When NYE In The Park started a few years back, it was pushed a cheap festival option for New Years. Perfect for last minute plans, a solid enough lineup, and a city-friendly location. Not much of that has changed really, but now, the festival is a proper good New Years option.
While it’s only specific to Sydney, we’ve seen a lot of competition this 2019-20 NYE. Wildlands has popped up, Origin Fields has a following, and of course you have your staples like Falls, Beyond The Valley, Lost Paradise etc (another big sad face for those that had to be cancelled, and my deepest thoughts with all those affected by the tragic bushfires, feel free to donate here).
But what felt like a small Sydney festival when it first started, has now evolved into a banging good time that you’ll eagerly await the lineup for each year from now.
It was a pretty perfect day for it, as the weather in Syd cooled down just in time for the main mischief. Sneaky Sound System and The Bag Raiders really kicked things off by throwing it back with their Ministry-Of-Sound and early 2000s classics. Last-minute call up The Jungle Giants brought their high-energy good vibes, with Client Liasion spilling some typical nostalgia all over the crowd with 80s-synth energy.
And as the NYE sun set, there was a pretty good feeling around Victoria Park. There was plenty of room at both the Amphitheatre and the Jungle Stage, with the Whatslively tent-stage even bringing a tonne of good R&B DJ vibes.
What I was also pretty impressed with was the bar. Never ran out of any drinks as far as I was aware, and despite what felt like a 10,000-strong crowd, barely ever a really bad line to get drinks.
As we got ever closer to 2020, Touch Sensitive got the serious countdown lead up going with a funky old time (I love that he always plays live-bass, makes for a great addition to a standard DJ set). SAFIA and Crooked Colours took it up a few levels with their dance-inspired bangers, and just pre-midnight Young Franco continued to impress with his live DJ-sets, mixing up his own tunes with the perfect disco-led beats that are just made for a dirty boogie.
Not gonna lie, it was a bit of an odd NYE countdown to 2020 itself – as both stages seemed to countdown from 60, with not really much music playing. And even though the planned fireworks were cancelled due to the fires (the festival made a great gesture by donating financial resources left from the fireworks to the NSW RFS), the click over to 2020 didn’t lack any excitement.
American-headliner Girl Talk started off the new year with a bang of his own, and showed why he’s one of the best producers and remixers in the game. He brought up about 100-200 punters/backstagers/lucky VIPs on stage for a house-party-esque set that had the crowd dancing at the main stage till the early hours.
And the fact there were so many people, so much buzz, this felt like a turning point for the festival. Moving from just some casual last minute live-music plans, to something you plan in advance and look forward to right up until the clock strikes midnight. Let’s just hope the generous ticket prices just stay the same!
Images: Supplied, Patrick Stevenson, NYE In The Park Facebook Page