Groovin’ the Moo Townsville, 2014

Groovin’ The Moo is a long-running rural festival presented by the appropriately named Cattleyard Promotions and supported by Triple J. It is currently the only touring regional festival in Australia and is held in the towns of Oakbank, SA; Maitland, NSW; Canberra, ACT; Bendigo, VIC; Townsville, QLD; and Bunbury, WA.

I have wanted to attend GTM ever since 2011, but the necessity to travel to attend made this impossible until this year, since I now live in Townsville during the university semester. This year’s festival took place on May 4, 2014 (Star Wars day!) and included headlining acts Disclosure, The Presets, Dizzee Rascal, Peking Duk, Thundamentals, The Naked And Famous and many, many more amazing acts. Prior to attending GTM, my only festival experience was with River Sessions Mackay (I reviewed 2014’s River Sessions festival¬†here), so I was amazed at the quality of the lineup and the sheer size of the festival itself.

Flower Crown: Cosmetics Plus, $8. Pinafore: Target, $29.99. T-Shirt: Jay Jays, $2.50. Shoes: Big W, $9.95. Necklace: Goldmark Jewellers, Price Unknown

My GTM experience was mixed – I thoroughly enjoyed the artists that were playing and the atmosphere of the event, however I was lacking the company of my boyfriend, who usually accompanies me to festivals. Since we live hundreds of kilometres apart, he would have had to travel and take time off university to attend ūüė¶ I would still rank this festival the best that I have ever attended, despite this!

11:50 Р12:00 pm: Tommy Franklin

Tommy Franklin was an odd addition to the GTM lineup, known for his crazy, eccentric dance moves and making it to the grand final on Australia’s Got Talent 2013 (although I think his audition dance¬†was by far the best). We attended his set with some hesitation but a lot of curiosity. He opened his set with a slow, inspirational song and encouraged the crowd to loosen up and start dancing, which we did hesitantly. We then had to leave to catch The Jungle Giants’ set, but I’m sure that the energy would have lifted significantly as he danced in his carefree, unique manner. This wasn’t the last we’d see of Tommy, though, as he made constant guest appearances throughout other artists’ sets!

12:00 Р12:45 pm: The Jungle Giants

As it was still early in the day, we were not in much of a mood to enter the mosh pit, so we stood at the back. A decent crowd had gathered for this Brisbane band, and they had such a happy, upbeat sound that matched the mood of everyone there. I thoroughly enjoy The Jungle Giants, and I regard them in my top five favourite artists, although my friend Hayden, who attended with me, did not know as many of their songs as I did. I still thoroughly enjoyed their set – they always have the ability to make me very happy, even though I was not dancing to their set like most of the crowd was. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to see these guys live!

1:00 Р1:50 1:10 pm: Allday

To be completely honest, we were only at Allday’s set because we had time to kill and his stage was in the shade with space to sit. Inevitably, though, as I discussed in my River Sessions 2014 review, Allday’s fans are crazy and it all became too much. We left after his second song (Claude Monet, also his second song at River Sessions), although at this stage I would have liked to see more of him, which is why I saw him again at River Sessions.

1:30 Р2:15 pm: Robert DeLong

Without a doubt the best performance of the entire festival. I went into this set only knowing one song – Global Concepts. His set began and I was outstanded at how young and energetic he looked, proudly sporting blue Aztec-style face paint on his left cheek. He had such a large variety of equipment set up, including multiple keyboards, a full drum kit and other drums and cymbals across the stage. His set was upbeat and his lyrics were well-thought out – they were much deeper and more complex than conventional artists’ lyrics. He opened up his set by¬†actually layering his vocals and instrumentals to create the full sound!¬†I have never seen an electronic artist, live or on YouTube, create the music right in front of the audience’s eyes. Robert certainly did not just “press a button and dance” as most electronic artists seem to do – he used a wide variety of obscure methods to create his infectious sound, including a Wii remote, a MIDI fighter and a gaming controller resembling an Xbox controller. By far the best video that I can find that showcases how Robert performs is this one:

Robert’s set remained the only one to get me jumping and dancing along despite knowing only one song. He performed every song flawlessly, and he put obvious effort and energy into putting on a show! Of course, he closed with Global Concepts (yay!) but the biggest surprise came when Tommy Franklin joined him on stage to dance to the song’s catchy dance hook, dressed in a fluoro pink polka dot onesie. Go see a Robert DeLong show. You will not regret it!

I had the pleasure of meeting Robert at his signing during Vance Joy’s set. He was such a charismatic, cheerful man – I just wish I could talk to him for longer since security were rushing everyone along!

3:00 Р3:45 pm: Vance Joy

As previously mentioned, I was meeting Robert DeLong during Vance’s set. Luckily, the signing tent was right near the stage, which allowed me to at least listen to his set even though it was difficult to see him. I personally find Vance’s music a bit repetitive – yes, Riptide was a¬†huge hit, but his other songs all sound the same. Nevertheless, though, he pulled a huge crowd of adoring fangirls and this later showed at his signing, where a huge crowd of girls were lined up just to meet him. Robert’s signing finished just before Riptide, which had the whole crowd singing and swaying along to the chilled-out tune, before the entire crowd left to reveal a prime barrier position for the next act on that stage – Architecture in Helsinki – which we claimed.

3:45 Р4:35 pm: Cults

While I was waiting at the barrier, Cults’ set was playing on the big screen from the next stage over. I wasn’t paying much attention as the video quality was low but they had a nice vibe and the lead vocalist has a voice with such an amazing tone!

4:35 Р5:25 pm: Architecture in Helsinki

These guys are the happiest, brightest, funky band ever. Not only did they look like they’d raided The Wiggles’ closet with their bright colours, they had such a great energy! I’m so glad that I was on the barrier for this show, as the keyboardist we were positioned in front of was constantly dancing – probably the most out of the entire band! I did video most of their set, but my camera doesn’t pick up any sound at such a high volume level ūüė¶ They played all of their big hits plus songs from their most recent album, dedicating songs to hilarious things – for example, Escapee was opened with: “This song is for the people that take acid on Castle Hill (a huge hill in the middle of the city), because I feel like that’s something that people would do.” Once again, dancing man Tommy Franklin joined the band on stage during their set, dancing with band members and adding to the overall happiness of the set. These guys were my second favourite act of the day, despite the sun in my eyes the entire time!

5:25 Р6:00 pm: The Kite String Tangle

I’d never heard of this guy before and didn’t know what to expect, but his songs are pretty cool and gave the giant tent his stage was situated in a great atmosphere. I was standing pretty far away and the lighting from my angle wasn’t the best, but I still enjoyed it. I was getting a bit tired by this stage, so I was half tuned out to this set and can’t remember the details, but I didn’t mind watching TKST one bit!

6:15 Р7:05 pm: The Naked and Famous

This was the one band I needed to see at GTM, although they clashed with signing times for The Presets ūüė¶ I was once again able to watch them from the signing line, however I would have given anything to be in their massive audience in the mood of their chilled, surreal music! They involved the crowd in a massive chant of “like rolling waves” for their song “In Rolling Waves”, which sounded absolutely beautiful even from the distance I was at! The Naked and Famous have so many great, popular songs, my biggest GTM regret was choosing meeting The Presets over catching their full set.

7:05 Р7:45 pm: Wave Racer

By this time I was so tired. The audience was filled with hot, sweaty people Рyuck. This act was more a time filler, one that I only attended because of friends who wanted to see them. Safe to say that although the tent offered warmth (an unusual cold snap coincidentally began that night), the sweat and craziness was not worth it.

7:55 Р9:00 pm: Dizzee Rascal

Once again, very tired. We were sitting eating dinner on the grass during Dizzee’s set, waiting for The Presets, so we didn’t join the mosh. Granted, it was¬†freezing!¬†Dizzee is not my style, at all, but I enjoyed the songs I did know (which were few). The entire crowd seemed to love it, though – I’ll give him that!

9:00 Р10:15 pm: The Presets

Finally, the act we’d been waiting to see since the sun went down! As I mentioned previously, I met The Presets during The Naked and Famous’ set ūüėÄ They were nice enough guys, could’ve been nicer but it seemed like they’d had dramas getting to the venue on time so that’s to be expected!

Unfortunately, due to timetabling, Disclosure stole what would’ve been most of The Presets’ crowd so it was way too small! Nevertheless, we squeezed into the fourth row. By this time, I was 3/4 deaf and this set solidified that. Their stage setup was ah-mazing – illuminated hexagons surrounded the DJ sets of both boys, including an impressive hexagon tower that lit up with the music behind them. They had such a good energy, getting the crowd pumped up despite the cold but still calm enough so people like me who hate physical contact with strangers could still enjoy the set – the crowd did not cram themselves in but rather stood at a comfortable distance from everyone else, allowing for a pleasant set. Their set lacked personality, as they would essentially move from song to song, but each song was performed so well that I didn’t mind it. By the time the set ended, the crowd had dwindled to what I’d guess would be less than 50 people – a disappointing number for such a big act.

10:15 Р10:45 10:30 pm: Disclosure

After The Presets finished, we decided to see what all the fuss was about with Disclosure, seeing as they stole The Presets’ crowd. The small portion we saw was good, with catchy songs and an impressive light show! The crowd was huge and they were visibly pumped up for the show, but for us it was cold and we’d had a long day, so we missed the end of the set so as not to get stuck in a huge line for the bus back to uni, which was inevitable once Disclosure finished.

Summary:

Groovin’ the Moo is certainly one of the best festivals I have ever attended – the venue was great and the absolutely massive crowd size was astounding! The weather was perfect for this festival, with the exception of an unusual cold snap which left everyone freezing once the sun went down. Timetabling for this event was excellent and I commend the stage setup on the main stage, where two stages stood side-by-side with one artist on stage A while the next set up on stage B etc. It really reduced waiting time between acts and made it much easier to claim a barrier spot! The lineup itself was great and included such a great mix of genres and degree of popularity, with the addition of some international acts on top of that.

Go¬†like Groovin’ the Moo on Facebook¬†and keep up to date with 2015’s festival, which is sure to be even bigger and better!
Sarah May xx

My Favourite YouTubers

Recently, I have discovered that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are simply not enough to procrastinate studying. I have been subscribed to a few YouTubers for a couple of years now, but my subscription list has grown exponentially in size over the last few months! For today’s post, I thought I’d give an overview of my top 8 favourite YouTubers. Even though nearly all of them are pretty popular as it is, every single one of these channels deserves the praise they get. So, without further ado:

#8: Kingsley (/ItsKingsleyBitch)

Kingsley

I have been watching Kingsley for a long time – the main attraction being his Overexposed series he does annually at the end of each year. Kingsley is loud, opinionated and sassy, discussing topics such as race, sexuality and celebrities. Lately, Kingsley announced that 2014 is his last year on YouTube, but what is next to come is unknown. He has also been quiet with uploading videos of late, and his most recent stuff has not been of his usual quality. However, I still enjoy his videos when they are uploaded and can’t wait for what he has in store for next year.
Recommended video: OVEREXPOSED 2013 [FINALE]

#7: The Fine Bros (/TheFineBros)

TheFineBrosThe Fine Bros are well-known for their React series, encompassing Kids React, Teens React, Elders React and YouTubers React, however they occasionally upload spoiler videos or other small YouTube series. Benny and Rafi’s channel is usually hit-and-miss. I always have enjoyed the React series, with nearly all episodes piquing my interest enough to watch through to the very end of episodes that are usually 8 minutes long. Their YouTubers React series features a mix of popular YouTubers like Shane Dawson and Tyler Oakley, however can feature some channels that I’ve never heard of before. The React series’ are great at showcasing the reactions of others to viral videos, old technology or controversial campaigns, especially in the Kids React series as their reactions are so genuine and innocent! Although, basically any non-React video is cheesy and overacted – however, I stay subscribed because of the brilliance of React.
Recommended video: YOUTUBERS REACT TO BABYMETAL

#6: Jenna Marbles (/JennaMarbles)

JennaMarblesJenna Marbles is easily one of the most popular women on YouTube, recently securing a host position on the YouTube 15 on SiriusXM radio to present emerging music on YouTube. Jenna was the first YouTuber I subscribed to, captivating me with her How To Avoid Talking To People You Don’t Want To Talk To video in 2011. Jenna’s videos aren’t for everyone as she can come across as weird to some people, but I enjoy it. Since she only uploads once a week, I don’t feel overwhelmed by her different style of video which has kept me as a loyal subscriber for years. I also enjoy watching her two adorable dogs – Marbles the chihuahua and Kermit the Italian greyhound – which feature often in her videos. My favourite videos of hers are ones showing the extremities of how guys or girls drive, get ready or even shower, which are always so true and cover content that I have never seen another YouTuber cover with such humour and pure honesty.
Recommended video: Things I Don’t Have Time For

#5: Zach Garry (/ZachGarry)

ZachGarryZach Garry was suggested by Tyler Oakley in one of his videos, and I subscribed to him due to him being Australian. I haven’t been watching Zach for long, but I have related to him well so far due to him being in university too. His vlogging style is awkward in an entertaining way and his deep, slightly monotonous voice makes him unique to other YouTubers I have come across. Zach is not as well-known as the other YouTubers on this list, however he is definitely worth checking out if you’re wanting an honest, open yet funny channel to subscribe to.
Recommended video: 20 UNIVERSITY LIFE LESSONS

#4: Tyler Oakley (/tyleroakley)

Tyler OakleyTyler Oakley is arguably the most influential YouTuber around, using his huge subscriber count to raise half a million dollars for the Trevor Project. Tyler’s outright sass is entertaining to watch and, although close to all of his recent videos being Q&A videos (or, as Tyler has dubbed it, Q&Slay videos), he is still engaging, inspiring and uplifting, with the ability to make so many people happy. His friendship with fellow YouTubers and participation in TheFineBro‘s YouTubers React series is fantastic to see, and he vlogs nearly every major event he participates in such as Playlist Live or Vidcon on his second channel, extratyler. Tyler Oakley is a YouTube sensation who has shown such a phenomenal journey over his many years vlogging and his popularity and influence is sure to continue to grow.
Recommended video: The YouTube Burn Book

#3: Troye Sivan (/TroyeSivan18)

Troye SivanTroye Sivan is only 19, yet is taking huge steps in the YouTube community. His videos encompass topic-based videos, Q&As, challenges or even his own music. Hailing from Perth, Australia (yes, he’s an Aussie!), Troye has made friends in the YouTube community worldwide, the most notable of which being Tyler Oakley. Troye’s videos incorporate his sense of quirky humour, which may not appeal to all, but his presence in a video keeps me watching (the good looks and amazing eyes don’t hurt, of course, until I remember that he’s gay… *sigh*). Troye’s musical talent is outstanding, having written a song about the popular John Green book-turned-movie The Fault In Our Stars, whose purchases on iTunes raised money for charity. Recently, Troye announced the release of his debut EP, featuring original songs, aptly named¬†TRXYE, due for release in August 2014. I, personally, am excited to hear this EP in addition to watching Troye’s YouTube journey – the future is bright for Troye Sivan!
Recommended video: HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS

#2: Zoella (/zoella280390)

Zoella

Zoella (aka Zoe Sugg) is easily one of the most engaging, inspiring and overall positive YouTubers I have had the pleasure of watching. Most of my experiences watching Zoe have been through her daily vlog channel, MoreZoella, which shows her viewers the beautiful person she is. Her main channel videos are mostly beauty videos, which aren’t my thing, but she has the ability to also open up about confronting topics, such as her own anxiety, and discuss this on camera. Zoella recently reached five million subscribers, a well deserved milestone for her. Zoe has such genuine friendships with fellow British YouTubers and her bubbly personality has the ability to make anyone smile. If this wasn’t enough, she’s brave enough to go makeup-free in numerous daily vlogs despite her imperfect complexion – an act that I truly respect her for. I’d highly recommend Zoella’s channel and vlog channel to anyone looking for a beautiful soul to watch!
Recommended video: What’s In My Mouth with Joey Graceffa

#1: SUPERFRUIT (/sup3rfruit)

SUPERFRUITSUPERFRUIT is made up of Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi, who are also members of popular acapella group Pentatonix. Their YouTube channel has captivated me from the moment I discovered it. These boys have such a great friendship with each other and their sense of humour is¬†on point. Not only do they have amazing voices (which they frequently showcase in both musical covers and casual videos) but they have personalities which have drawn me in from the beginning. Mitch’s femininity and sass coupled with Scott’s more masculine but kind persona allow them to make entertaining, memorable videos with each other. Every episode, Scott and Mitch share their weekly obsessions and their favourite song of the week – hello music lovers, the boys have fantastic music taste! As a Pentatonix fan, I enjoy being able to watch Scott and Mitch seperately from the group and discover more about what they get up to outside of the band – however, I would¬†highly¬†recommend SUPERFRUIT to anyone regardless of being a Pentatonix fan! This is one of the only channels where I have watched every single video religiously without intention to stop – the only downside to this channel is that they only post once a week! *sigh* I urge everyone reading this right now to click the following link and check out SUPERFRUIT – it is, as they say themselves, the best show on the internet.
Recommended video: KARAOKE GAME

Honourable Mentions:

PTXofficial Рthis five-person acapella group makes an amazing mix of original music, covers and music medleys, both in the form of elaborate music videos and simple one-take recordings. This group is one to watch, having recently been casted in Pitch Perfect 2!

RobertDeLong¬†– I saw this guy live at Groovin’ the Moo 2014, and he remains the only electronic artist I have ever seen actually perform and create his music live using things like gaming controllers to help create the sounds!

PewDiePie¬†– Felix’s channel is great to follow if you have plenty of time to sit and watch long videos of him playing games (which I do not), however his shorter videos are very entertaining to watch and his sense of humour is very unique.

AmazingPhil & danisnotonfire Рboth very funny guys with amazing channels Рhowever, they do not post frequently enough to be featured as my absolute favourite YouTubers.

Full List of Subscriptions:

AmazingPhil
Caspar
danisnotonfire
JennaMarbles
Jim Chapman
Kingsley
Marcus Butler
Paint
PewDiePie
PointlessBlog / alfiegames
PTXofficial
RobertDeLong
Smosh
Sprinkleofglitter
SUPERFRUIT
ThatcherJoe
TheFineBros
TheSims
Troye Sivan
tydelevi
TylerOakley / extratyler
ZachGarry
Zoella / MoreZoella

If you have a favourite YouTuber that I’m not currently subscribed to, let me know in the comments and I’ll check them out!

Thanks for reading guys ūüôā
Sarah May xx