The Falls Festival 2012

As the Christmas festivities come to an end and the only reminder are the extra inches around the waist, it’s time to look forward to a New Year. What better way to celebrate the onset of a New Year than listening to plenty of great music, especially in a great location like Lorne. This year was to be extra special for both Falls Festivals in both Lorne and Marion Bay, Tasmania. For Lorne it was the 20th Anniversary while in Marion Bay, they were celebrating the 10th Anniversary.

For the first day it was all about arriving safely and getting everything set up for a few days fun in the sun. The only drawback was getting caught in the huge line of traffic snaking down the road to the Falls site. The impromptu Frisbee tournaments and a chance to rearrange the esky whilst waiting in the traffic jam broke the monotony. On the plus side, when you go there you were assured of a weekend of great entertainment. Once set up, day 1 entertainment were a number of DJ’s on hand to get the mindset locked into carefree days of rhythm.

The main action started on Day 2 and the stream of cars kept on coming. It was going to be a capacity crowd celebrating the 20th Falls Festival. Using just the one stage, The Valley Stage, a mixed genre of music was allocated to be played. One of the first bands up and pumping out the foot tapping beats of Rockabilly were The Rechords. Hitting the stage in their 50’s garb, they soon had a few people in the crowd up and dancing. Falls now was officially up and running. Falls first timers The Trouble with Templeton were up next and they showed the experience gained from a year of touring and recording. They performed a perfect set and the appreciation was certainly shown at the end. The names just kept rolling on, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, San Cisco, Husky, Lisa Mitchell, all gave knockout performances. Sharon Van Etten, not only another Falls first timer but also her first time in Australia, put on a stellar performance very much appreciated by the continually growing crowd. Let’s hope it’s not too long before we see Van Etten return to the shores of Australia.

During the breaks, a myriad of choice of foods were available to the masses from the usual pizza through to Hare Krishna, Mexican, Thai Noodles and Turkish. Plenty of delicacies to satisfy any appetite. When you thought the day couldn’t get any better, acts like Bombay Bicycle Club, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Django Django and The Hives finished off the day magnificently. The stand out of Day 2 would have to be The Hives. Starting the set in customary Top Hats and Tuxedo’s, they soon had the crowd hypnotised with their garage beats. Lead singer, Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist (Per Almqvist), showed his athleticism as he jumped from the drum kit and leapt high into the air on several occasions. A brilliant, high energy performance.

Day 3 took over from where Day 2 had finished and the immense talent just kept on coming. Certain section of the crowd had worked long and hard on their Falls dress code. There were Cavemen, Indians, Gumby, Spiderman and a myriad of other characters mingling with the norm. We even found Where’s Wally. This day was going to be big. Both stages were in action today so it was going to be double the excitement of the amount of music choice you had. As the sun streamed down for another perfect summer day, the entertainment was provided by Fraser A. Gorman, Ball Park Music, Jinja Safari and The Bamboo’s on the Valley Stage. The Grand Theatre hosted the likes of Howlin’ Steam Train, Regular John, Millions and comedy from Felicity Ward. When Ash Grunwald took to the stage in the Grand Theatre, it was a great surprise when he introduced two special guests that were going to be playing with him. Scotty Owen from The Living End and Rob Hirst from Midnight Oil joined him on stage to give an outstanding set of music. A cover of Gnarls Barklays’ “Crazy” started the set off with these very accomplished musicians. While everyone was mesmerised from Grunwalds set, Oh Mercy and Cosmo Jarvis kept up the incredible pace to take the crowd to musical heaven.

Back on the Valley Stage, The Vaccines, SBTRKT, Beach House and Boy and Bear kept the festival goers entertained. With so much great music going on the only decision that was hard to make was who to see next. This decision was easily solved when The Flaming Lips took to the Valley Stage. The next decision was where to look with everything going on with their performance. The excitement started with Wayne Coyne, lead singer of The Flaming Lips, getting inside a huge ball and rolling across the hands of the crowd. Once back on stage, the crowd was bombarded with huge colourful balloons and streams of confetti. A rainbow of colour had filled the night sky. Dancers had come to both sides of the stage while The Flaming Lips worked effortlessly through their set. The keyboard player played one of the numbers on his mobile phone as an extension to his keyboard. With a great number of highlights on Day 3, this had to be the standout performance. The colour, the music, the overall party atmosphere is what this festival is all about and it was certainly being delivered.

When Day 4 came around, the atmosphere was just as strong as Day 1. There was probably just a tinge of sadness on this day knowing it was the last day of the festival. Having said that, there was still a full day of great music to be heard. The Valley Stage hosted Hayden Calnin, The Jungle Giants, Best Coast and Bertie Blackman. The Grand Theatre started the day with Daniel Champagne and carried on with Tinpan Orange, Angus Stone, Bleeding Knees Club and a bit of comedy with Jason Byrne. Loon Lake came on stage kicking small footies into the crowd before giving a superb performance that kept the crowd on their toes and rocking the afternoon away. Back on the Valley Stage, First Aid Kit, Matt Corby and Maximo Park were turning up the heat. As the evening started and everyone was getting ready to embrace the start of a New Year, the Fiesta made its way through the grounds putting on show the Artwork people had taken the time to make over the last few days. The party parade went through the campsite and all through the arena to get the people dancing and ready for the countdown to another year. Back in the Grand Theatre, World Ends Press were giving a performance in colour and smoke before Parachute Youth came on stage and became the last act of 2012. On the Valley stage, the Hilltop Hoods were hip hopping at great speed before a sensational AV show to commemorate the 20 years of festival action at Falls in Lorne. Two Door Cinema Club were the last act of 2012 on the Valley Stage and Alex Trimble took over countdown duties to bring in 2013. A great cheer went up to bring in the New Year with handshakes and hugs all around and a curious expectation of what the year would bring. The music played on into the night before the exodus would begin in the light of day. Falls had been played out for another year and once again, had done it perfectly.

From the uncertainty that a year brings, we hope the one thing that we can be certain of is that we can wish Falls Festival in Lorne a very happy 21st Birthday.
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