As far as festivals go, sometimes you never really know what to expect. But when a lineup surfaces as diverse, eclectic and brimming with both established and emerging artists, you know you’re on a winner – Parramatta’s The Plot was no exception.

The venue itself boasted an extraordinary amount of space. This may seem self explanatory when picturing a festival, however the logistics of Parramatta Park enabled punters to not only move freely between stages, but key areas were reserved for those who needed to take a well deserved breath and seek a shady patch of green amongst the excitement and chaos that is an outdoor festival.

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Photography by Peter Dovgan

Line up wise, punters were really spoiled for choice, with every single act bringing their A-game amongst the Sydney sunshine to a mix of veteran festival goers and the bright eyed, over excited, deer in headlights all ages crowd. Amy Shark was an absolute standout. A grateful performer she engaged so intimately with a sea of dedicated fans who arrived early specifically to see her play.

Fresh from her triple j Like A Version gig, she honestly killed it. In amongst her set was a well executed, reimagined version of Eminem’s ‘Superman’ both surprising and shocking the crowd, in line with her somewhat unconventional anecdotes. An incredibly honest, raw, yet polished set from the newcomer with her current single Adore breaking hearts and uniting the audience.

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The Belligerents dove straight into the hits, impressing fans and walking past the stage, there seemed to be a clear shift in an immense amount of positive energy. The Brisbane outfit impressed from the very first note right down to a sweaty wrecked finish.

Tired Lion whipped the kids into a frenzy, with, if it was even possible, their live sound surpassing  their recorded hits. Their latest single Agoraphobia was of course a standout resonating with fans  on many levels. Sweaty bodies continually collided, with Tired Lion’s set both exciting festival regulars and presenting as a a real awakening for the all ages crowd. Sophie Hope’s vocals proved that the grunge sound is very much back on the hit list and honestly sounding better than ever.

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There has been an incredible amount of hype circulating around bohemian multi instrumentalist Tash Sultana as of late. But it seemed that despite having recently returned from yet another string of sold out shows, and now with a J award under her belt, Tash continues to translate the intimacy of the street busker performance to a wider audience.

And honestly you should be believing the hype, because Tash Sultana and her incredible live performance is the hype. Jungle was of course a hit with a sea of passionate gig goers with each and every individual seemingly grasping for space to take in what many on the day dubbed “a truly religious experience”.

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Although technical difficulties, slight delays and rain fought hard to dampen the spirits of eager Alex Lahey fans, they were definitely not disappointed. Yet another fast paced, no nonsense set from Alex and her band impressed the huddle of gig kids, with one punter asking; “I wonder if she knows we actually like her”.

Despite the set times usually determining the headline acts of a festival, in the case of The Plot, it was actually an incredibly hard decision to pinpoint. Because acts like mysterious partiers Confidence Man put on a jaw dropping live performance.

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Janet Planet and crew brought a tremendous amount of energy, all whilst living true to their name, oozing confidence and owning the stage. Confidence Man as a whole represents all of us, going out and living every single inch of life to the fullest.

Janet at one point commanded the crowd to get on the ground, with a steely eyed expression cutting through the haze of drizzling rain, which only made the now instantly recognisable drop of ‘Get Down’ all the more exciting. Punters couldn’t help but dance to the sporadic pieces of bouncy electronica which broke apart the sea of bodies with such ease, that it’s almost impossible to comprehend exactly how long Confidence Man have been collectively performing and making music.

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With almost too many incredible names to mention, other standout performers included Vera Blue, Hellions, Montaigne and Japanese Wallpaper with each artist collectively leaving punters with their jaws to the floor and providing the perfect soundtrack to a steamy day in Sydney.  

Tassie Punk lads Luca Brasi, as always, delivered an extremely polished set, leaving the gig kids so completely exhausted and basking in a sweaty pool of punk perfection. But this has become the norm for fans who have all caught on, incredibly quickly, at just how great these Poison City heroes are.

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Key headliners Allday and Paces left fans torn and frantic as to exactly how they were going to savour the final moments of what will surely an absolute day to remember, with one punter at the barrier of Allday declaring to his mates, “I’m not leaving this spot, I don’t care if I have to chain myself to this barrier and wait here all night, I came here to see my boy Allday and that’s what I’m going to do”. The Bennies of course wrapped up the night, dropping some incredible tracks into the laps of fans, keeping the Party Machine going as only they know how.

Overall, The Plot was an absolute success and really hit home the importance of festivals and the way they seem to manifest these little pockets of memories and experiences that gig goers will continue to carry with them as they bounce though the stages of life.

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