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BYO, banter, and budgy smugglers: here’s what you missed at Festival of the Sun 2017

A sold-out crowd and a weekend of sunshine (with a touch of rain – not enough to dampen spirits) was the perfect formula for Festival Of The Sun 2017.

Festival of the Sun, held in Port Macquarie over the weekend, is in its 12th year, a number that amazes me every time I’m reminded of its origins. Meg Mac, Holy Holy, The Preatures and Ball Park Music were just some of the acts that entertained the dehydrated, speedo wearing crowd.

As I entered the festival campgrounds, I was greeted by a guy wearing budgy smugglers, rubbing himself up against a car. The festival hadn’t even started yet, so I knew to prepare myself for a messy weekend.

In case you weren’t aware, FOTSUN is a BYO festival (yes, such a thing exists), so it’s bound to be a big one. Here’s what I learnt at this year’s FOTSUN:

People are dedicated when it comes to costumes

From budgy smugglers to a guy wearing an inflatable gym ball with the sign “Uranus”, there were some wonderfully weird costumes over the weekend.

Wasn’t a huge fan of the speedos (they just remind me of Tony Abbott), although I was impressed when I discovered they weren’t available at the merch desk and that they had sourced them themselves. If you want to wear a costume to a festival, there are few better haunts.

Quality side stage banter

The second stage was home to the smaller acts, local bands, and all-round legends. All of them were grateful, even if they were only playing to a handful of people, and everyone that played on the side stage amped the crowd up.

In between chanting of “Newcastle”, (which gradually shifted to “used car sales”) during RAAVE TAPES, it was clear that a lot of Novocastrians had travelled north for the weekend. I’m sure there were a lot of locals, but they just weren’t as vocal about their town.

Festivals next to a beach are 10x more chilled (fact)

Drifting between watching live music and swimming at the beach is the most satisfying element of this festival (BYO aside). For those who don’t shower at festivals, or don’t want to go through packets of wipes trying to compromise, just take a dip in the ocean, easy! It meant that inside the grounds, there wasn’t really a need for shoes, although my bruised foot says otherwise.

There were more people at their campsites than inside the festival for Horrorshow, the last act, who admittedly weren’t bringing the right vibe to close the festival, as it peaked at The Preatures (can anyone really match with Izzy’s glowing stage presence though?).

It’s a festival that I’ll be returning to! Tickets sell out super quickly so if you want to go next year, make sure that you’re on top of it.

Photos and words by Brooke Tunbridge.