Welcome To The Valley
Event organisers for the inaugural Welcome To The Valley festival must have been sweating bullets over the late Winter Perth seems to be experiencing; However, the clouds cleared, beers were consumed, the sun came out and everyone had a great day. Multi-location events have a tendency to be understaffed, logistical nightmares, but the day ran as smooth as butter. The only hiccups being Stein-confiscation upon entry to the Belvoir, although this guy got one back, as did most of the party-goers.
We were lucky enough to check out the sold out Elmar’s In The Valley venue for some food, music and most importantly alcoholic beverages before heading over to Belvoir Amphitheatre for a great mini-festival. Elmar’s, being a brewery AND winery had some great offerings, wine by the bottle, or glass, and an Alt Ale or Pilsener by the Stein. Both beers were great, the only problem being the delicious weather warming up the gigantor glass we were drinking from. There was a wine for everyone, from the dedicated drinker to the riesling only weirdo.
The Alt Ale was a great fit for the Oktoberfest-ivities, it being an old German Beer, originating from Altstadt, literally translating to Old-Town, and the Ein Stein Pilsner being an option for those who don’t like it so strong and historical, or whatever.
The vibe at Elmar’s was splendid and relaxed indeed, the sun was out, and an accordionist (accordinost?) was playing some folk stuffs on the stage, which was also later home to happy electro beats, acoustic covers and pop mashups. Given that lunch was included in the price of admission I wasn’t expecting much, just the usual festival fare. But I was pleasantly excited with the selection of available food; Stir-Fry, Chilli Con Carne, Vegetarian options as well as the Oktoberfest inspired Bratwurst and Sauerkraut hot dogs, easily the victor of the day. The lines weren’t really that painful at all, at Elmar’s where I was.
Anyway, it was getting about time for all of the suitably attired Oktoberfest-dressed attendees to head on over to Belvoir for the fun music times at one of the most amazing venues in Perth, headed up by indie-rockers Ball Park Music and an AV set by electro pioneers Sampology. When we got to Belvoir the music was already pumping, a Red Bull sponsored music/car/thing playing some electro-pop beats to the delight of the swelling crowd, jumping off the buses which had come from Elmar’s and Oakover, the other lunch/drinks locale. Credit has to be given to Offworld, I found transport easy breezy.
For starters, everyone wanted some more drinks, as it goes on days such as these, and that meant hectic lines, at both of the two quite large bars. The drinks menu had a definite change in tone, from old style Ales at Elmar's to mixers and UDLs at Belvoir. It seemed like most people didn’t mind, everyone busy chilling with their friends listening to some beats courtesy of Sosueme DJs down on the deck in front of a rapidly growing dancing crowd. The eastern states duo got the crowd going, 90’s favourites and trap infused hip hop resonated with the crowd, causing weird gyrations amongst it’s listeners.
Before long Brisvegas types Ball Park Music rallied up the troops playing their indie hits such as “Rich People Are Stupid” as well as a funk infused cover of The Four Season’s oldie “Oh What A Night”. Their happy jams certainly warmed up my slowly cooling body courtesy of the sun slowly disappearing from the valley. Ball Park Music worked the slightly intoxicated crowd and all was well in the valley.
As the sun went down, a few people who had underestimated the cool Spring nights flocked together for crowd warmth, but before 9 it was noticeable that a few people who had succumbed to the cool must have been located on the buses back to the city.
Meanwhile Cassian got everyone off their chairs, and despite the smaller crowd, a lot of people jumped onto the dancefloor for his grooves and the party got started. Well, that was until he was told to beat it (after quite a long set anyway) due to time constraints and Sampology blew the collective hive mind of the dance party he was curating something fierce.
Known for blending amazing beats with mind-bending visual cuts plastered lights all over the place, Sampology's aptly titled ‘Stimulation’ set was as suggestive as it was fun, lots of people getting’ down on the d-floor was proof of that. Although the production was lavish, people seemed to be more in awe of it all than really participate with it all.
That changed as soon as the Aston Shuffle took to the stage and got everyone jumpin’ around, their tunes in demand with some kickin’ lights to back it all up. After they finished up the rowdy crowd headed back up those steep slippery steps towards the buses to get back to civilization, after a splendid day in the valley.
Welcome To The Valley is a great addition to Perth's growing boutique festivals, combining fine wine, boutique beers, tasty food with quality entertainment, ranging from German folk through to cutting edge electro AV epicicity. Check it out next time, foooo' shoooo for your Spring fix.
Welcome To The Valley is brought to you by Offworld Productions, who also organise little beach dittys over the summer, Sets on The Beach.