Live Review: Castaway Festival

22 February 2016 | 3:38 pm | Kane Sutton

"What So Not was given a birthday cake at the end of the set, which, after asking permission, he threw into the crowd."

Well, you have to hand it to them — Castaway knows how to throw a hell of a beach party. Beers were being popped as early as 9.30am as the Rottnest Express took us on a smooth half-hour journey across to the popular getaway island, all with enough time for punters to chow down The Lane's fabulous 'Lane Dog' burgers and grab a couple of selfies with quokkas. Gates to Hotel Rottnest opened just before noon, and wow, what a remarkable sight: four bars, food vendors, plenty of tree shade and tables to sit at, and the stage situated right where the ocean water kisses the sand, with plenty of beach to dance on. Dr Space launched proceedings to a very chill audience and his selections complemented the early vibes perfectly, throwing in a huge variety of styles including the likes of MGMT's Kids, Jeremih's Pass Dat and Duke Dumont's Need U (100%).

The Time Pilot duo are retro by nature, but they had no dramas throwing down some thick, head-spinning tracks, plus throwbacks such as TLC's No Scrubs. Nothing goes unrecorded in our current technological phase and phones were out everywhere as two ladies partied with each other to the side of stage like the festival was in its later stages, but they didn't seem to mind in the slightest. The third Perth local to grace the stage, Tina Says, was all about procuring bass lines as heavy as a blow to the side of the head, and her enthusiasm was top notch, singing along to just about every track she played. The crowd towards the front of the stage continued to bulk and by the time Sable appeared, the venue was nearing full capacity. It was refreshing to hear a little more by way of synth-inspired tracks from the local star, sprinkling his sugary sweetness over a couple of originals as well as remixes, including Ed Sheeran's Don't and Japanese Wallpaper's Between Friends.

There was a huge buzz of anticipation in the air as Golden Features took to the stage wearing his signature golden-plated mask, and it proved to be more than warranted as he went on to produce the highlight set of the day. His tracks were punchy, had plenty of groove, and the transitioning was seamless. He also has a wonderful knack for building the intensity throughout a tune, and the crowd, bumper to bumper, responded in kind. Guillotine garnered a huge response, as did the K Flay-featured Telescope, but the crowd roared when the man behind the decks took off his mask and sang along with his audience for the final track.

Despite a slight thinning out of punters towards the end of the day, What So Not closed out the festival in style, sucking everyone in from the get go with the always huge Gemini (featuring George Maple). A mix of Travis Scott's Antidote was also very much welcomed, and of course, everyone chorused along to Drake's Hotline Bling. Having celebrated his birthday just days prior, What So Not was given a birthday cake at the end of the set, which, after asking permission, he threw into the crowd. It was a fun way to end the day, and while many a pair of thongs were lost and plenty will be feeling the sunburn over the next few days, there's no doubt Castaway delivered in spades, and we will all be there again next time it comes 'round.

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