By Leighton Campbell
The last leg of the 2017 Groovin The Moo festival finished up in Bunbury on Saturday night to a sold out crowd. The festival put on an impressive day and night, filled with glitter, and set after set of quality local and international artists.
But there was one moment of the festival that was truly impressive.
That moment was during Tash Sultana’s performance, when the solo artist expressed her anger towards the crowd for being rowdy and inconsiderate (she previously expressed her amazement at the large turn out for her).
Before playing her final, and arguably most well-known song, Jungle, Sultana threatened to walk off-stage if the crowd refused to calm themselves down and “cut that shit out” – ‘that shit’ referring to people in the front of the crowd inconsiderately swaying and pushing everyone around them.
It seems to be an ongoing situation at festivals and concerts where a few rowdy idiots in a large crowd endanger fellow festivalgoers and, to be blunt, ruin the mood of everyone around them.
Sultana addressing the anti-social behaviour directly on stage was not only remarkable, but should set the standard for more artists to call out dickheads in large crowds. The fact that GTM is an all ages event, yet people still felt the need to push and shove is a clear sign that crowd culture needs to shift gears. For many of the punters, GTM may have been the first festival or even concert that they have ever been to, and either being squashed or thinking that pushing and shoving in a crowd is acceptable just cannot continue if we expect for artists to want to play for us at these events.
Sultana released her first EP ‘Notion’ in September of last year.
At the end of the day, everyone is at the festival for the same reason. That reason is to have a fun time with friends and to listen to great local and international acts. Nobody really cares about your ‘cool’ snapstory that you managed to film whilst on the top of someone’s shoulders. Nobody really cares if you were at the front of the stage for an act. People do care, however, if you put everyone in danger because you’ve gone and knocked somebody in the head with your big chunky boots when on the shoulders of someone. People do care when you’ve pushed and shoved through the crowd to get a tiny bit closer to an act, who you could actually still see and hear just as clearly from back where you started from.
With so many people in one confined space, of course a bit of being pushed around is expected. However, the rowdiness that Sultana was talking about was just plain old dumb behaviour. Let’s all just calm down, chill out, and enjoy the event that every other person in the festival has paid good money to attend. Keep our fantastic music scene in WA going strong with crowds that look out for one another yet still know how to have a good time.