26 May, Big Pineapple Music Festival

Welcome to the sunshine state, a place of wanderlust and the lushest scenery. The Big Pineapple Music Festival was back, and yet again, held far more than a number of stages and various stellar artists. The crowds we’re rolling in and EVERYBODY was ready to party.

Through the entrance gates was a semi-circle of food stalls, immediately giving me a craving for some Mexican food.

Moving passed the Superlove Stage and Pineapple Xpress – where Doolie was spreading her sweetest sounds – we made our way to the drinks tickets stall before the lines became unreasonable. I’m still waiting on that tap and go!

The grounds were incredible. With beautiful rolling green hills you could see for miles; a Ferris wheel centered perfectly between all stages, a variety of chill out spots and plenty of food and drink to go round for everyone, there was so much space for all and any activity.

Punters wore pineapple printed socks beneath banana costumes and a sea of camouflage pants plagued the festival grounds, along with one woman, dressed exactly like the perfect party pineapple. The judges of best dressed this year were in for a treat!

While triple j Unearthed winner Arno Faraji tore up the Pineapple Xpress stage, Kim Churchill played new and old bangers for an impressive crowd on the Sea Shepherd Stage in the early afternoon. The sun was shining, the audience was singing and the drinks had everyone dancing!

Bright outfits stood out from the crowds – as did three men dressed in kangaroo costumes that looked more real than fake. A trip on the Ferris wheel allowed all festival goers to experience a view of the entire festival.

There was nowhere to hide from the view at the top. I looked on as Pow! Negro and Tired Lion got everyone grooving at both main stages.

I took the time out to talk with some punters on their experience so far.

I found Harpy Kaur from the Gold Coast with her friends, taking some time out for a nap in-between sets in a shady corner of the festival. “It’s amazing, the atmosphere here is incredible,” she said as she was hilariously interrupted by a passerby yelling at her to “sleep when you’re dead” – at least he seemed to be having a great time himself!

She finished by sharing, “Everyone seems to be having a wonderful time. The music’s amazing and I’m so happy to be here with all of my friends!”

It was awesome to know I wasn’t the only one having the time of my life, as clear as it was by just simply taking a look around. The morning flew by when I found myself at the Pineapple Xpress stage, at just about 3pm – anticipating what Camouflage Rose was bound to bring to the stage. He played a number of hits including his latest singles Wildflower and Late Nights bringing in a crowd extending to the top of the hill.

At large, the festival was put together incredibly well, despite the fact that the only way to get to and from the festival was a bus. This put a damper on those wanting to arrive or leave early via uber or pick-up by friends or family. The transport issue at Big Piney has unfortunately not quite been resolved.

However, the introduction of camping saw many guests arrive the night before as ready as ever for the day ahead of them. I met with one girl, Beth from Greenslopes, who shared with me her camping experience of forgetting her tent. This meant cold and sleepless nights for Beth and her friend Bella.

Whilst sharing her love for the festival with me, she also begged me to share her camping struggles and need for sleep in this review – this one is for you Beth, I hope you got some sleep after the rest of your festival antics last night!

North East Party House tore the house down in their late afternoon set, while the sun was slipping away behind the Ferris wheel and hills.

The dual main stages saw a number of genres as Allday followed up Cub Sport’s incredible set, which of course included the most intimate performance ever of their hit, Come On, Mess Me Up. Violent Soho, Slumberjack and Hayden James were all still yet to come.

One way Big Piney never ceases to impress is the number of drink tents, the hundreds of porter potties, the incredible amount of red frogs and its numerous security and safety staff.

Whether it’s water, a spot to rest, some sugary goodness or some help to find your way around – you need it – they’ve got it. A large number of lovely staff and volunteers were extremely helpful.

Crooked Colours put on one hell of a show at the Superlove stage, with their eclectic tunes, vivid sounds and visuals. Everyone who came along for the show seemed to be having the time of their lives.

As the night went on and the air just seemed to be getting colder and colder, crowds squashed together becoming insanely large moshes – all for the sake of staying warm.

It is without a doubt that Illy left the crowd in awe after performing one hell of a set and all his best tunes including Catch 22Two Degrees and crowd-favourite, Tightrope.

The morning after heard lots of talk that Superlove’s closing artist for the night, Slumberjack, took home the punter award for best set of the night. Incredible visuals filled the stage and the repeated instruction to “jump, jump, jump” had the entire hill bursting with energy, bouncing along to each and every hit of a beat. Absolutely incredible.

Shortly after, Hayden James put on the show we had all been waiting for. An endless sea of people had bunched together – either for warmth or the excitement over the show – I can’t be quite sure.

Streamers filled the air as party-goers screamed the lyrics to NUMB. Just A Lover, saw the entire crowd moving to each and every beat. This was awesome. Exactly what I’d been waiting the whole night to see and it lived up to all of my expectations.

But it wasn’t until Violent Soho took to the triple j stage and did exactly what they do best that I found myself truly living my best life. A number of (moderately unsafe) death pits and their usual bangers filled the entire ground all the way through to the drink stands.

After what felt like a short break from Australian shows, the boys were back and better than ever. A Violent Soho set is not something you’d want to miss. Especially at Big Pineapple, close to home and full of life, tracks such as Like Soda and Viceroy were the perfect way to have one final dance and get messy at the end of a long day.

As the music shut off and the lights became sparse, we trudged our way back up the hills and slowly out of the festival gates to the bus lines. We left with big smiles, cold bodies, and sore feet – but nevertheless, it was worth it.

See you next year Big Piney!