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How To Not Be A Dickhead At Festivals: An Infographic

Dicks, we've all seen them. And while you can enjoy them at your leisure, you never want to be personified as one. Festivals have become a natural habitat for 'the dick' - defined as a festival-goer who feels that their experience is infinitely more important than the bucket-hat wearing chap to their right or the lass to their left with the flash tattoo.

Festivals are great. Where else can you see 14 bands in one day, pash a stranger and dance like an exotic parakeet in a remote tent and return to work on Monday with a job? BUT sometimes we need to remember that the festival experience is far more pleasant when you remember that you should treat people the way you would like to be treated, also known as harmony.

Aunty Meredith, the mystical person behind Meredith and Golden Plains festivals, has done an excellent job of creating a 'No Dickhead' policy, that makes the festivals the most harmonious on the festival calendar. Over the summer we've witnessed some of the most excellent people (FKA Twigs, the girl who told me she liked my hat and the tall guy who moved to the left so we could see Drake) and some of the most terrible people (the guy who thought he was the only person who could rap every word to N****s In Paris, the people who said Twerkshop was a waste of time at Falls Festival and those who let off flares) at festivals. The fact is, festivals are really easy to hate on. Local councils love to do it, it makes a great story for the media and your parents also like to. Prove them wrong and show that a festival is safer than the toilet paper aisle at Woolworths.

In anticipation of Golden Plains this weekend and as a reflection on our experience at festivals this summer here is how not to be a dickhead at festivals - the interactive art experience*.

*It's not interactive but if you print it out and buy a marker it can be.

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TinasheReview

REVIEW + PICS: Tinashe At Metro Theatre, Sydney | Aquarius Tour

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Australia doesn’t seem like the most likely place for a DIY RnB singer to make a splash but it seems US singer Tinashe has struck a chord here. 2 On, the first single from her debut album Aquarius is burning up radio here now almost a full year after its initial release and last night she played to a sold out Metro Theatre. It’s one thing to be sold out but it’s another thing to induce hysteria when you enter the stage. As she strutted on behind a puff of smoke the crowd erupted as a sea of iPhones revealed themselves as if Beyonce had suddenly appeared in a busy Westfield.

Tinashe is an interesting case. She’s been compared to Aaliyah, Ashanti and Janet Jackson yet she differs to them. While Aquarius was undoubtedly an RnB album she’s worked with everybody from Calvin Harris to Ryan Hemsworth and Dev Hynes proving just how expansive the genre in which she operates has become. On stage she has the same slinky stage presence as FKA twigs with the hard hitting dance moves of Ciara and the vocal prowess of Jessie Ware. With just a drum to the side of the stage and four back-up dances, the petite Tinashe fills the stage effortlessly.

She began with Vulnerable from her mixtape Black Water immediately hitting with her caramel vocals and sultry walk. “Don’t stop looking at me”, she sings as her voice hits full flight, slicing the air and creating gasps in the process. Her dance moves are immediately impressive but they’re never feel over-rehearsed. There’s a certain rawness to Tinashe that makes her far more endearing. Even when the back-up dancers joined her it always felt as if they were five friends improvising rather than counting every single beat.

The Dev Hynes-produced Bet was the first song of the set where we really got to hear her vocals in full force. Bet is extraordinarily atmospheric thanks to Hynes’ expert layering and it complements the bursts of smoke covering Tinashe. All of the songs from her debut album are binded by a sense that there’s a wave washing over and this was the first time that we really get to feel that texture.

The set bounced between mixtape and album tracks and even threw in a few popular RnB tracks to hype a crowd which was already at fever point. The hard hitting Watch Me Work was complemented beautifully by the tender How Many Times. She moves between the energetic and the slow effortlessly never sucking the energy out of the crowd, even in the dimmest moments of the night. A portion of Kid Ink’s Body Language was served while Tinashe composed herself for her Calvin Harris-feature, Dollar Signs. A thumping bass-line and glassy percussion sent the crowd wild while Tinashe fist-pumped like she was owning the stage at Tomorrowland. It’s far from her best song but live it was a chance to let loose some pent up energy.

She followed that by sitting on a stool to give us the only ballad of the night, Bated Breath. It was pretty special to see her sitting still and just showing off her crystalline voice. She belted it out with reckless abandon as she slowly stood on the stool and looked over the crowd. No doubt her view was awash with the glow of smartphones. It seemed everything she did was worthy as being captured as not one punter kept their phones away for the entirety of the set. Instead of letting it annoy her Tinashe accepted it, at one point grabbing a phone from someone and filming herself. She’s 22 and she gets that this is what people do now. For the first time it felt like the mass of smartphones didn’t take away from the show. Instead it felt like a sign of appreciation.

As we got to the final moments of the set Tinashe churned out hit after hit. The drummer thrashed away at Turn Down For What while she and her dancers went hard to a recording of Rae Sremmund’s No Type. The biggest revelation of the night was just how perfect All Hands On Deck. The track is set to be the third single from Aquarius and last night it revealed itself as the most effortlessly delectable of the set.

Pretend and 2 On were always going to be the champions of the night and they were. A beefed-up Pretend saw Tinashe offer one of the more tender moments of the night with the dim-lit vibe of the song suiting the smokey atmosphere. As she directed the crowd to put two fingers in the air, the screams could’ve been heard from far down George St. Despite the tracks minimalistic instrumental, the melody is just so smooth with enough pop to direct the crowd to get down low. Tinashe spent the later part of the song hanging over the crowd lapping up all the love that was there for her in abundance.

As she left the stage she smiled and offered some words of advice about following your dreams. She’s a self-made star in every sense and she seemed to be taken aback by her transformation from making mixtapes in her bedroom to playing to a sold out room on the other side of the world.

Tinashe at The Metro Theatre: Gallery 
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LoveandHeartbreak

Non-Sappy Valentine's Day Playlists For The Loved-Up & The Broken-Hearted

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With The Big V looming around the corner, some brace for hugs and kisses while others prepare for the barrage of loved-up couples and their sickening Instagram double-selfies. Here at the interns, we don't discriminate and have your Feb 14th playlist sorted, whether you're expecting flowers or dining for one.

Click on the heart that best applies to you. 

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REVIEW: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival, Melbourne

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For a festival that started with the humblest of beginnings, in a Melbourne laneway, it's somewhat startling to see the event sold-out at $160. For the purpose of comparison, when Big Day Out raised its ticket prices to over $150 in 2012, the event failed to sell-out and forced organisers to offer two for one tickets in Sydney. So why does it work for Laneway? Probably because punters can see the heart that goes into the festival. Each year the lineup makes total sense, the venues are carefully picked and the experience is paramount. This year was arguably the festival's greatest lineup, justifying every dollar of that $160.

If we're going to chatter on a little more about the excellent lineup, might we add that at 3pm the Footscray venue was almost packed, a testament to both the festival and Aussie artist Andy Bull who pulled an excitable crowd. Despite the blaring sunlight, Bull captivated with his collection of melodically on-point tunes. Baby I Am Nobody Now proved early on his heighty vocal-chops while a cover of Everybody Wants To Rule The World kicked the crowd into full-gear. He may have been one of the more no-frills performers of the day, but with his keyboard at his side, he delivered perky renditions of Talk Too Much and Keep On Running.

A performer who captured the energy of Laneway perfectly was Chicago's Vic Mensa who hyped the crowd into an absolute frenzy. Almost ignoring the blazing heat, Mensa's DJ hyped the crowd up so much that by the time the rapper entered the stage they were bouncing off each other to every shuddering beat. Without an album to his name, Mensa easily entertained full the whole set traversing both traditional hip-hop and electronic styles. It takes an impressive rapper to effortlessly open a set with Wimmie Nah and finish it with Down On My Luck despite their obvious stylistic differences. Mensa was an absolute warrior on stage thrashing around the microphone stand, launching into the crowd and climbing on stage scaffolding. Never was there a dull moment, event when he took some time to showcase his vocals on slow-tempo numbers. The response to Drive Me Crazy which is all of a week old proved just how dedicated the crowd was.

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Sneakers were aplenty this year, both as a fashion statement and a measure of practicality. The Footscray site is beautiful but spread out and making it to the main stage directly after an act proved to be a workout. It's why we only caught the end of the charismatic Mac Demarco, floundering about on the main stage. Thankfully, we were given a little more time to return to see his Mum, Annie Demarco, introduce British band Jungle like a pro. Jungle were last here for Splendour In the Grass but their on stage entourage was noticeably bigger this time around. The leading duo were dressed in a baseball outfit and an ARMY uniform, ready to bring the funk.

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And bring the funk, they did. With the extra band mates they were able to deliver a far more instrumentals-dense set, that added just that little bit more gusto to their performance. It's nice to see a band that's been touring for so long still show signs of joy and as such it was heartwarming to see Tom and Josh look to each other and smile when they realised just how far back the crowd stretched. Busy Earnin' was the highlight of a brilliant set, largely thanks to a guest appearance by Vic Mensa who prolonged the song's end and made us realise that we'd be happy for him to add a verse to every song today.

From one Brit to another, the crowd waded towards the main stage for FKA twigs. There had been murmurings for the Laneway's previous that twigs was the one to see and it seemed those Chinese whispers had spread as a massive crowd turned out. As three (!!!) drummers took to the stage it was pretty clear that this one was going to be a rib cage shaker and it turned out to be exactly that. Twigs is probably the only solo performer who could've weathered the shuddering beats and somehow come out as the centre of attention. Her ethereal, slight vocals pierced above all else as she stalked around the stage like a beast searching its prey. The way she moves to the, mostly irregular, beats is utterly mesmerising. She understands fluidity in a way no other does. She hits accents with hearty force and in between moves like a gust of wind over water, extending limbs beyond the impossible. All of this comes together most evidently on Pendulum where she acts as if the drum stick is within her body, beating her around the stage. As she ends on Two Weeks, it all comes together. The voice sounds crystalline, the instrumental is full-bodied and she dances like a pop star who actually understands the artistic power of movement. Quite frankly it's hard to remember a performer like twigs. She's not weird, her friendly encounters with the crowd prove that, but she's got a sharply artistic mind which she conceives with perfection.

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When the sun goes down at Laneway there's always a strong sense that shit's about to get real. And when you're standing front-row at Caribou where the entire band is illuminated and the bass is shuddering through every inch of your body, nothing could be more true. Dan Snaith aka. Caribou was one of the older members of the lineup, but he's as relevant as ever. His set melded together warm melodies with hard-hitting bass and forceful synths making his performance one of the more profound of the day. Set opener Our Love kicked the dance-vibes into gear while a mid set drop of Odessa raised thousands of arms in the air. He focused more on his most recent record Our Love more than anything else but nobody cared. The record is a knock-out and nothing proved it more than when he added an extra chorus to Can't Do Without You and knocked the crowd-over with a rush of the most textured yet abrasive synths you've every heard.

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Caribou was always going to be hard to beat but if anybody was going to do it it's Annie Clarke, better known as St. Vincent. A little like twigs, Clarke is otherworldly. As she enters the stage all her movements are clean yet a little alien. She shuffles about the stage as if she's on a conveyer belt on Mars and also moves her arms about in a robotic yet beautiful motion. Essentially her songs operate in the realms of pop but live she brings a real rock grunt to them. She absolutely shreds on the guitar and despite her crisp look, she gets down and gets to work. It's never more evident than on Birth In Reverse where she marries pop synths with a growling guitar, fusing for a massive chorus. Her voice is also crystalline for the entirety of the performance making quieter numbers like Cheerleader captivating. She deserved every bit of the Grammy she won today even if she herself couldn't give a toss.

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Running down the hill to catch the final moments of American BANKS, we were immediately hit by a flurry of smoke and lights in which she waded around in her dark gown. There were rumours that she only wanted photographers to take photos of her left side and as such photographers were blocked from shooting from a certain side of the stage. She's definitely got the songs, as brilliant closer Beggin' For Thread proved, but the whole thing felt a little measured. That's why it was so good to hear her let loose and say "Melbourne, this has been one of the best fucking shows of my life".

On that point, BANKS' sentiment was one that many of the acts echoed. Many were overwhelmed by not only the size of the crowd but the palpable energy which occupied every space of the festival. There was barely any rogue behaviour, rather just 12,000 plus who appreciated good music and showed their appreciation respectfully. Every year Laneway reminds us why festivals aren't dead. They just need to be treated and attended with love.

GALLERY: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival Melbourne

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