As a Spilt Milk virgin, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into. For the past two years, I lived vicariously through my friends, but it was time to experience the hype myself. I’d heard the festival delivers the goods – there’s no skimming here.
In just three short years, Spilt Milk has enticed more than 55,000 people to travel to Canberra for this nationally-recognised one-day event. I felt fortunate to get through the doors as tickets sold out incredibly quickly. For festivals, I have four basic judging criteria: good food, drinks, adequate bathrooms and of course, the line-up.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a smorgasbord of food. The food village was something that appealed to my senses (that being taste). Did someone say fried chicken!? Loved the offerings from Dirty Bird Food truck and of course who doesn’t like a good burger especially when you need some carbs to sober up a little. Chur Burger, you never disappoint me! But if I am going to be honest with you, I love my sweets and Messina is a boss player in this landscape. So, Spilt Milk, thank you for filling my belly!
Obviously, with any festival, you go to sip on a few drinks* with friends and enjoy the music. What you don’t want to be doing is spending forever in line waiting to place an order. I think the bars were sufficiently staffed keeping the wait times to a minimum considering how many people were at the festival. Cashless transactions made the process easier too!
I preferred heading down to the Barcardi bar to enjoy mojitos! Situated next to the Bacardi El Coco stage, you could enjoy cocktails in the sun and get close to the artists on the stage next to you. My festival tip is stick to one type of alcohol, “in theory” the hangover is less painful. The only challenge I faced was to keep my friend from knocking over the drinks when seated on the lawn. One friend (who shall remain nameless) knocked over about five drinks in the space of five minutes #SMH.
Yes bathrooms are in my criteria for reviews, perhaps I have an inner princess in me don’t judge me. Organisers for Spilt Milk had it covered with multiple WC sites. Although my tip, ALWAYS pack some tissues and antibacterial gel in your bag, you will inevitably need it.
With food, drinks and bathroom breaks sorted, my crew and I always have a game plan mapped out for festivals (including a meeting spot if you get separated). The most important part of the planning comes down to highlighting the key acts we want to see. Knowing when and where you need to go. For us, the music gods were good to us, we had gaps in between key sets and didn’t have to run from the top of regatta point to the second stage. I think this helped keep a chilled vibe to the day.
While I was bummed when Childish Gambino cancelled (due to a broken foot) the line up still had legs. It included a mix of Aussie and international acts including the Wombats, Peking Duk, Golden Features (DJ set), Angus & Julia Stone, Vera Blue, Jack River, RL Grime, The Jungle Giants, Miss Blanks, Hayden James, Cub Sport, Methyl Ethel, Kira Puru, Thundamentals, Willaris. K, Hatchie and more.
It was awesome to see local boys Peking Duck killing it on their home turf. My favourite for the day was Golden Features and RL Grime. It was my first time seeing Golden Features. As a last minute ringer to replace Childish Gambino I thought he brought it. While I have heard his “sect set” was better at previous festivals I had nothing to compare it to and rocked out to his DJ set. As a stylist, too, I must say his mask rocked. Golden Features touched on his new album (like so many artists on the day) but spliced his set with trusted oldies like ‘telescope’, and ‘Wolfie’.
The winner for me has to have been the grittiness that RL Grime delivered. His set pretty much matched to how I was looking and feeling by the end of the day – dirty and rough. RL Grime has been killing it for the last four years or so, it was a pleasure to see him live. He took us on a trap journey of highs and lows periodically teasing the crowd with drop opportunities.
Overall I think it’s amazing to see the Commonwealth Park come alive and transforming to a musical escape for us locals. With its positive vibe and reputation, it is no wonder that it has now become a drawcard for interstate festival goers. Spilt Milk is fast becoming part of the Australian Festival culture. I am very interested to see the evolution of Spilt Milk for 2019 and the acts that they will be pulling.