Review: Party in the Paddock – 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018

If ever in your life you've wondered what it would be like to go to a completely random field and dance with several thousand strangers over a weekend, Party in the Paddock was made just for you. 

Three days of madness, fun and near non-stop music ensured that all fans were going to walk away saying “Woah, what a weekend” with each day bringing different highlights. It also allowed first-time festival attendees to veterans of the scene to experience the fun and flair in their unique ways. 

Mallrat, Waax, Crooked Colours and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Baker Boy all ruled the Thursday pre-party stage. Baker Boy was full of passion, love and joy, displaying exactly why he’s becoming a big part of Australia's rap scene. The pre-party was a massive success with nearly two thousand people streaming through the gates to see the acts opening the festival. 

Friday was where the party really took off, with Tired Lion and Tkay Maidza bringing the energy before Dave Le’aupepe and the rest of Gang of Youths hit the paddock stage, with six and a half thousand people quickly descending on what could be considered the set of the weekend. As usual, Dave was a king of fan interaction and stagecraft, crowd surfing and dancing. It’s these kinds of performances that you wait for as a fan, with the band bringing all the emotion, rhythm and connective power that Gang of Youths are so well known for, as they gave a memorable performance to the people in the paddock including tracks such as 'Magnolia', 'The Heart is a Muscle' and 'Say Yes to Life'. 

Throughout the festival, clashes were easily avoidable with most artists scheduled between one another, with smaller stage acts placed in between the main stage and the DJ and comedy placed early in the days so everyone could catch them. 

Unfortunately, Meg Mac’s Saturday set was cut down to two songs, 'Grace Gold' and 'Never Be', due to the rain bucketing down on the stage and festival-goers. For both her avid fans braving the rain and for Meg Mac herself it was a disappointing experience, but thankfully, for the rest of the festival, the weather cleared and Ball Park Music, Grouplove and the Avalanches were able to go ahead for their incredible sets. 

To cap it all off, early on Sunday morning, due to the sell out of tickets, the party was lucky enough to be rocked by Australian rap group Thundermentals. Their set on the smaller big top stage pulled the whole festival worth of people to see out Party in the Paddock in emphatic style, closing the show on 'Sally', causing the crowd to explode with excitement. 

Party in the Paddock is definitely one to attend in 2019, keep an eye out for an expansion of acts and crowd numbers next year.

Written by Daniel Hanssen