and boutique beers (that weren’t at stupid festival prices), it made for an enjoyable, easy-going day.
And then I observed the crowd. Keeping in mind this was an 18+ event, the 18 to 25 demographic was easily overshadowed by the 30-plus crowd. Could be due to the artist selection, could be because of it being a smaller festival, whatever the cause, and I hate to say to admit it, but this was a festival more for older Gen Y’s and Gen X’ers… and something that has been lacking.
And now I sound old… but I don’t care.
So, well done Beats Cartel on the organisation of the first Sea N Sound Festival. Here’s to seeing another one next year.