Words and images by Jasmijn van Houten | @jasmijnbianca
A fresh-faced baby on the Aussie festival scene, The Drop festival hit the shores of Torquay over the Easter long weekend. The festival is travelling around the country – from WA to Victoria to NSW – throughout March and April to coincide with the Australian leg of the World Surf League Championship Tour. Where the World Surf League celebrates the best in surf, The Drop shone the spotlight on the best in homegrown music.
Though the weekend was filled with festivals — no doubt timed to take advantage of the last weekend of daylight savings — The Drop still attracted a strong crowd, largely thanks to a compact but stellar lineup of Aussie favourites. The likes of SAFIA, Ruby Fields, Holy Holy, Dune Rats and San Cisco were packed into Torquay Common. The festival was set up around a single stage, with the grounds split up into all-ages and 18+ areas. Traffic flow between the two areas was pretty abysmal thanks to the bottleneck created by fenced off trees and having the bar entrance so close.
Ruby Fields and Holy Holy provided the perfect opening to the afternoon, paving the way to the sweaty mosh sesh that Dune Rats never fail to provide. San Cisco, like always, delivered their classic tunes, so that some folks couldn’t help but crowdsurf, despite calls from the band to be safe.
The crowd also brought their A-game fashion-wise, and that means bum bags and dirty moustaches galore —with some level of irony, one hopes.
Unfortunately not much more than bass made it into most of the 18+ area. If you were keen for chilling in the sun with a tinnie and tunes, you had to put up with some less-than-average sound — though this wasn’t an issue after nightfall, when most picnic blanket-donning families departed and made way for a dusty dancefloor.
SAFIA closed the night with a killer set that brought everybody out to groove, finishing with a cheeky encore of ‘Take Me Over’, as a sensational yellow full moon presided over it all.
The Drop has made a definitive mark on the one day festival scene, and hopefully it’s here to stay.