If you’re like me you can already feel the festival season fast approaching. Your (or your parents) credit card is already burning a hole in your pocket as you watch the lineups roll in and excitement starts to take over your every waking moment. Everyone loves a good music festival right? Things like age, demographic, music taste etc. they don’t really matter as much as you think, simply because music festivals bring us all together (even if it’s just about giving the surrounding neighbours something to complain about). I’m all about cutting sick on the weekend and losing my biscuits to my favourite band until I eventually misplace all of my belongings, (and my friends) somewhere at the bottom of a mosh pit in a pile of mud, bliss.
For locals though, especially this April, the hardest decision isn’t to go to a particular festival or outlandish outdoor gig it’s which one? Strap in kids and get ready for some #realtalk because this is the (un)official Groovin vs Gumball debate. The breakdown, the pros and cons, because here at Newcastle Live we ask the hard questions, and get to the bottom of everything you need to know to make an informed decision of where to spend that last weekend in April.
The Line up
Duh. If you’re not starting here then dude where your head at? Music festivals are of course all about the music man. Groovin the Moo dropped a particularly tasty line up this year. One that is sure to set that spark of cool kid nostalgia a-burnin’. One of the things the people behind Groovin the Moo have always done well (I mean if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well) is consistently produce a really balanced line up. Disclaimer Paul flipping Kelly is on the line up guys, I was totally sold from that minute forward but I’ll try and keep my bias aside).
With the likes of the legendary Paul Kelly, Royal Blood and Grinspoon paired with Confidence Man, Sampa the Great, Vera Blue and Ball Park Music, there is literally something for everyone. Also, Bonus points for the organisers of Groovin the Moo who seem to actually understand what a diversified line up looks like. Just sayin’.
But, maybe you haven’t been keeping up with the latest in Triple J trends and the Groovin line up isn’t enough to brave the hoards of tweens on the train from Newcastle to Maitland and line up for hours to buy a mid strength beer only to have it knocked out of your hand after two sips. Despite the lack of diversity on the line up (it’s 2018 I’m not going to not mention it, just diversify your line up ya know) the folks at Dashville have produced a bit of a cracker as well. Remi leads the charge of course followed by the likes of UK’s The Cribs, Ben Salter as well as local legends Nicholas Connors, Lachlan X Morris and Baghead you’re sure to find something to tickle your fancy.
Ask yourself, what kind of festival experience are you hoping to have?
Groovin the Moo is one of those go hard go home type situations. Stamina wise you just need to keep in mine it’s just a half a day and one hell of a crazy night to drag your body through. You can do this, it’s manageable, right? Or, do you want a festival where you can go about things at your own pace, relax, breathe, take time to really take it all in? Unlike Groovin, Gumball is a three day camping festival giving you plenty of time to soak up the sights. Also, Gumball prides itself on being so much more than a music festival. With market stalls, gourmet food trucks, beer, yoga anything you can think of really, is right there at Dashville.
Although Groovin the Moo is an all ages event (yay), Gumball take this a step further, offering child minding services for kids 3-13 for the duration of the festival. I’m not going to comment on the pros and cons of either as that is really a personal choice type of thing.
Drink prices at festivals are getting down right ridiculous. I know it, you know it, festival organisers know it, the beer companies know it, even people who have never been to a festival know it, the prices are just too damn high. But we pay. We always pay. Unless you’re gong to Gumball of course because that little slice of paradise is all BYO bby! Sure there are venders on site and there are rules like no glass (for obvious reasons) but having the option to stock your parents esky with a whole bunch of your favourite tins and crack open a cold one with the boys (on the lineup) is a really really great thing. Good for your wallet, good for the environment and hey at the end of the day you do you.
Side note, when going to a festival, despite popular belief, eating is NOT cheating. Eating helps line your stomach before you inject an entire bottle of Little Fat Lamb. Duh.
Where are all your mates going?
I’ve been to many a music festival by myself. It’s part of the job and I’ve actually made a whole bunch of mates this way but, festival experiences re always always better with friends. Now is the time where you need to have the sit down convo, the hard conversations with your mates and figure out the logistics of where you want to go. Also, just a casual FYI, you can make like that famous Old el Paso commercial and say why not have both? Why not splash out and purchase a full weekend ticket for Gumball, pop by Groovin to see your favourite acts on the Saturday, and return to your ever trusty Gumball campsite when you’re finished kicking it with the kids. It’s a win, win, win.