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WELCOME TO THE VALLEY

Pic: Thomas Davidson/shotbythom.com.au

Art Vs Science, Basenji, Yolanda Be Cool, D-Cup, Benji & El Cee, Steve Parkin, Charlie Bucket 

Saturday, October 25, 2014
Belvoir Amphitheatre

The weather might have dampened lederhosen but it did little to diminish the crowd’s spirits at this year’s Welcome to the Valley. The first part of the Oktoberfest-inspired experience began at Feral Brewing Company and Oakover Estate – with event organisers successfully (our hats off to them) transporting the thousands via buses to each location.

As the first load of German barmaids and overall clad men spilled out from the buses and into Feral Brewery, it was clear one thing was on their minds – beer. Despite three designated bar locations, the team were clearly struggling to keep up with demand. What was worse was the ATM line, with moneyless fellows waiting first for money, then secondly for drinks.

But once beers were in hand, the merriment began and everyone got sloshy.
The Welcome to the Valley plastic steins were a nice touch, transporting the event’s guests to a German-esque beer garden rather than the Swan Valley. Food came in the form of small noodle boxes, hot dogs with sauerkraut and chips, feeding the ravenous who snapped up the food before it even left the kitchen.

Things got a little less German and a whole lot looser as Steve Parkin and Charlie Bucket began dropping old skool beats, getting everyone to the dancefloor before people started to file back to the buses for the Belvoir after party.

The change in location brought with it rain, and people kept dry the best they could – huddling under food van verandas and the Red Bull Tasty Tent. Once the rain stopped it was back to the party, and straight on to Benji & El Cee. Next on the stage, which was decked out with greenery and a giant LED screen, was Basenji, who brought with him some electronic vibes and a nice mellow dance beat, as well as a Disclosure remix full of big pauses and heavy drops.

Art Vs Science had the entire theatre crawling, as bright yellow lights streamed through the venue. As the familiar lyrics “In a galaxy far far away” began mid-set, it seemed everyone on the ground had taken a sip from the Magic Fountain, the hype from each person buzzing around the theatre as everyone jumped and sang to the psychedelic song. And that was just the beginning. Electric guitar solos ensued, then, as if there wasn’t already a big enough buzz, Parlez-Vous Francais? turned it up a few notches. The gigantic diamond-shaped screen behind the trio lit up with 3D squares, falling broken glass, sound waves and aerial views of city streetscapes, a futuristic accompaniment to an out of this world set.  As Art Vs Science left the stage, so did a number of fans, content with their beer filled afternoon. The remaining mass weren’t left soundless, with DCUP playing remixes of R. Kelly and John Paul Young’s Love is in the Air. The giant LED screen continued to trance, with everything from smiley faces bouncing around to tie-dye moving backgrounds and music notes hypnotising onlookers.

Ending the night was Yolanda Be Cool, who injected a hint of summer festival vibe into the honeycomb arena with Rhythm of the Night and J.T.’s My Love. It was a magical last few hours filled with smoke, streams of light and rain dropping from the sky. Unfortunately, the weather was against the venue, and before long, the crowd thinned out. The last buses of the night came and went, and with them, steins, lederhosen and the many ‘Germans for a day’.

LILY YEANG