What do you get when you combine a seaside sunset and some pretty big indie-rock artists? Adelaide’s newest one day music festival, Beach Life.
When the doors opened at 4pm, it was a small crowd that gathered at the gate to watch the first act of the night, Adelaide’s homegrown indie-pop artist, Mane. Her hauntingly beautiful vocals echoed through Glenelg beach as she danced along, the beachy breeze flowing through her hair. She sang some of her latest tracks, including crowd favourites ‘Save Yourself’ and ‘Chasing Butterflies’, which had everyone on the beach swaying along to the synth as they soaked up the sun from their picnic blankets.
In a quick change of tune, Last Dinosaurs came out to hype up the crowd with tracks from their new album ‘Yumeno Garden’, as well as some old favourites. Songs like ‘Dominos’ and ‘Sense’ had the crowd bouncing along to the punchy guitar riffs and energising vocals. A groovy cover of Junior Senior’s ‘Move Your Feet’ got the crowd’s energy right up, as they screamed the lyrics back to bassist, Michael Sloane, who belted out the lyrics like they were his own. Coming to the festival early had its advantage, as I was now front of centre of the fast growing mosh pit that had formed behind me throughout the set.
By the time Winston Surfshirt hit the stage, the crowd was energised and ready to go. Winston’s charming stage presence and slick dance moves got the crowd grooving along to the band’s smooth sound. Passing around a bottle of Galliano and jumping into the audience for a quick selfie, Winston himself stole the show as he grooved around the stage, making the large festival feel like an intimate gig. Closing up the set with ‘Be About You’, the crowd couldn’t help but dance as the soulful tune and glowing sunset made for the perfect atmosphere.
Just as the sun had set for the day, The Kooks came out ready to party. By now the crowd had tripled in size since the opening of the event, even drawing large crowds outside the gates who were gathering on the beach front to get a glimpse of the action (which was pretty easy with the wire gates giving outsiders a full view of the festival and the stage itself). The Kooks started their set with some tracks off their new album, Let’s Go Sunshine. Lead singer, Luke Pritchard burst out onto thestage in his bold leopard print shirt as he bopped along, interacting with the crowed at every chance he got. The explosive and vibrant lighting created an energising feel, and when paired with tracks like ‘Four Leaf Clover’, it was electric.
Things slowed down in the middle of the set, as the crowd was invited to slow dance with their lovers to old classic ‘Seaside’, which was made even better by the fact that we were in fact right on the beach front. Raising the crowds spirits once again, The Kooks gave us their big finish. The crowd roared as soon as they heard the intro to arguably The Kooks most recognisable hit, ‘Naive’. Friends got up on their mates shoulders and strangers had their arms wrapped around each other as the crowed came together in a state of bliss to revel in final song of the night.
All in all, the festival was a success. The combination of indie-rock, soulful beats and a seaside sunset was the perfect was to spend the last Friday night of 2018. While a few people argued the beach-goers who watched for free from the outside the event were the smart ones, nothing compares to the feeling of being engrossed in a big mosh pit full of music lovers like yourself, while you sway along to the beat. Only tip for next time is to apply sunscreen, because I didn’t (and I’m still paying for it today).
All images via Dave Rubinich