Sunny Southbound summer's best festival

Sunny Southbound summer's best festival

It's as close as WA gets to Woodstock.

The sound of 60 music acts and hundreds of campers spread across Sir Stewart Bovell Park you could have been forgiven for thinking you were at the iconic American festival instead of the seaside town of Busselton.

Beach House on the Sunny Stage at Southbound 2013.

Beach House on the Sunny Stage at Southbound 2013.

As most of the crowds packed into the Share Stage tent or flocked to the Sunny Stage, it was pretty clear that many punters had priorities over watching music to attend to.

When the sun went down and there were fewer jumpers than buttocks in sight and more beer cans than band shirts to be seen, it was clear that many people had other priorities over watching music to attend to.

It's like Melbourne rapper Pez sings in his Festival Song, "If your favorite band's there you'll think you'll never forget, [but] you'll probably get that wasted you won't remember their set".


Although the Southbound Festival used to run from Friday night until Sunday night, its ninth year saw the third day dropped, but still managed to pack in 70 hours of music.

Day One

Thirty-one bands and DJs, including The Flaming Lips, The Hives, SBTRKT, Flume, Boy & Bear, Coolio, San Cisco, Matt Corby and Ball Park Music highlighted the main stage.

Along with much of the crowd, one artist on their must-watch list was rapper Coolio, but as many people quickly remembered, Gangsta's Paradise was the only song they knew and watching the rest of their hour-long set just felt like being berated.

For those that who went to the festival in their dancing shoes, electronic acts Flume and the masked SBTRKT amped up the Sunny Stage crowd and had the packed-to-the-brim tent heaving.

One punter was so amped he climbed up the 30-metre rigging on the side of the stage during SBTRKT, but the crowd's cheers turned to jeers when organisers stopped the show until he'd climbed down, upon which he was promptly escorted away.

For headliners The Flaming Lips, who finished the night with the rockers at the Sunny Stage, their experience was overshadowed by the disappearance of their iconic giant laser hands.

In a strange turn of events, the pair of stage props went missing and the band appealed on Twitter for their return: "F---!!!!!! Someone stole Laser Hands!!! Please please please!! At South Bound Festival !!!F---!! Help us!!!"

Southbound organisers offered four VIP tickets for their return, but they were eventually found by staff after the festival had finished. The explanation posted on their Facebook page was that they had been "stolen by some dork, and dumped unceremoniously in a nearby paddock".

Day Two

Lisa Mitchell, Maximo Park, Angus Stone (without his sister Julia), Bertie Blackman, Hilltop Hoods and Two Door Cinema Club headlined perhaps not-so-well-slept crowd.

While Triple J Unearthed winners The Love Junkies started the day on the main stage, the crowd really started to build when Maximo Park, who celebrated the final show on their tour with a dip in the Indian Ocean, took over at 2pm with their easy indie style.

After the boys left the stage, the always charming Lisa Mitchell was up and her beautiful voice could be heard floating through the streets in the surrounding area.

Those put in the mellow mood by Mitchell stayed that way by heading over to the big top to see Angus Stone perform, while others stayed on to see Bombay Bicycle Club, but without any massive big ticket names on the Saturday bill, the crowd felt smaller than the previous day.

Bertie Blackman made the Share Stage her own and her enjoyment was clear, telling the crowd "this is the best show I've ever done!"

Most of the crowd headed back to the main stage to see Hilltop Hoods, who enjoyed the biggest crowd of the day, before Two Door Cinema Club finished off the night with their upbeat indie.

The Coconut Club, complete with a sand dancefloor and back-to-back DJs, benefitted from the lack of the previous night's big acts and it was packed for the likes of Pussy Shoogah, 2 Fat DJ's and Shannon Fox.

Equally popular was the silent disco, where people could choose between three channels (one for each of the DJs in the tent), flicking between options like Ke$ha, Marvin Gaye and electronic as they pleased.


Eventually the happy campers returned to tentland before Sunday morning's downpour that had many starting their drive back to Perth completely soaked.

But with most still buzzing from a weekend spent with their friends, drinking and dancing in the sun, more of Pez's Festival Song lyrics come to mind again: "Yeah I know we all complain about the pain when it ends, but next year we'll save up and do the same s--- again".

Most Viewed in Entertainment


Morning & Afternoon Newsletter

Delivered Mon–Fri.

By signing up you accept our privacy policy and conditions of use