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The sweetest Sugar yet

09 Feb 2017

The sweetest Sugar yet Image

Review by Sean Car

Sugar Mountain well and truly reinforced its reputation as one of Melbourne’s best music festivals following another phenomenal day of music and art on January 21.

With a slightly reconfigured setup to previous festivals, the streets, paths and alleys of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) yet again provided the perfect platform for the festival’s alternative offerings.

Perhaps the only other major metropolitan music festival one could compare VCA’s street-party-like setup to would be Laneway Festival in Footscray, but even still, Sugar Mountain is wonderfully unique.

It offers weaving directions one can take to explore different stages, art installations, hangouts and unique culinary offerings – all making an experience that never grows stale.

Festival-goers could be forgiven for not discovering all that is on offer – such is the fun and mystery of the whole day.

One of this year’s major successes was the relocation of the Boiler Room stage from the courtyard to the Sturt St car park. The bigger location is gifted with plenty of sunshine that coincided perfectly with the beats of Kornel Kovacs, Mood II Swing and many more.

Highlights from the Dodds St stage included Methyl Ethyl, Big Scary and German deep house legend Pantha Du Prince, who put on an incredible display despite losing some crowd numbers to Tornado Wallace who was playing at the Boiler Room at the same time.

Vibes throughout the day at the Movement Stage in the courtyard were at a usual high, capped off by an incredible set by local band Slum Sociable at dusk.

While the late withdrawal of headliner Blood Orange due to family illness was a major blow to the festival, The Avalanches stepped in and provided an absolutely perfect replacement to finish the day on Dodds St.

Following the release of their long-awaited second album Wildflower in 2016, the iconic experimental dance act provided the ideal sounds fit for the street party that is Sugar Mountain and listeners loved it.

Complete with an improved Sensory Café and spread of art throughout the venue, this year was undeniably the festival’s sweetest to date.

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