Lifestyle & Culture

Requestival: the once in a lifetime campaign that connected Australia

As COVID-19 continues to restrict our access to the events we’d usually be attending, triple j shows initiative by thinking out of the box. Gemma Ferguson gives you the inside scoop on the radio station’s latest campaign: Requestival.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with triple j, you may not have heard of Requestival. Throughout the final week of autumn 2020, when we were all locked indoors amidst COVID-19 panic, the alternative music broadcaster set out to achieve one goal: to play nothing but listener requests for a whole week. And to say it absolutely slapped, is an understatement.

Some of the very best tunes

Over the whole of Requestival, over 70,000 songs were requested by you, and played by the triple j hosts. The station’s usually tendency to lean toward alternative, new, and/or Australian music was completely thrown out the window. Here’s some of my faves from Requestival:

  • All Star – Smash Mouth
  • APESHIT – The Carters
  • Bound 2 – Kanye West
  • Bulletproof – La Roux
  • California Love – 2Pac
  • Fergalicious – Fergie
  • I Write Sins Not Tragedies – Panic! At The Disco
  • Is It A Banger? – Odd Mob
  • Midnight Hour – Skrillex, Boys Noize & Ty Dolla $ign
  • Reservoir Dogs – Bliss N Eso
  • Sk8er Boi – Avril Lavigne
  • Sunflower – Post Malone & Swae Lee
  • thank u, next – Ariana Grande
  • Tongue Tied – Grouplove
  • Typical Story – Hobo Johnson
  • Watermelon Sugar – Harry Styles
  • Where Is The Love – The Black Eyed Peas
  • Work It – Missy Elliott

I’ve definitely heard some of these played on triple j before (like Joji, Bliss N Eso, Post Malone, and Skrillex), but most of them made their debut on the station during Requestival. I can almost guarantee you know at least a few of them. These are all songs I have saved on Spotify, and I highly recommend every single one of them.

Cooked with a capital C

Listeners really put on their thinking caps during Requestival, and searched the deepest corners of their memories when selecting requests. The below list isn’t, by any means, my absolute faves, but I applaud the Aussies who thought to request such interesting songs.

This list also doesn’t cover every fantastic song played during Requestival, but they’re some of the choices that had me bopping along when they played. I believe these songs would make a perfect post-lockdown playlist for those house parties we’re all excited to attend – these tunes are universal and loved by many.

Warning, you might think you don’t know some of these, but trust me, you do. For most of them, this is the only time you’ll hear them played on triple j (yes, they’re that cooked). Here’s just a taste of the madness that was Requestival:

  • 9 To 5 – Dolly Parton
  • Africa – Toto
  • Axel F – Crazy Frog
  • Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot
  • Beautiful Day – U2
  • Because I Got High – Afroman
  • Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  • Boombastic – Shaggy
  • Bring It All Back – S Club 7
  • Bye Bye Bye – *NSYNC
  • Chattahoochee – Alan Jackson
  • Crank That (Soulja Boy) – Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em
  • Eagle Rock – Daddy Cool
  • Everytime We Touch – Cascada
  • Gimme More – Britney Spears
  • Hey Ya! – Outkast
  • I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston
  • I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys
  • I’ll Make A Man Out Of You – Donny Osmond
  • Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix) – Los Del Rio
  • Mambo Number 5 (A Little Bit Of…) – Lou Bega
  • Man! I Feel Like A Woman – Shania Twain
  • Milkshake – Keils
  • No Scrubs – TLC
  • Nutbush City Limits – Tina Turner
  • Party In The U.S.A – Miley Cyrus
  • Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
  • Ride Wit Me – Nelly
  • Rolling In The Deep – Adele
  • Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
  • Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
  • Smooth Criminal – Alien Ant Farm
  • Space Jam – Quad City DJ’s
  • Strawberry Kisses – Nikki Webster
  • Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
  • Symphony No. 5 (in C minor) – Beethoven
  • Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus
  • That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
  • The Joker – Gina Riley (yes, it’s the Kath & Kim theme song)
  • Timber – Pitbull, Ke$ha
  • UFO – Sneaky Sound System
  • Wannabe – Spice Girls

Innovation in unusual times

I truly commend triple j for creating such a fun campaign to unite music-lovers during this crazy time. Requestival opened Australia up to music that we don’t usually hear, songs we had totally forgotten about. Listening to so many amazing tunes, hearing the hosts laugh after playing such off-brand songs (looking at you, Crazy Frog), and seeing a few of the reasons behind certain picks, really made me feel connected. Despite socially-distancing, and doing a lot less socialising than I’m used to, triple j gave me that feeling of anticipation and excitement as the week rolled on.

Even though we can’t attend real festivals right now, I’m so proud to see the triple j team thinking outside of the box. In such strange times, it’s the organisations who innovate for the sake of their audience, that we’ll remember fondly. Thanks to our fellow content creators and music lovers, we were given a campaign of absolute craziness – and it was amazing. Thank you triple j, and thank you Australia.


Feature Image: Daisy Peachman, Yak Media Designer

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