Photos by: Andrew Basso
Words by: Manuela Salazar

With the arrival of Melbourne’s hottest day, Australia’s newest music festival welcomed its first ever crowds. Good Things Festival hit off its East Coast run at Flemington Racecourse after a venue change was established earlier on due to high ticket sales. Even after the shift in location and the burning sun hung overhead in an almost clear sky by midday, there was no doubt that the place would be overflowing with patrons, all eager to experience the first day of the festival and what it had to offer.

Stuck Out

Stuck Out was the first band to christen the Good Things stages, and although it was still relatively early and the five-piece were only local, there was a large crowd already present by the barrier who were partying it up as hard as they would have with any international headliner. Ecca Vandal received the same welcoming treatment, another local Melbourne act who left a lasting impression on the witnessing crowds. 

Ecca Vandal

Void Of Vision

WAAX was too, able to drag in quite the crowd, and by the second song of their set the pit had already filled up with both long time fans of the band, and new ears ready to take everything in. Overall, the amount of love and support towards the opening bands at the bottom of the lineup list was emotionally powerful, and I could not help but feel overwhelming pride at being part of such a wonderful and supportive music scene.

WAAX

Waterparks

Although the sun was making its steady ascend, the crowds only seemed to grow exponentially. Boston Manor‘s set was packed by the time it started, and regardless of the heat, the crowds were already jumping along to the opener of the set. The set remained highly interesting due to the mix of old and new songs that the Boston Manor boys delivered. Overall, their debut Australian performance could not have gone any better in terms of delivery and crowd enjoyment. I am sure they lassoed in a high number of new fans from the watching crowds.

Boston Manor

Northlane started off strong, and without a doubt were a crowd favourite from the start. Although the heat was becoming unbearable at this point, the security guards at the front delivered relief in the form of physically watering the crowds with hoses, which certainly made it for an even more exhilarating show experience. After everybody left drenched in both water and sweat, LA Dispute took over the next stage, delivering an equally as intense performance but with a stronger focus on the emotional aspect of their set rather than the deafening. It was an impressive set, that left diehard fans at the very front holding onto the barrier and shedding tears for a moment after it was finished.

Northlane

The Wonder Years

La Dispute

Make Them Suffer

Immediately after, came the moment a lot of people were eagerly waiting for. Melbourne had the privilege of hosting the stage for Babymetal‘s first Australian show, and the crowds thickened by the second before the girls and their band took on the stage. The theatrics of the show were impressive, and even though their costumes and dancing in the deadly heat could have slowed them down, their vocal range and performance were just as incredible as they could have been under ideal conditions.

With the hype of Babymetal‘s performance lingering still, The Used took over the stage beside theirs, immediately sending the crowds into a jumping frenzy. Their setlist remained classic, with fan favourites being delivered throughout their entire show. The highlight of the set had to be the moment where a circle pit was asked to open up, while lead singer Bert McCracken sang along to the Playschool theme song and the crowd moshed along. After endless yet beautiful Shakespeare sonnet recitals and a short cover of Nirvana‘s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, The Used left the stage and a crowd buzzing with excitement.

The Used

Scarlxrd

Bullet For My Valentine

Tonight Alive

Dropkick Murphys

After a short break, I found myself on the other side of the festival, ready to watch Mayday Parade who were shaping up to be another crowd favourite. Yet another emotionally loaded set, the crowd could be heard loudly singing along to every song that the guys delivered to their fans. Old-school listeners could be seen arriving with every fan favourite they played, ready to relive nostalgic moments of their past with their friends and loved ones.

Making the trek over to the other side once again was a lot easier than originally expected, and soon, All Time Low were taking over the stage with a well-curated setlist of both old and new songs. Guitarist Jack Barakat was, as always, collecting every bra that fell onto the stage on his microphone stand, and along with that and the crude jokes and humour he delivered, the entire experience made for a trademark All Time Low show.

All Time Low

The Smith Street Band

Stone Sour

Dashboard Confessional

The Offspring

While logistic issues prevented me from staying and watching any of the headliners, I must say that the fact alone that the festival remained alive from the very beginning to the very end is a feat that Good Things should be proud of. I was able to have the time of my life without even experiencing the sets of the bigger names on the lineup, and that alone should be a perfect example of just how enriching and supportive our Melbourne music scenes and its fans are. Good Things Festival was a definite must-attend this year, and I am undoubtedly joining the crowds of eager fans already awaiting a follow-up and expecting to see the festival come back just as strong next year.