I went to Groovin The Moo (GTM) in Canberra with high expectations. I expected cattle, lots of cattle. But to my disappointment I realised that were no cows at GTM. However, what I did see was a half-naked crowd rockin to some pretty good artists including: Snakehips, George Maple, Dillon Francis and a bunch more, which I guess made up for the lack of real moos.
Having been to a few festivals in Germany, GTM was my first in Australia. The crowd really stood out. It was really, really cold in Canberra (as the Canberran winter is), it dropped down to -2 degrees celcius that night! However, that didn’t stop the crowd from turning out in true festival gear. Skirts, shorts, dresses and crop tops were the outfits for the day/night. In the meantime I was shivering in my own gear, which at some point involved up to 4 sweaters at once! (Even though I live in Germany, I still hate the cold, fam). Although I was getting close to offering them away when seeing some of these kids dressed as though it was peak summer. A lot of them coped with the cold by either:
- hanging around some of the provided heaters in the communal areas,
- hanging around the kebab spit or one of the various other tasty food vans, or
- huddling up in the crowds like a flock of sheep. The biggest crowd being at the Moolin Rouge stage.
The Moolin Rouge was where I spent most of my day/night. I first saw George Maple, and damn, was she good! Jess Higgs, a London-based Australian female artist, captivated the crowd with her smooth and smoky vocals and mesmerised the punters with punchy beats. Her set was a combination of originals and mash-ups, with samples from the likes of GoldLink and Kendrick Lamar. On the stage it was only her and the microphone, no one and nothing else, allowing her to freely move along the entire stage, unlike any other artists.
Next up was Snakehips. The UK-based duo played a set which changed pace a few times, but was overall provided great dancing tunes with some bangers mixed in. This included all-time classics like ‘Forever’ and their remix of Bondax’s ‘Gold’, but also included newer songs like ‘Don’t Leave’ and ‘All My Friends’ which turned into a sing-along that left the crowd going nuts.
I watched Hayden James perform a deep, groovy and tranquil set from afar, as we had to walk around to have our fair share at the kebab spit. We did however, manage to return in time and see George Maple return to join James, making the crowd go wild once again.
We’d been waiting for the moment to see American DJ/comedian, Dillon Francis all night! And his set did not disappoint, it was the best by far. In his usual manner Dillon provided listeners with his old goodies and renowned bangers. ‘Not Butter’, ‘Get Low’, ‘Masta Blasta’, he didn’t let up for his entire set (aside from a cheeky segment of slow RnB classics). He even featured his new single ‘Say Less’, all with additional visuals on the screens behind him (singing balloons, anyone?). Unfortunately, Gerald, his longtime piñata companion was nowhere to be seen, but overall Dillon provided my favourite songs of the evening.
At the end of the night, Groovin the Moo in Canberra was a nice refreshing festival compared to some in Germany. It had something for everyone, while giving off a relaxed festival vibe with artists that kept the crowd singing, dancing and smiling all night.
Be sure to keep an eye out for GTM next year and get groovin!
By Curtis Gordon