Harvest Review @ Werribee Park 2012

Sigur Ros at Harvest, Melbourne
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

Upon setting foot at Werribee Park, the crowd was greeted by colourful decorations and the sunny, scenic backdrop of Harvest Festival.

Even at 11am, people were already heading to the stages to catch the first acts, while others took shade under the big trees that scattered across the park. Festival goers went about in their bright printed shirts and Ray-Bans, arming themselves with bottles of sunscreen to fight the noon sun while constantly checking the Harvest app for set times.

The crowd grew bigger at the Great Lawn in preparation for The Dandy Warhols, who came out to a cheering crowd after waiting long enough in the heatwave. Most of the dancing vibes put out by Courtney Taylor-Taylor and the band came from their two famous hits, ‘Bohemian Like You’ and 'We Used To Be Friends’, while their other tunes such as ‘Godless’ and ‘The Autumn Carnival’ put the audience in a slightly more mellow mood.

The two hours spent between the set times of The Dandy Warhols and Beirut were spent gathering food and booze, checking out the kitschy set-ups that sold mystical objects, and listening briefly to the acts in between: Silversun Pickups, Mike Patton's Mondo Cane and Cake. Cake were the most memorable out of the lot, with the crowd chanting, “Sheep go to heaven! Goats go to hell!” alongside singer John McCrea's raspy vocals.

Back at the Great Lawn, Beirut was the next highlight. The indie-folk act had the crowd going with their myriad of musical instruments, particularly the trumpet that accompanied most of their music. The whole set was a crowd-pleaser, save for the drum accompaniment to ‘The Rip Tide’, which did not sit very well with the mood of the song.

On the same stage after Beirut was Beck. Dressed in a mint green blazer and fedora, the crowd went ballistic as he played hits such as ‘Loser’ and ‘Think I'm In Love’. In between songs, Beck fiddled with his guitar for a couple of solos. “I wonder if it belonged to Santana…I don't think so!” he shouted, clearly pleased with himself for managing a good guitar solo moment.

Heading back to the Windmill Stage, Grizzly Bear came out to a substantial crowd. They played hits such as ‘Yet Again’ and ‘A Simple Answer’ from their latest album Shields, while stirring the crowds with old favourites.

Right after Grizzly Bear, we headed back to the Great Lawn for the final, and possibly the most surreal act of the night — Sigur Ros — where the whole event was filled with dancing and grooving to the sunny day beats, the mood at Sigur Ros was the complete opposite.

As night fell, a blanket of darkness covered the Great Lawn, save for the lights and captivating background projections that lit up the stage. It seemed like a retreat into the night, a silent moment for the festival goers to soak in the hauntingly beautiful atmosphere painted by the Icelandic band with songs such as ‘Olsen Olsen’ and ‘Popplagid’.

All in all, it was a great festival, with an excellent selection of bands, good food, great weather, and a myriad of art shows to boot. Contrary to the popular Dandy Warhols opinion, the majority of the crowd at Harvest did, indeed, get down like disco.

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