Bathed in a rare spot of sunshine over the long weekend, he launched into a coronavirus-led rap, inspiring the raising of a swath of boots – done to recognise one’s favourite song at the festival.
Where General Levy surprised the crowd with his energy, US rockers the Pixies delivered on their headlining bill on Sunday night. The four-piece band – now aged in their 60s – spoke little between songs, which made the delivery of classics like Here Comes Your Man all the more unifying.
Where Is My Mind brought the rare, spine-tingling experience of almost 15,000 people singing in unison in Meredith’s supernatural ampitheatre, a farm that Aunty Meredith converts into a festival ground twice a year.
Hot Chip, the five-man English synth-pop outfit that’s been touring since the year 2000, followed the Pixies.
Lead singer Joe Goddard is a master of his craft, cycling effortlessly between keyboard, percussion and vocals.
They sang classics like Over and Over and songs from their 2019 album such as Spell, though they were just short of launching into first gear, which the ampitheatre craved as the clock passed midnight.
On Saturday, the festival’s first day, partiers’ “creativity” expressed itself in the supernatural ampitheatre’s usual weird and wonderful ways.
One group of 12 – men and women – each wore glamorous dresses, draped in a sash naming their home towns, from Frankston to Nowra.
A human wheelbarrow race morphed into a catwalk competition, won by a tattooed man from Wangaratta whose finishing move was to put out his cigarette on his own chest.
There was also a wedding – an impromptu, swaying crowd encircling one couple as they exchanged vows, having handed out invitations earlier in the afternoon. Meredith: the Las Vegas of the southern hemisphere.
On Saturday night, Indigenous duo Electric Fields turned the amphitheatre into a one-hour disco party. British duo Sleaford Mods then demonstrated their “electronic munt minimalist punk-hop rants for the working class” that resemble fellow Brits the Streets.
Vocalist Jason Williamson, in his thick Midlands accent, covered the usuals – NHS, British politics, chip sandwiches.
But he had no time for one Golden Plains tradition.
“So I heard you all lift your shoes when you think a song is good or something? F— that – it’s not a competition,” he bellowed.
Guests of Aunty Meredith, a typically seamless blend of 19-year-old students and grey-haired veterans, took little notice. They responded, of course, with more boot raises.
Michael is a reporter for The Age.