King Street Carnival 2022 | Our appetite for live music is larger than ever

This years’ King Street Carnival was a marvel. The resilience of the organisers, artists and fans is something to celebrate. And celebrate, we did.

Sydney’s live music scene has faced a barrage of challenges. Lockout laws, fires, floods, and a global pandemic, to name a few. The beating heart of Sydney’s entertainment industry has been neglected time and time again, left in the waiting room to rot. By all accounts, it should have ceased… but it hasn’t.

Creatives are a resilient breed, and this years’ King Street Carnival was full of them. Despite flooding cancelling outdoor performances, the festival marched on with secret acts, queues upon queues, and so much incredible, local talent. I had the privilege of seeing a handful of acts throughout the weekend. Below were three of my favourites.

King Street Carnival 2022
Towns @Marlborough Hotel

Budjerah – Waywards, 13/03/2022

Budjerah is a soulful prodigy. The young indigenous Australian recorded his debut EP under the wing of Matt Corby, and needless to say, burst onto the scene in unforgettable fashion. The artist and his airtight backing band graced Waywards on Sunday afternoon, treating audiences to bops like Higher, as well as two remarkable covers – Sweet Disposition, and Bridge Over Troubled Water. Before performing the latter, Budjerah informed the crowd of his religious upbringing, asking “can I take you to church?” Even the boozed-up inner-west youth couldn’t resist the call –“Woo!”.


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The Buoys – Marlborough Hotel 13/03/2022

It was a colossal weekend for The Buoys. Not only did they perform back-to-back shows at Oxford Art Factory and The Marley, but their track Lie To Me Again hit a million plays on Spotify. The Buoys put on a high-energy show, top to tail, with high-doses of crowd engagement. What I found especially memorable, was that every member had their time in the sun. Zoe ran into the crowd to spit bars. Hilary pulled off a behind-the-head guitar solo. Tess kicked off most of the songs with the kit. And Courtney’s badass energy (sunnies on) and angelic backing vocals existed in a realm of their own.


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Busty – Vic on the Park, 12/03/2022

Vic on the Park is typically full to the brim when it comes to listeners, but Saturday King Street Carnival was a different beast entirely. The performance area had turned into a heated mosh pit. Busty and his entourage were shirtless on stage, rising to the occasion with unpredictable, fierce energy. Bar after bar of trap/hip-hop music shook the room, turning what should have been a solid gig into something of a cultural stomping ground. Live music was back. And ScoMo, the police (‘fuck the police!’ was chanted multiple times), or COVID couldn’t stop a damn thing.


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