Live Review: Sugar Mountain 2017

In a world full of uncertainty, one simply does not book with Tiger Air. Sure, I’ve heard the stories of cancelled flights and long check-in queues resulting in missed flights but I thought I’d rather save twenty bucks. I’ve since rethought this decision.

The wonderful team over at Sugar Mountain gifted my Sydney-based tucas a review pass to their annual indie/electronic music & arts soiree. Due to previously made tight-ass decisions, I expected the yellow cat to deliver me into a world of music and festival vibrancy at around midday. As luck would have it, I would find out the hard way to spend more on reliable and punctual travel. I won’t bore you with the details of repetitive phone calls to an offshore contact centre or being drunk in an airport but I will say I made my way to the Sugary Mountain eventually.

Albeit almost seven hours late, I roll through the gates of the South Bank event. If there’s one thing Melbourne knows how to do, it’s a hipster festival. The young adults are encrusted in the same glitter based substance covering even the festival’s older patrons as punters rove in relaxed spaces. It’s a Laneway style set-up with stages spread out across the street style venue. This brings me to a certain lack of individuality with the event. There’s cute set-ups all around with photo booths and art pieces sprinkled throughout the grounds. However the style of the event breeds memories of the first St Jerome’s Laneway affairs back in its infancy. What makes Sugar Mountain? I was surprised to find the program to be quite electronic with the majority of the evening events being DJ based stage to stage. At the point of the day that I arrived, people were beyond partying. Jaws disjointed and dragging on the floor. It soon became the land of the living dead where an Asahi was $13.50.

After suffering the huge line-up loss of Blood Orange, The Avalanches settled into place to deliver a mid-whelming performance. They’ve played a string of gigs recently off the back of their second record Wildflower and with the mix of people on stage, something is going awry. It’s not awful as much as it’s just a little soulless.

In my admittedly short few hours at the festival, I discover that whilst all the glitters isn’t in fact gold, there’s still huge potential. With a more refined bill in 2018, Sugar Mountain can forge forward in securing its individuality in the festival sphere.

Samantha Dickson


Review by Samantha Dickson. Photo courtesy of the Sugar Mountain Facebook Page.