Groovin’ the Moo has quickly become a mandatory ticket for any music fan

The Bendigo leg of Groovin’ the Moo provided a great day out. The enthusiasm was matched only by the artists, who seemed genuinely excited to be on the bill for what has quickly become a mandatory ticket for any music fan.
Methyl Ethel established the tone early, showing off tracks from latest album Everything Is Forgotten and setting the bar high for the rest of the day with an energetic set.
Over at the Moolin Rouge, Alex Lahey’s joy was contagious as she put in an early contender for performance of the day. You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me ignited the crowd and all of life’s problems faded away, because who could ever feel sad while dancing to that song?
Back over at main stage, K.Flay had the bass pumping with her unique brand of hip hop. The Illinois artist no doubt won new fans with her intense sound before giving way to punk rock veterans Against Me!, who put on a masterful show befitting of a band who’ve achieved icon status in the minds of many.
It was bad news for any artist who had the terrible luck of being scheduled alongside The Smith Street Band, as their afternoon spot drew what was easily the largest crowd of the day. Will Wagner emotionally labelled it “by far the most amount of people we’ve ever played in front of” and the band squeezed every bit of feeling they could into their 40-minute set, somehow managing to leave the stage covered in sweat on the chilly Bendigo afternoon.
The gratefulness continued with Amy Shark, who claiming to be overawed by the love she was receiving certainly didn’t act like it. She breezed through a set containing an excellent cover of Eminem’s Superman as well as crowd favourite Adore.
As darkness descended, Milky Chance led a couple of thousand person strong sing-a-long with Stolen Dance and Cocoon getting some of the loudest cheers of the festival. The Darkness then gave punters 45 minutes of vintage English hair metal, complete with spandex and drum fills a plenty, as well as an extended crowd surfing guitar solo from enigmatic frontman Justin Hawkins.
As The Wombats made their way onto the stage, the excitement in the crowd was palpable for what would become a giant dance party, the Brits powering through hit after hit. They played with the skill and presence of a band who have headlined major stages all over the world and their set was a definite highlight.
This left only Violent Soho, who were tasked with the unenviable job of bringing such a great day to a close, a task they completed comfortably. Their hard Aussie rock fuelled the biggest mosh pit of the day, as the boys from Brisbane showed why they’ve risen to the status of headline band in such a short period of time.
As the happy yet exhausted crowd flooded back out onto the freezing streets of Bendigo sharing stories of favourite moments, another day in what has quickly become a jewel in the Australian touring festival crown drew to a close. What an agonising wait it will be until next year.
Words by Nathan Quattrucci
Image by Zo Damage
Highlight: Couldn’t possibly choose.
Lowlight: ATM lines were ridiculous. Bring cash, people.
Crowd Favourite: If I had to choose (and I guess I do), Let’s Dance to Joy Division. Thanks Wombats.