Coaster Festival @ Gosford Showgrounds (17/09/2011)

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The Central Coast’s fourth Coaster was only a sign of things to come for the small and relatively new festival on the scene. Despite not being sold out this year, the crowd was lacking in size, though not in enthusiasm. Kicking off with the rock sounds of homegrown Central Coast band Slow Down Honey heard from the door and the cloudless day set the perfect scene for festival-goers.

Despite the small feel of the festival, it set the scene for tight, hot mosh-pits and dancefloors – an ideal set up for both the house/electro sounds of The Potbelleez, Nina Las Vegas, Wolfpack, Ajax and Bag Raiders and the rock tunes of Something with Numbers, Jebediah and Drapht.

The blue stage set the scene of the festival – strategically within viewing distance from the bar and hearing distance from the first steps into the gates. Offering a variety of musical talents from the soft-voiced indie artist Andy Bull to the electronic sounds of The Bag Raiders and Tim and Jean. Within viewing distance from the bar meant the absence of drunken punters was pleasantly welcomed at the front of stage. Although the most notable aspect about this stage was the absence of large crowds, it was pleasantly successful in providing a chilled atmosphere of friends, food and music.

The red stage provided those club-keen punters to get hot, get sticky and get dancing. The tiny area in front of the stage was ideal for the house music of Nina Las Vegas, Wolfpack, Tom Piper and Purple Sneakers DJs and the definite crowd-pleaser, Ajax. The blistering heat of cloudless skies stopped no club-going punter from getting deep into the mosh and turning the festival into a daylight clubbing experience.

The white mainstage satisfied those festival-goers keen to hear popular rock. The festival atmosphere truly kicked off with the local rock band Something with Numbers, following up the also home-grown punk rock band One Dollar Short. The crowd was only slowly swelling throughout afternoon until the inevitable rush for Potbelleez’ electro/house set, definitely setting the precedent for the rest of the festival bands. The Potbelleez have been going off lately and this gig was no different.

The stage only continued to please with big names Jebediah, Little Red and Drapht. The finale to what had been a hot, sweaty and highly successful local festival was the incredible headliner John Butler Trio. John Butler’s smooth acoustic talents kept punters going for the full hour; dancing, singing and crowding as close as possible to the front of stage.

As the festival came to a close, there was still an air of excitement lingering, most probably towards the afterparties – the Coasts’ fourth Coaster Festival definitely did not disappoint. The highlights of the main stage would be The Potbelleez, Drapht and John Butler in my opinion. Big things are expected for the next few years of this local festival, showing off current Australian local and national talents.

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