After reports on the blistering-hot-desert-like nature of last year’s Beyond The Valley, our bags were packed with an array of lightweight tee’s and sneakers. But APPARENTLY 2016 isn’t finished being a fucking asshole, one last hurrah seemed to be setting a giant thunderstorm and flash flood upon Victoria which is y’know, awesome for festivals…
Our timely arrival this year at BTV meant we had a little pre-warning that the rains were a’comin so poncho purchases were made (shout outs to the Kwik-e-mart for being legends and not overpricing goods). Before we could get our heat trapping plastic prisons over our heads however, the skies opened up and the lush rolling hills turned to slick mudslides.
Taking shelter in the dance tent, it was endlessly enjoyable to watch punter after punter slip and slide and end ass up in the mud. Nobody seemed to mind however as spirits were at an all time high, a little severe weather warning wasn’t going to stop anybody from having fun. Harts had managed to get through most of his set on the MainStage before the storm so it was Goldlink who was faced with the challenge of luring people away from shelter for his set. Determined not to miss one of our top picks, we found a small sheltered viewing area with an excellent view of the stage. Goldlink and his DJ brought so much untapped energy from the get go that by mid-set, the crowd had tripled in size. Performing a blend of his originals (including Spectrum, Dance on Me and Fall in Love) against a party anthem mashup worked perfectly to keep fans and non-fans entertained and his flow was as usual, flawless. The only real con is that we’ve seen almost this exact set before, both at Laneway and sideshows.
Thundamentals were next to face the challenge of the shelter-lacking MainStage and fared excellently, their dedicated fans stood with arms raised in exultation as they took to the stage. The rain was thinning at this point and we took the opportunity to test out the infamous food trucks. BTV gets their food selection right-a spicy eggplant wrap was enough fire in the belly to get us ready for the heat our next act. Catching the last few from Dena Amy in the dance tent got us right in the mood for Tigerilla who showcased his unique and infectious blend of party tunes. Some were unfamiliar with the Adelaide local but were adoring fans by the end. Mid-set, the crowd was treated to some new demos including a collaboration with Sydney’s Porches and veteran songbird Lisa Mitchell, if these are 2017’s releases then it will be a very big year for Tigerilla indeed. In a climactic finish, Ivan Ooze and a swathe of dancing babes took to the stage to get down to Tulips which was undoubtedly one of the best releases in 2016.
The rain finally began to fade and for those who hadn’t fully embraced the life of a muddy swamp rat, it was time to freshen up before the night’s festivities. Making it back of course for Bag Raiders who, clad in all white (brave) were a beautiful sight to see. The punters were now out in full force and the MainStage was heaving with the energy of a debaucherous night. There is something grossly nostalgic and beautiful heartwarming about tunes like Shooting Stars and Sunlight that make it impossible not to enter a state of music euphoria and really thats what festivals are all about.
The night’s closer was busy-bee’s Hermitude who as always-put on an incredible performance and worked the crowd into gleeful hysteria but after appearing on multiple festival lineups this year, we were left wanting something a little different from the duo.
Day two is underway with promising clear skies but we’re still off to purchase some cheap wellies.