Festival X delivers stunning debut Melbourne show

Melbourne’s start to the Summer couldn’t have kicked off in better fashion. With the debut of Festival X on the cards, Melburnians were treated to an absolute smorgasbord of elite musical talent at the prestigious Melbourne Showgrounds. Taking a leaf out of the books of various other Australian music festivals, the eclectic lineup catered to all tastes as opposed to a mainstage-heavy lineup of strictly, but not limited to, EDM. Despite the typical unpredictable Melbourne weather showering fans throughout the day, the spirits of festival-goers couldn’t be broken as patrons enjoyed what was one of the best electronic music festivals Melbourne has seen in recent times.

Spread across 5 different stages, fans were treated to a bona fide feast of music. While Jamo opened up the Bass stage, Melbourne’s own JDG had the honours of kicking things off on the mainstage while Ryan Haynes got things going in the House & Techno Hall. Meanwhile, the Trance stage was blessed to have hometown hero Marcus Santoro open up the day. Marcus, who later shared the stage with Sunset Bros, perfectly summarized everyone’s thoughts on the day:

“The day was great despite the weather, it felt really good to see a proper festival come back which gave me a lot of nostalgic Stereosonic vibes.”

Sydney singer/songwriter Thandi Phoenix delivered a wonderful performance earlier on in the day, as she dazzled the Festival X crowd with her soulful vocals, including her smash-hit with Sigma ‘Say It’. Soon thereafter, Melbourne’s own Generik took the stage. Kicking things up to another level, he would soon display his intimate knowledge of the Melbourne crowd’s tastes, as he played a slew of Tech House & Disco bangers, including Endor’s ‘Pump It Up’, Dead or Alive’s ‘You Spin Me’ and much to the crowd’s delight, ABBA’s ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’.

While bringing in a plethora of international headline acts, there was no shortage of local talent on offer either. Taking over the Bass stage for 2 solid hours of headbanging madness, Australian acts Godlands and Badrapper each delivered an hour of pure madness, catering to the tastes of the bass heads in attendance.  

Soon thereafter in the House & Techno Hall, crowd-favourite Kölsch was tearing things up with his dark, brooding brand of Techno. Having visited the country every year since 2014, the Dane is no stranger to Aussie crowds and aptly reflected that through his 1.5 hours of pure goodness. 

Meanwhile, on the Mainstage, Dim Mak head-honcho Steve Aoki was tearing things up with his hard-hitting festival bangers. The cake-throwing American delivered snippets of his Tomorrowland set, as the crowd were witness to tracks such as ‘Popcorn’ with Ummet Ozcan and his crowd-favourite ‘We Are The Champions’ mashup with his ‘Pursuit Of Happiness’ remix.

Exciting fans with a stacked Hip-Hop lineup Festival X had fans covered. Headliner Lil Pump was next up on the mainstage. Engaging the crowd as only he can, fans sang along to some of the 19-year-old’s biggest hits, including ‘i Shyne’ with Carnage, ‘D Rose’ and the tune that put him on the map; ‘Gucci Gang’.

Next up was Armin van Buuren. The dynamic Dutchman, who visited Australia last year with his ASOT 850 show, returned this year on the Festival X circuit. A crowd favourite in the land down under, Armin left the crowd in awe with tracks such as ‘Revolution’, Blasterjaxx’s ‘Lifting You Higher’ remix, Avian Grays & Syzz’s ’Nobody’ and his festival-favourite of the year; ‘Blah Blah Blah’. Filled with brooding big room and tantalizing Trance anthems, Armin undoubtedly gave the crowd their money’s worth. 

Not long after Armin, fans were blessed with the presence of Tchami, who performed his set on the intimate bass stage. Filled with some of his biggest & best tunes, the Frenchman was spawning bass-faces all-round, as fans bared witness to one of the best sermons of the day. With tracks such as ‘Omega’ with Ibranovski, ‘Rainforest’ and Dom Dolla’s ‘San Frandisco’, Tchami delivered what was arguably one of the most exciting sets of the day.

As Tchami’s set neared its end, Psytrance pioneers Vini Vici were kicking off their hour of power in the Trance tent, before hometown hero MaRLo closed up. The Israeli duo, who’ve played in Melbourne on a plethora of different occasions, were welcomed with open arms by the enthusiastic crowd – and rewarded them accordingly. Pulling out all the stops, fans were treated to the duo’s biggest hits, including ‘Untz Untz’, ‘Great Spirit’ and their timeless ‘Free Tibet’ remix.

While CamelPhat were delighting the House & Techno Hall crowd with monster anthems such as ‘Rabbit Hole’ and ‘Cola’, second to close the mainstage was American House hit-maker MK. Kinchen, who headlined a monster day party in St Kilda just one day apart last year, returned to Melbourne to help kick off the summer once again. Enticing Melbourne’s love of House & Tech House, Kinchen could do no wrong, as fans sang along to songs such as his ‘Electricity’ remix, his new single ‘One Night’ with Sonny Fodera and ‘17’, much to the crowd’s delight.

Finally, the main attraction, Calvin Harris graced the stage. Harris, who hadn’t visited Australia since Stereosonic in 2014, has seen 28 tracks receive Gold certification or better in the land down under. Kicking things off with ‘Under Control’, fans couldn’t help but sing along, as was the case with many, if not all, of his songs. Harris would go onto spoil patrons with hits such as ‘We Found Love’, ‘Thinking About You’, ‘Sweet Nothing’ and many more, before festival-goers were met with a climactic display of fireworks at the end, aptly closing out Festival X.

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Thanks Melbourne!

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Melbourne-based Journalist, producer and DJ. Completed a Diploma of Audio Production at SAE Institute and loves everything from Jazz to Disco. Have a question? Don't hesitate to drop me a line!

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