Before you all make assumptions about my bulking, shredding, pinging and general douchebaggery behaviour, I’d like to point out that there were worthwhile acts on this year’s Stereosonic line up – ZHU, Porter Robinson, Duke Dumont, RL Grime, Peking Duk, The Aston Shuffle, What So Not, Alison Wonderland.
Fortunately for me (and unfortunately for the Stereo boardrooms), I got to see these sets in surprisingly intimate environments for such a huge festival like Stereo. It was actually somewhat sad seeing the small crowd that had rocked up. I debated this with my friend – what exactly has made Stereo take such a dive? Back when I first started going to festivals, Stereosonic was huge and packed full of a vast variety of people. But the transition to the two day line up, the trend towards boutique music festivals and the stigmatisation of Stereo amongst other factors have definitely spawned a noticeable impact on attendance.I’d love to get into their office and crack the whip on their marketing and branding (if anyone from Totem Onelove happens to be reading this – call me 😉 ). Indeed, the Stereo line up doesn’t normally leave much to the imagination. The last few years have basically been rotational, once you’ve been to one or two, you’ve been to all of them. Even Frank Cotela, creator of Stereo, is not delusional to the Stereo Stigma – this Facebook post certainly doesn’t mince words.
Because I’m not hardcore enough to go #twodays, I just witnessed the Saturday revelries. Having seen Alison Wonderland DJ at The Plot late last year, I knew we were in for a guaranteed good-time set, and she didn’t fail to deliver. The Wave Racer remix of Panama’s “Always”, Ginuwine’s “Pony” plus her own track “I Want U” – crowd pleaser central.
Along with the rest of the Alison Wonderland crowd, we rushed over to What So Not (just Emoh Instead) at the OWSLA stage. He’s been touring extensively internationally and this slew of Stereo shows have been his first home shows in 12 months.
It was then onto ZHU and Porter Robinson. ZHU was good, laidback deep house vibes, played of course behind this huge white shade covering the front of stage lest anyone dares see his face. But the latter was my highlight of the day. The crowd was ashamedly small. Being able to see acts like ZHU and Porter Robinson super close up and have room to dance kinda shouldn’t happen in my opinion but I’m guessing everyone else at Stereo was at the likes of Alesso, Steve Aoki, Markus Schulz.
Porter Robinson’s set was live and exploding with his diverse music. His set up was sleek and sophisticated, and in contrast his graphics were soul crushingly adorable – filled with Japanese style cartoons and emojis. I was also introduced to diffraction glasses at Porter by a group of guys standing next to me – apparently a popular rave accessory? Where have I been all my life slash where have these glasses been all my life.
We swung by Skrillex at the end of the day for old times’ sake. His latest album Recess is actually not bad but when he played his older tracks like “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” it just felt…utterly outdated.
This will likely be my last year at Stereosonic but to all the people who look down their noses, let’s not pretend it’s not a fun day out.
Exclusively and pretentiously handpicked just for you, by Jane.