Live Review: 10 Things We Learnt at Harvest Festival – Parramatta Park (13.11.2011)

10. It is possible to host a festival in Parramatta.
When I heard about where Harvest was being held, I was skeptical. I’m a self-confessed city snob and I don’t like venturing too far out. But half an hour on a train and a ten-minute walk from the station to a venue as impressive as Parramatta Park was worth it.

9. There are people in Sydney who dress well at festivals.
At most other festivals, even when it’s cold, you see guys walking around shirtless and girls in shorts and bikini tops. I didn’t see one bikini top or any shirtless guys showing off Southern Cross tattoos at Harvest, something I’m very happy about.

8. You won’t see the people you plan to meet up with but will always run into someone you didn’t know was coming, or don’t really want to see.

7. It’s possible to disappoint one city but have another love you.
There was a lot of negative feedback for various reasons after Melbourne, which was held the day before, but everything was fantastic in Sydney. I’m interested to hear what Brisbane think next week.

6. Matt Berninger from The National likes to go walk-about.
The first chorus in set-closer ‘Terrible Love’ had him jump off stage and wander through the crowd. And then disappear.

5. The Flaming Lips put a lot of effort into the visuals in their show.
But apparently, not a lot into walking on stage quickly when they’re half an hour late. They released confetti and balloons into the crowd, and Wayne Coyne walked over the crowd in a huge bubble. This took fifteen minutes.

4. Weather forecasts are not accurate.
Despite being told all week that it was going to rain, it didn’t. It was very sunny and I felt silly carrying a raincoat. But, of course, if I hadn’t brought it, it would have rained.

3. Drinks are still, and always will be, over-priced.

2. Portishead are divine live.
The sound was perfect, Beth Gibbons’ voice is amazing and they created a beautiful atmosphere. They didn’t need to do anything except play their music to be, in my opinion, by far the best band of the day. One of the balloons from The Flaming Lips’ show drifted over and everyone was so captivated by what was happening on stage, it went un-noticed until it hit someone in the head. Portishead hadn’t been to Australia in 13 years, so having them here on Sunday was special and something I will always remember and appreciate.

1. The first Harvest was fantastic and they should have another one next year. Congratulations on your first time!

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Justine McNamara

I'm an Australian living in New York. I work in marketing but I write about music, New York, and my own personal experiences.

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