Live Review: Future Music Festival

1 March 2015 | 3:28 pm | Amy Summer

Die Antwoord impress while Drake had to work to win some of Sydney over at FMF.

The weather was glorious at Randwick Racecourse, which transformed into an emoji-themed paradise for the 2015 Future Music Festival.

With eight stages and close to one hundred acts, entering the gates felt like arriving on another planet. But once you recover from the shock of the exorbitant drink prices and sea of denim clad exposed butt cheeks, the festival is actually pretty incredible.

Once you recover from the shock of the exorbitant drink prices and sea of denim clad exposed butt cheeks, the festival is actually pretty incredible.


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The line-up is heavily electronic dance music, so it’s definitely not a festival for the faint of heart. When you’re pressed up against thousands of sweaty people at the front of the mosh, it’s time to take a deep breath and forget about how much you value personal space. An early highlight of the day was UK duo Gorgon City, whose garage inventions were surprisingly uplifting. Their tracks with female vocal collaborations were particularly mesmerising.

High energy DJ act Bassjackers seem to have perfected the algorithm for pleasing a crowd. Although not particularly innovative musically, they managed to have people getting down and dirty at 3pm. Sigma were equally delightful, with their upbeat tune Nobody To Love the climax of the set. Musician and house DJ Timmy Trumpet justified his contagious hype, performing on a dramatic smoke filled stage to an extremely enthusiastic audience.

Australian hip hop favourites Hilltop Hoods provided a brief respite from all of the electronic stuff, marking their entrance onto the stage with a burst of wind instruments. Comparatively much more mellow than the others acts; their set was full of their catchy anthems. Whether you like it or not, you’re bound to get that Cosby Sweater song stuck in your head at least until the next act.

One nearby punter exclaimed, "I love Drake but there’s way too much talking!"


The EDM treats concluded with hugely popular Avicii, who finished up the festival with more deep dance music. By this a stage it was a test of human stamina more than anything, but Avicii provided the incentive to keep dancing with his throbbing, bass-heavy tunes.

A big festival standout was rave rap group Die Antwoord. South-African members Yolandi Vi$$er and Ninja performed in front of their signature D.I.Y style black and white backdrop, alongside a masked DJ Hi-Tek. Known for their energetic shows, the crowd was treated to frenzied dance moves and extraterrestrial costumes that made the show seem more like a piece of performance art. Stage antics abounded, with Ninja crowd surfing and Yolandi rocking her unique brand of creepy sex appeal. What makes Die Antwoord’s live shows so compelling (and often problematic), is their combination of innocence, sexuality and a kind of darker, demonic undertone. The show was a combination of popular older songs as well as ones from their new album Donker Mag, including Ugly Boy and the raucous Raging Zef Boner, which was rewarded with lingerie being thrown onto the stage. They ended the set with the older yet consistently titillating favourite Enter The Ninja.

Highly anticipated rapper Drake performed to a crowd of thousands, who all seemed to hold a collective soft spot for the performer. Although Drake himself oozes charisma, the performance seemed erratic at times, with regular and sometimes lengthy intervals between songs. One nearby punter exclaimed, “I love Drake but there’s way too much talking!” Nonetheless, the show was more than enjoyable, with spontaneous fireworks, amazing laser spectacles, and Drake hovering above the crowd on a swing at one point. Hits Worst Behavior and Started From the Bottom will always win us over.

Other acts to note include 2 Chainz, The Prodigy, Knife Party and Afrojack, amongst many others. You can always judge the quality of a music festival by how willing you are to accept your hangover the next day. Rest assured, the idyllic sunshine, solid line-up and overall good times of Future Music Festival make this throbbing headache all worth it.