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By Brendan Savage

There is something about an urban music festival like St. Jerome’s that makes a ‘Westie’ like me stare at my own smile in the mirror in anticipation.

I’m not certain if it is the realisation that I can ride my ‘pushy’ to the venue. I’m not certain if it is glorious dilemma of having to chose between a pre or post burger from 8Bit (I did both). And I am not certain if it’s knowing that after I see a dozen quality acts I’ll get to tuck myself into my own bed. I am certain though that it makes me smile.

And as a Westie, why wouldn’t it? The best emerging musical talent from Australia and the world invades Footscray for a day. And Footscray embraces the festival. It is as if the Footscray Community Arts Centre were designed with this in mind. The streets, art and the Maribyrnong come together with stage and sound to create an atmosphere unique to the West. Throw in the local mayor and Uncle Larry Walsh and suddenly it’s not just a festival but a local celebration. And the actual music was damn fine too!

International acts The Internet, Churches, Grimes, Purity Ring, Metz, Hudson Mohawke and many more give that panache a festival goer craves. But as I always come to realise, it is the local acts that make you come back for more. Flume, Violent Soho (wow!), The Smith Street Band (Will Wagner could see his house from the stage), Banoffee, DMA’s and Methyl Ethyl all melted faces with their own unique live performances.

To pick your favourite element of the day would be to ask a Westie ‘what’s your favourite Food truck?’ It’s just too hard to answer. You just have that sense of civic pride swell within knowing that when the crowds descend on Footscray, Footscray responds with vigour. Footscray is Coachella. Footscray is SXSW. Footscray is Glastonbury. Footscray is Footscray.


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