Sandstone Point Hotel converted their picturesque outdoor area into a full blown festival set-up over the weekend with enormous kites flying high over the crowd, food trucks, various drink stalls and bars and more to accommodate the For Shore Festival.
As the gates opened and people began piling into the venue, ordering drinks at the two bars located inside while others made their way out to the field where the stage and various stalls were set up, Future Jr. began his set to kick off the Festival.
The festival was held in Sandstone Point Hotel’s enormous open field that backs onto the Pumicestone Passage, making for a remarkably picturesque location. A multitude of market type stalls, food trucks and bars made the day even better because there were no lines whatsoever; not even at the toilets which I think we all know can be incredibly long and awful at music festivals.
The alcohol being served at this event was (drum roll) full strength alcohol! I had to include this in my review because personally, every event I have ever attended has had me paying $13 for a mid-strength beer, this was not the case at For Shore Festival and for that I believe we were all grateful.
As CXLOE came out to start her set, the crowd had grown astronomically, covering the grass surrounding the stage as people began dancing and singing along with the young artist who looked absolutely beautiful in her sheer white set. CXLOE treated her fans to a brand new song, showcasing her ability to perform something that literally no one in that audience knew about, but absolutely adored and fell in love with right there and then as she sang it live on the stage. She also played a remarkable cover of Tove Lo’s “Cool Girl” and finally, wrapped up her set with her smash song “Show You”.
Next up came Dom Dolla who brought with him some serious dance vibes. Hitting the decks, Dom Dolla pulled in a massive crowd of people who were there to get down and dance. It was great to see people getting around, dancing like there was no one around and just having fun with the set, “what a fuckin’ day” he said half-way through his performance, and I couldn’t have agreed more.
Motez was out straight after, no need for a change-over of equipment so the beats were delivered for around 2-hours straight and it was seriously awesome. People were still making their way into the festival grounds and could be seen dancing their way down into the field with the sounds of Motez on the decks. I cannot express enough how hot and sunny it was by this point of the day, Motez eventually had to accept defeat from the sun and add some cardboard squares to the DJ decks as he could no longer see from the suns glare. This didn’t stop him from continuing on with an absolutely killer performance that included exciting stage effects such as fire and confetti cannons.
Wafia is up next and the crowd begins to wonder around the field, buying food, drinks and getting their faces painted with glitter as the stage is transformed for her. Eventually, everyone makes their way back to the front of the stage to wait for Wafia to begin her performance. As soon as Wafia hits the stage, glowing from head to toe, the crowd begins chanting “Wafia! Wafia! Wafia!” over and over, a huge smile breaks out across the singers face and she gets straight into her set. Wafia left the audience beyond impressed as she wrapped things up with explosions from the confetti cannons.
Not long after it’s time for SAFIA to make their way out onto the For Shore stage and get us ready for the evening performances. It’s still incredibly hot, the sun is definitely still out and everyone is covered in sweat but you better believe the crowd was squished in tight and ready to go at least 15-minutes before SAFIA were even due to hit the stage. Red Frog crew members made their way around the audience, handing out cups of cold water and ensuring everyone was feeling okay and all of a sudden Michael Bell (SAFIA drummer) is making his out onto the stage to his drum kit and the crowd goes absolutely mental. A few seconds pass and out comes Harry (SAFIA guitarist/synth) with his guitar; the guys begin playing as the crowd waits in total suspense for Ben (SAFIA vocalist) to hit the stage. Finally, all three band members are on stage and the performance is going off right from the get-go. The guys are dripping with sweat as Ben asks the crowd between songs “how fucking hot is it today?”.
The SAFIA boys put on one hell of a show, with incredible stage effects and fascinating equipment, namely the old-school telephone that had been converted into some kind of auto-tune microphone for Ben to use, or the huge flames that came shooting out from the front of the stage which definitely looked really cool, but as Ben put it, “like we needed to make it any hotter”. The guys played a sick cover of Britney Spears’ 'Oops I Did It Again' as an intro to their song 'Counting Sheep' and a full cover of Gorillas’ 'Feel Good Inc.' which went off with a bang!
Finally, the sun had gone down and it was time for The Presets to grace the For Shore stage. There were people everywhere, the field had to of been at maximum capacity because there was not one patch of grass left empty, people were all over, ready to see The Presets smash it, and they definitely didn’t leave anyone disappointed. There were lights and lasers everywhere, accompanied with fun backdrops but nothing compared to the moment the fireworks started exploding off the Bribie Island Bridge as The Presets belted out their hit song ‘14U+14ME', leaving the crowd either screaming in excitement, or staring up into the sky in awe, either way everyone was left reeling from the experience.
Last, but certainly not least, was PNAU. It’s obviously quite dark by this point, and so the guys came out in these glowing/neon outfits and although I was confused as to how it all worked, it was probably the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. Lasers and lights were going off everywhere, there was confetti and how often are you treated to two rounds of fireworks in one night? PNAU wrapped up the night with another explosion of fireworks off the Bribie Island Bridge and although if someone had told me that two bands were going to let off fireworks one after another, I’d probably say that sounds like overkill but seeing it and seeing the way the crowd reacted to it, it was anything but overkill. The crowd lit up just as the sky did for the second time and it was honestly just a beautiful moment where it seemed as though everyone was connected and really together; one couple even got engaged under the fireworks during PNAU’s set, a true testament to the feelings and emotions that were evoked during their performance.
The first ever For Shore Festival went off without a hitch, in a truly beautiful location with everything you could ever ask for from a music event (full-strength alcohol at decent prices, am I right?). If this was the festival organisers first shot at getting this festival up and running, then I cannot wait to see what they have in store for us all next year. This would have to be, hands down, one of the best music festivals I have attended in years, from the line-up, to the venue, to the people who were in attendance, it was an absolute all-rounder; hats off to the For Shore Festival organisers and all the bands who performed, giving everyone an absolute ripper to the start of the year.
Words and Photography by Tayla Sudall