What we learnt at Yours & Owls 2018

What started as a small festival for locals has grown into a event that has punters travelling from Sydney and surrounds, even from as far as Melbourne. It’s balance of indie, folk rock, heavy music, and local talent is admirable.

Throw in a big screen for the footy grand finals, a nearby beach with a cool breeze making moshpits bearable, plus a whole lot of music lovers, and you have Yours & Owls Festival.

We learnt a few things over the weekend…

yours & owls FEstival 2018 photos happy mag brooke tunbridge
Photos: Brooke Tunbridge

Yours & Owls 2018 was, as always, a festival to remember. Here are a few things we realised in Wollongong over the weekend.

Yours & Owls is so far in front of every other Australian festival when it comes to sustainability. Plates and cutlery given to punters at the festival were compostable when placed with food scraps. The bins were separated and clearly labelled; general rubbish (landfill), cans and bottles (recycling) and organic waste (compost).

There was water top up stations in every direction, “water angels” were walking around and hydrating the crowd, and a Plastic Free Wollongong stall with volunteer cleaners (you legends) and information on how to reduce single-use plastic in your life. The bars used reusable cups that punters put down a deposit for, to either take home as a souvenir or return to the bar for a refund.

The festival also planted 500 new native species before the festival in the local area, encouraging others to volunteer their time in return for a free ticket to the event.

Although their efforts are amazing, I don’t quite trust festival goers to sort their waste into separate bins, and saw a fair few of the reusable cups cracked and deserted on the ground. To make it work, they need our help! Take your own empty water bottle to the next festival you go to and make a difference in reducing single-use plastic being sent to landfill.

Sarah Blasko is underrated

Many were disappointed at D.D Dumbo pulling out of the festival, and were questioning Blasko as the replacement. I’m certain that after her set on Sunday, any doubts punters may have had would have disappeared. Her slow songs were amped up for the festival atmosphere with an electric energy.

Wollongong LOVES local artists

The Rad stage showcasing local home-grown talent was constantly packed. It was incredibly wholesome to see. The festival has grown a lot over the last couple of years, and it’s all thanks to the supporters of live music in the Wollongong scene, always backing local acts and events.

Angus & Julia Stone’s crowd halves after they play Big Jet Plane

After they’ve got their Snapchat and Instagram story footage of the husky sounding siblings playing their track Big Jet Plane, it’s time to retreat back to their group meeting place and talk over the rest of the set, saying how much they enjoyed that one song.

Those who were interested beyond the one track were gifted a few older tracks including Private Lawns, plus Angus adding a Dope Lemon track into the mix.

People still think it’s funny to whip out their nuts in photos (note: it wasn’t ever funny)

Way to make me super uncomfortable dude, thanks. Don’t ever be this guy.


Yours & Owls Festival showcased plenty of talented local artists and brought many much loved artists to Wollongong. As long as Yours & Owls Festival is around, I’ll be happy!

Check out our gallery from the day.