Listen Out 2019 Sydney
Listen Out 2019 Sydney
Written by Veronica Paulus, Photos by Bree Wallace
If there’s one thing a Sydney crowd knows how to do, it’s definitely showing the hell up. Despite the not-so-sunny weather and decidedly overcast skies, more than 30,000 festival-goers turned up to Listen Out in Sydney this year, each and every one of them visibly ready to have a good ass time.
Listen Out, as always, was sprawled across three stages; and truth be told, I didn’t have the faintest clue as to which one I was going to first. So, I just went with the general flow of the crowd—this took me to the 909 stage, where JPEGMAFIA was ready to light it up. Though his beats were more on the mellow side, JPEGMAFIA managed to hype the crowd up regardless, with Jesus Forgive Me, I Am a Thot banging particularly hard.
Swiftly moving on, I legged it to the Atari stage to catch dream pop sensation Wafia’s set. Let’s be real; the crowd was waiting for one song and one song only, and that was I’m Good, an absolute vibe of a track that managed to hit #14 on last year’s Hottest 100. Taking a quick glance at the crowd, it wasn’t hard to see smiles all around. Wafia’s energy was pumping—the atmosphere infectious in the best possible way, the type that encouraged everyone to just let loose and have some damn fun.
Denzel Curry was slated to play after Wafia on the same stage, and if the increasingly growing crowd—never dwindling once—was anything to go by, it was clear that the hype was only just getting started. If JPEGMAFIA and Wafia were the the vibe-setters, Denzel Curry was here to build on their momentum, kicking off the latter part of the night with his hard-hitting rap.
The good times were to keep on rolling over at the Atari stage, with 6LACK dialing it down a notch with his signature brand of broody rhymes. The crowd swayed back and forth as 6LACK mesmerizingly crooned to us, everyone clearly caught in his lyrical spell.
Deciding that I’d stayed long enough over at Atari, I quickly dipped back to the 909 stage to catch one of my most anticipated acts of the day: Cosmo’s Midnight. 6LACK’s act had calmed me down some, but that work was soon quickly undone by the Australian duo—whose ridiculously infectious beats had me dancing and laughing with everyone else in the crowd. Radiating intensely good vibes, the boys played tracks from their most recent album, W hat Comes Next. Thinking that their set couldn’t get any better, I was proven incredibly wrong as they blasted their groovy as hell remix of Lizzo’s hit song, Juice.
With the end of the night nearing, I made my way over to the Atari stage for one last time as Flume , the headline act of the festival, geared up to take the stage. Having been away from his homeland for quite some time, Flume made sure to give nothing but his all as he debuted his new live act, a highly conceptual and, quite frankly, overwhelming (in the best way) experience. Lights frantically strobing whichever way possible, Flume took command of the stage as he stalked around the platform, literally smashing shit and throwing himself between props like a man possessed. Combined with his ethereal, space-sounding beats, this made for one hell of a performance as the crowd, honestly feral by this point, matched his every word. You could tell Flume himself was having the time of his life too, adrenaline and excitement visibly pumping through his body.
And just like that, Listen Out 2019 drew to a high-spirited close. With one of the most diverse lineups I’ve seen from a festival, it’s clear that Listen Out will continue to be an Aussie favourite—especially amongst all the recent drama regarding festival legislation in NSW.
Here’s to many more years to come—the good times shall keep on rolling.