HOT BBQ – Point Nepean

Image photographed by Anna Kanci.
Photography by Anna Kanci.

Mother Nature was in a crazy mood when the Hot BBQ brigade made its way down to Victoria’s Point Nepean National Park. From all of the excitement of having a new and awesome location at the former army barracks, the weather served up a mix of hammering wind, bursts of sunshine and an evening chill.

Yet, the tumultuous weather goes hand in hand with every outdoor festival, and quite frankly everyone is there for the music and that’s why we are happy to brave it all. Especially with such stellar acts lining up to serve a scrumptious array of mouth-watering tunes for a hungry crowd. Aptly named stages Mixed Grill, Lamb Chop, Coleslaw and Fried Onion made sure all musical genres were catered for with dance, electro, hip hop, pop, drum & bass, rock, indie and house – it was a thorough smorgasbord of songs from each end of the musical spectrum to the other.

As the influx of patrons gradually developed by the 3 o’clock mark, Melbourne’s own Miami Horror was styling it up on the Mixed Grill stage. A pretty impressive future line up of gigs awaits these fellows, as they play at the Big Day Out, and support Lily Allen and Phoenix throughout their Australian tours.

The Scientists of Modern Music were bringing synth rhythms and glam rock to the Coleslaw stage, as DJ Prequel was wrapping up to give Miss Bertie Blackman the tongs to the sausages at the Mixed Grill stage. Dressed in an understated red flannel hoodie, Bertie’s idiosyncratic voice resounded above the squall, as the crowd gathered to check out her live set.

The most sought after set of the day, was by no doubt the grand- daddy of hip hop cool, Grandmaster Flash. The crowd was so pumped to hear the tunes emanating from Grandmaster’s decks, that one particular chic, who was evidently quite versatile with a near eight meter scaffolding, decided this was her opportune moment to scale the heights and hang upside down. An impressively stupid move that got quite a few sneers, but thankfully didn’t allow Grandmaster Flash to cut his set short. Pumping out the tracks of the eternal Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Jackson 5 and Nirvana, the crowd went ballistic with people clambering on shoulders, pumping their arms in the air and jumping around like they were on hot coals. It was awesome to be among the throng that was bounding in unison to the deep hip hop beats.

Jet played to a somewhat sparser crowd after Grandmaster’s killer show, but their hit Are You Gonna Be My Girl? still manages to penetrate through a crowd, and even the VIP’s in the Hot BBQ Beach House were rocking the building to its foundation.

Next up were the effervescent Sneaky Sound System. Miss Connie was in a whack outfit, with alien-esque purple shoulder pads, black puffed up PVC pants and killer red buckled stilettos. The crazy outfit complimented the flurry of excitement within the crowd as Sneaky dropped such commercial and club hits as I Love It, Kansas City and Just Don’t Wanna Be Love. These guys are brilliant live and bring an intangible amount of energy to any crowd.

Thankfully – purely in terms of indolence and convenience – the stages were very close to each, so you could dash between the sets of German outfit Aeroplane at Coleslaw, Melbourne’s Nick Foley at Mixed Grill and Body Rocker Kaz James at Fried Onion.

John Course persisted with the festivals distinct Aussie flavor, as Phrase continued the zesty tunes at the Lamb Chop stage. Artists Ajax, Grant Smilie and New Zealand’s Scribe played the final sets at each of their respective stages. However, it seemed apparent that the masses were gathered to hear the Presets power out their crowd pleasing melodies with a fantastic light show accompaniment at the Mixed Grill stage, as the sun went down. And this stage’s grassy patch was definitely well-worn by the end of the day.

It was safe to say that this Hot BBQ was a real hit with the punters, who had made the trek down to Portsea and surrounding areas to be the first to attend the Hot BBQ festival within these splendid surrounds.

Despite the tempest playing havoc with the sound coming from each stage and turning all the punters into chimney sweep wannabes, it was a thoroughly enjoyable music festival. With no wait for the drinks and even less for the bathrooms, there was no overcrowding, no grumpiness, only smiles and hands up in the mother f*cking air.

A satisfying musical feast, that definitely had punters wanting seconds.
Ok, that’s enough BBQ clichéd puns to last you an entire summer. Big ups to the organizers of Future Entertainment for a Hot BBQ event that was sizzling.

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