The 2019 BASSINTHEGRASS festival was billed as the largest music festival ever held in the NT, reflected in the sell-out crowd of 10,000.
Celebrating its 17th year with double the acts of previous years, a new venue (the super-pretty and popular Mindil Beach), and not-one-but-TWO stages, it was AMAZING. And HOT. (Oh, so very hot).
A huge line-up of performers from the Northern Territory, the rest of Australia and New Zealand, kept music lovers of all ages on their feet (or in recovery/sleep-mode on their picnic blankets) for a solid 12 hours (which stretched to nearly 13 hours for those with a super-human level of energy and hydration to last to the end of PNAU’scharged set).
Some highlights from across the two stages ….
Mallrat, Beachfront Stage
With an early-ish billing, while fans were still getting into festival mode, Mallrat (brilliantly supported by DJ Denim), got the crowd jumping, climbing onto their friend’s shoulders and singing along to her adorable pop tunes. There’s a J-Pop element to Mallrat, Mid-way through ‘Bunny Island’, she translates the Japanese lyrics she’s been singing – yup, a J-Pop influence.
Allday, also performing at BASSINTHEGRASS, joined Mallrat on stage for UFO. Awesome! There was lots of love and energy for Mallrat despite the killer early-afternoon sun. She was perfect for getting everyone into a happy festival state of mind.
Ruel, Beachfront Stage
With the energy and enthusiasm of a 16 year old (which he is), Ruel is ‘just getting started’ …. But the BASSINTHEGRASS crowd knew him well, bouncing and singing along to the recently dropped Flames (SG Lewis feat. Ruel), ARIA-awarded ‘Dazed and confused’ and crowd-favourite, ‘Painkiller’
Seductive, random raindrops (on a hotter-than-expected day in Darwin’s dry season fell as Ruel jumped and jived around the stage. Sounding so much older and wiser than a young kid, he connected with the all-ages crowd, finishing his set with ‘Younger’ and leaving the crowd on a high.
Amy Shark, Cityside Stage
Hats off to Amy Shark for giving the crowd everything they wanted to hear, telling us all how much she
loved us and Darwin, and for coming onto the stage to Les Miserables tune wearing a puffa jacket.
There’s not a lot of puffa jacket wearing in Darwin, and BASSINTHEGRASS had scorching weather but
Amy was right at home and the crowd loved her.
The Mindil Beach sunset burned red, and the full moon rose as Amy covered Teenage Dirtbag and
reminisced that she’s just released ‘Adore’ when she first performed in Darwin, linking the award-
winning song to her sweet memories of Darwin. Her set was far too short, ending on a high-energy ‘I
Hilltop Hoods, Cityside Stage
Opening with ‘Chase that feeling’ set the scene for Hilltop Hoods return to the BASSINTHEGRASS
festival, getting the crowd airborne and singing their throats raw. For Hilltop Hoods final performance after more than a month on the road, their energy-packed, crowd-loving enthusiasm re-energised the sweaty masses. With their exhaustive collection of hit songs and iconic much-loved style every song was a crowd favourite. We were treated to Ecca Vandal on stage for
this year’s ‘Exit Sign’ and the older favourite ‘Cosby Sweater’ closed the fully-packed set.
Other festival highlights included Meg Mac and her band, with her thoroughly engaging and entertaining keyboardist; Allday’s enthusiastic hip hop set; Karnivool’s scorching, sweaty set in the heat of the afternoon; Nick Murphy aka Chet Faker providing a more mellow respite; the love-fest that was Ball Park Music; Hermitude’s huge dance party; Hot Dub Time Machine‘s favourite tunes over recent decades, with a nod to the NT&’s Baker Boy in 2017; and PNAU’s energetic, colourful closing act. The People’s Choice BASSINTHEGRASS was a huge, exhausting hit. With the sensational line up across
two stages, the People’s Choice Silent Disco, and Sunset Session on the beach there was an overload of choice and options, and the usual music festival dilemma of missed opportunities when choosing options.
For interstate folks who love a good summer music festival, and the opportunity to get your festival gear and glitter on, the People’s Choice BASSINTHEGRASS in Darwin every May is perfect prep for your winter hibernation. For folks in the NT, it kicks off our dry season of festivals, night markets, and loads of time spent outdoors.
The stellar line up, in alphabetical order:
Ball Park Music
Hot Dub Time Machine
Kyle Maher (NT local artist!)
The Lunar Society
Nick Murphy FKA Chet Faker
Tapestry (NT local artist!)