Review: We went to SOULFEST on the weekend. Read our thoughts here...

Monday, October 20, 2014

 (photograph by Kristy Smolcic)

When Soulfest announced that they were bringing a festival dedicated to neo-soul, many people had questions. Would it work? Australia's festival scene has been on decline in recent years. Also, was Australia ready for a festival featuring the very best of Soul and Hip hop?

Yesterday was a clear sign that Australia is ready for Soulfest.

The morning started with a hiccup. The Spotify stage featuring local talent was cancelled due to logistical issues. The festival dealt with this efficiently and offered refunds to anyone who was left disappointed. Even though it was a shame that we didn't get to see the local artists, that disappointment was short-lived.

The fact of the matter is, Soulfest presented Melbournians with not only a well organised festival, but one with great vibes everywhere. We've attended many festivals and events, but yesterday was a unique experience. It was incredible to see such a diverse group of people come together and have a good time. Everything, including the food, was perfect.

Each artist brought something different to the event. Angie Soul brought class and sass to the stage. Aloe Blacc opened up with the crowd favourite 'I need a Dollar'. I can't remember seeing a single person sitting throughout his entire set. D'Angelo and Maxwell continued to bring impeccable soul throughout the night.

Our stand out artist of the day was Common. Despite the event only being a boutique festival, he brought enough energy as if he was playing at the MCG down the road. He is the master of flow, and reaffirmed why he is one of the greatest MC's to ever create hip hop. His set was a combination of his conscious hip hop flows as well as a few bangers to get the crowd moving. During 'Come Close', he serenaded a lucky young lady from the crowd.

Mos Def also brought his intelligent hip hop to the festival-goers brilliantly. When much of hip hop has turned pretentious and over produced, Mos Def proved why stellar word play and words with meaning reign superior.

Soulfest proved to be a world class festival. Hopefully next year is just as special, we know it will be.

Written by Amy Smolcic