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This Is Northern New South Wales

The Falls Music & Arts Festival Wrap Up – a Sensory Guide


Credit_KirraPendergast-8775Having never attended The Falls Music and Arts Festival before Mel Carrero –The Chubby Fashionista and Kirra Pendergast – weren’t sure what to expect. Would it be like most other festivals? Would the new Byron location work? Would it appeal to different age groups one woman in her 20’s the other in her 40’s?  The answers are no it’s not like other festivals, and yes the Byron version was awesome, and YES it is great festival for all age groups!

The Falls had a very different vibe to other festivals; it was a sensory delight with a relaxed, happy, party vibe from the punters – people were being good to each other, enjoying themselves, smiling and dancing and their only worry was to bring in the new year having a cracking good time!

So here is a sensory guide to Falls Music and Arts Festival, Byron Bay from two very different experiences.


Mel –  The sweat and dust on your skin, which is synonymous with a festival in summer – you’re dirty but so is everyone else, so embrace the dustiness and keep dancing…walk through the mist tunnel if you need to cool down.

Kirra – Arriving back at the sanctuary of my 5m round Flash Camp tent accommodation at 2am after taking photo’s for 14 hours, to have a hot shower using the beautiful white towels and sanctum products left on the end of the bed, spotlessly clean toilets and to be able to crawl into a big queen size bed with beautiful white linen, big fluffy pillows and a doona. Felt like absolute heaven!Credit_KirraPendergast-9639Credit_KirraPendergast-7076 Credit_KirraPendergast-9142

Mel – At the campsite the smell of dust and in the festival the smell of people sweating in a crowd and delicious festival food – which to choose?

Kirra – The smell in the gorgeous big natural Amphitheatre’s reminded me of summer at Mullmbimby Highschool – the distinct smell of Camphor from the Camphorlaurel trees wafting through on a dusty summer breeze.

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Mel – Which festival food to choose? Honestly you could be there for two weeks just eating without all of the music, art and entertainment and I think it would be worth it. Healthy highlight? The coconut stand – a fresh cold coconut with the top cut off, drink the coconut water and take it back to them for a flesh scooping with an addition of what you so choose (I had goji berries, nuts, cinnamon – delicious). Savoury delight? The Wood Fire Pizza and the Taste of Yemen, but everything looked amazing.

Kirra – My favourite for breakfast was Coconut and Pomegranate YoFlo, lunch and dinner was thanks to the awesome crew in the kitchen in the VIP area where the media tent was set up – really fresh salads and chicken, ribs or nachos and other treats mixed up through out the day for us to purchase and keep running was very much appreciated (as was the constant supply of my greatest weakness… Ginger Nectar)


Mel – Your eyes will not be bored at Falls Music and Arts Festival, that’s a guarantee. The Village was perhaps the most visually beautiful with a yarn decorated tree and stools to sit underneath the tree, weird, wonderful and wacky stalls. The rest of the festival had freakishly good looking people everywhere if you like to people watch have a boogie at the gigs (and a genius theme for New Years Eve of Inter-galactic so much glitter, foil and future inspired get-ups!), and if you turn around you might just see an 80’s themed jazzercise group doing a performance randomly around the festival.

Kirra – As a photographer I was on a visual high. Beautiful happy people everywhere having so much fun it was a photographic feast! Far to many shots taken to publish here! But the highlight besides the music and the performances in the village was watching the sheer joy on thousands of faces singing along to “Teenage Dirtbag” at the top of their voices between gigs and watching guys doing some serious twerking with each other in an effort to win a dance off and the look of sheer amazement on faces when a girl in the dance off dropped straight down into the splits on gravel! and the costumes for the “Intergallactic” themed fancy dress were amazing – three girls dressed as cows that jumped over moon, everyone from Buzz Lightyear to Superman and of course the girl dressed as the Pink Flloyd album cover – Darkside of the moon was amazing!
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Mel –  The festival had a constant mix of different music cranking to all different audiences, and the lineup had something to please everyone:

Awards for…

Best to chill to: Gossling

Young and talented: Tom Odell

Past rockers still bringing the goods:  Violent Femmes and Neil Finn

Most ethereal: Emma Louise

Best world music: Bombino

Coolest: Chet Faker

Crowd pumper: The Roots

Biggest crowd stampede to get to: The Rubens

Quickest crowd growth due to amazingness: Solange

Local loves: Miss Renee Simone and The Black Lullaby

Kirra – My favourites of the festival were:

Tom Odell – “Another Love” is on high rotation in my car/house/iPod everything at the moment so I loved seeing him live.

London Grammar – Oh my lord that girl can sing! True goose bumps from head to toe talent.

The Violent Femmes – Made me feel like I was 17 again and back at The Arts Factory in Byron in it’s hey day when Karin and Keven Oxford had Byron rocking. I knew every word.

Solange – What a pleasant surprise! A great performance from Beyoncé’s baby sister, a big shadow there but she nailed it and she is gorgeous to boot!

The Roots – Doing a cover of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” as the clock struck midnight was incredible – the crowd was so pumped and loving every second….one of those unforgettable performances that will be spoken about for years to come I am sure.

Rufus – Wow! These guys wrote their first song 6kms from the festival site only to return to have 15,000 people dancing to their music!

Hot Dub Time Machine – Talk about rev up a crowd! 50 years of music in 50 mins had every age group at the festival stoked!

La Petit Grande Theatre – Had the most hilarious stand up comedy acts! My fave was local girl Mandy Nolan talking about Botox and Ball Sacks…hysterical.

Poetry – I sat under a tree in the Village and had a lovely woman read and write a poem just for me.

New to my ears and thoroughly enjoyed was The Wombats and Pond

And finally the collective screams of 15,000 people screaming happy New Year was nothing short of amazing.

Big thank you and congratulations to the Falls festival team the Promoter Brandon Saul for bringing the event to Byron, Clare McGregor and the awesome Media Team that were an incredible support and escorted us to media pits and made everything easy, the incredible Flash Camp team that made staying at the festival feel like a 5 star hotel complete with chillout space and a cinema! What a sanctuary! And the staff right through from the front gate staff to the security team and all the volunteers a huge thank you!! Every one we encountered brought with them big hearts filled with care, love, and positivity, which set the scene for the vibe of the whole festival.

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