Party in the Park Review 2016

If you get an opportunity to party on a football field with a bunch of Sydney-siders, you better take it. Chris Daniel learns a thing or two about the new and exciting festival, Party in the Park.

Only two years old, the Party in the Park festival is on its way to becoming one of the biggest annual festivals in Sydney. Abolishing all expectations of what a music festival should be, it attracted a roster of artists both locally and nationally, including bands such as Ball Park Music, The Jungle Giants and Dune Rats.

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Dune Rats at Party in the Park. Photo via Chris Daniel

Situated on a football field in North Narrabeen, the arts festival didn’t disappoint, as it was not just limited to music. By incorporating both market stalls and live art into its schedule, it appealed to a larger crowd.

With a diverse range of music spread over the course of the day, here is what I learnt from this year’s festival.

1. Security was tight AF.

Once you are in the festival, there is literally no backing out. It was pretty much Fort Knox the entire day. Although it is safe to say that the festival was successful, it became increasingly difficult for media personnel to navigate around the grounds without hassle. Having to lob around heavy and expensive equipment the entire day meant that identifying yourself became a little easier.

2. Live art is not a dying trend.

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Live art entertained crowds the entire day. Photo via Chris Daniel

In fact, it was one of the focal points of the day. Having watched the process of an empty canvas transform into an eclectic masterpiece over a matter of five hours, proved that a new generation of artists have become inspired by Sydney’s unique culture and lifestyle. As an arts festival, it is vital to showcase a variety of different art forms, spreading its limitations beyond music.

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Live art entertained crowds the entire day. Photo via Chris Daniel

3. Local music matters.

Everywhere has a local music scene, it provides the foundations for a culture. After watching how important local music is after the festival, it is clear that the contemporary music scene in Sydney is dying, but can undoubtedly be fixed by these newcomers, who have taught us that smaller bands aren’t limited to guitars, drums and lyrics about a girl they once met.

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Local band Lime Cordiale frontman Louis Leimbach. Photo via Chris Daniel

Kicking off the festival was Sydney based band Ocean Alley, a psychedelic and reggae infused set, behind the masterminds of six young Sydney siders. Warming up the crowd with banter and chilled out vibes, the band introduced the next set from Narrabeen’s own Sons of the East; the indie folk band who had travelled an entire distance of only two suburbs away really painted a picture of the word ‘home’. A mix of banjo and harmonies controlled by brawny frontman, Jack Rollins, differed entirely from the set beforehand, welcoming the slowly growing crowd to the field. Lime Cordiale, the crazy invention of brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach, played with a mix of indie pop rock melted into one set, before concluding the roster of local acts.

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Local band Sons of the East frontman Jack Rollins. Photo via Chris Daniel

4. Larger acts were the talking point of the day.

The festival had mainly led up to the acts of Dune Rats, Ball Park Music and The Jungle Giants, who were favoured in the minds of most festival goers. Dune Rats, who without doubt chose their set time to play through 4:20, were the dark horses of the day, using their wacked out vibes to amp up the crowd for what was to come. Other headline acts, Ball Park Music and The Jungle Giants, played through a discography of favourites before leading into a techno based night of DJ’s, drawing an end to the festival.

5. Small scale festivals are soon to dominate.

With bigger music festivals such as Soundwave and Big Day Out now cancelled, crowds have edged towards smaller scale festivals including Party in the Park and Mountain Sounds, both of which have only been running for two years. As ticket sales for these events have skyrocketed, introducing a bill of large acts (some including international acts) and incorporating a range of other things such as art and markets, these smaller scale events are soon to attract an increasing population.

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One stage, ten artists. Photo via Chris Daniel

Check out the interviews with Ball Park Music, Dune Rats and Sons of the East in the upcoming weeks.

Feature image via Chris Daniel.