The Smirnoff Ten Do NYE
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
For New Year’s Eve the Ten were split into two groups and dispatched to experience the countdown in both Sydney and Melbourne. After that we would head straight to another festival for New Year’s Day. Half of the team headed to Melbourne for Killer NYE and half to Sydney for Shore Thing on Bondi Beach, to try and shed some light on the ultimate Aussie quandary – which has better nightlife, Sydney or Melbourne-
Shore Thing, aside from its punderful moniker, has a lot to offer the discerning NYE pundit. The line-up for 2007 was an impressive mix, with Groove Armada and Sneaky Sound System delivering their usual brand of acoustic party fuel and the crowd generating the rest of the electric atmosphere. The beachside location definitely ticked boxes as did the ready availability of free water for the sweaty masses. If I had to cast a magnifying glass over the event, I’d say that the crowd of tens of thousands would have appreciated some big screens helping out the short guys at the back.
Onto the ominously titled Killer NYE where the likes of Felix Da Housecat and Spank Rock lured the Melbourne masses into the Abandoned Cinema, a demi warehouse with bits of cinema thrown in. The bespoke venue and eclectic line-up won Melbourne brownie points here as did the countdown on a cinema screen complete with sound effects. Again, if the magnifying glass was involved, the smaller crowd may have lost this venue points in terms of a large scale New Year buzz.
Once NYE notes had been furiously scribbled down, the Smirnoff Ten were reunited for Summadayze, a New Year’s Day festival that takes on the Goliath of nightlife, New Year’s Eve and welcomes revellers from 9am.
It takes something really special to drag the disco fiends of the nation out of their beds and into 40 degree heat on New Year’s Day and as we clambered up a grassy hill with only pounding beats and neon flashes as our guide we laboured under a cloud of sleepy doubt.
The sensory overload that was Summadayze included a melee of colours competing with vast light installations, booming sound systems, gigantic decorations and a neon clad crowd all sipping on icy water under the blazing sun.
Summadayze prides itself on “going where no festival has dared to go before” and if that place is a grassy valley dominated by the most impressive stage, theatrics and on site entertainment that my festival-fatigued little eyes have seen in a long time, then I may be inclined to agree. If I included the three-storey inflatable dinosaurs, mountains of foam spilling out over the landscape and Area 21 – Smirnoff’s new igloo-shaped concept stage – holding court atop a hill. I’d have to stamp my full approval on that claim. As it furiously prods at the edges of innovation, Summadayze may just go where no festival has gone before.
After conferring on our notes, the team were split on their Aussie favourite. Shore Thing was incredible, Killer NYE inspiring and Summadayze was sheer brilliance. A decision of this magnitude would definitely require some more research…back to the party drawing board.
Want to know which cities reigns supreme- Then hit up youtube.com/SmirnoffExperienceTV. We know you want to.
WHO: The Smirnoff Ten
WHAT: Travelling the world, partying ’n’ stuff