The words this and that don’t summon much excitement on their own, but when used together, they bring back memories of raving to electronic beats in a sweaty, energetic crowd on Newcastle’s Foreshore. The startup music festival This That was marketed as a boutique music event, with craft beer and food stalls alongside a killer lineup of 16 favourites divided between the This stage and the That stage. Sydney boys RÜFÜS headlined alongside Birds of Tokyo, with Sticky Fingers, The Jungle Giants, Baauer and Carmada just some of the other highlights.
Highlights of the event were hands down RÜFÜS’ performance of ‘You Were Right’, the lead single from their second album which was inspired from time spent exploring new artists in Berlin. RÜFÜS’ signature electronic sound came to life perfectly on the big stage and was impossible not to dance along to. Another crowd favourite was Birds of Tokyo’s ‘Lanterns’, where the voices of hundreds of croaky revellers would have surely been heard from Warners Bay. The award for the funniest crowd reaction to a song had to be Baauer’s Harlem Shake and believe me, people did not hold back.
The vibe at This That wasn’t like your average festival. It was creative, expressive and it was clear in its intentions to celebrate music as an art. Crowds danced to some of Australia’s best artists, balancing a fist pump in one hand and a Vodka Red Bull in the other. There was a section called The Other, with a bunch of market stalls selling flower garlands, handmade jewellery and vintage clothes. Heck, there was even a popup barber giving festivalgoers a trim. In this area, there were live performances and random beds and bathtubs lying around (which was more than appreciated by those who had been a little too gluttonous at the bar).
This That was a festival which would be enjoyed even by those who don’t typically enjoy festivals. There was a beautiful mix of vibes that ranged from artisan to electro distortion. If you wanted to fist pump to EDM, there was a place for that. If you wanted to sit in a lounge chair sipping a mojito, there was a place for that. This That was a welcome addition to the Newcastle music scene and has already got people asking when it will be back.