The Drop Festival in Margs was the last stop on the tour which was traveling on the Australian leg of the World Surf League. The line-up had a surfy vibe with a good mix of Aussie alternative bands; SAFIA, Dune Rats, San Cisco, Holy Holy, and Ruby Fields. Everyone could feel they were in a for a wicked time and they 100% were. The music started quite early in the afternoon so a lot of the punters lost their chance to witness the alt-rock vibes of Ruby Fields.

Holy Holy played a great set and dancing in the afternoon sun was all that the punter’s wanted to do. Live Holy Holy really gets into your soul even more than it does when it is listened to on the radio. They really complemented the surfy vibe of The Drop. Their music had a dreamy way of taking you to another place with electric guitar and the drums.

Powerful synth and funky guitar riffs combined with vocalist Tim Carroll’s heartfelt lyrics sliding over the top had everyone loving life. One of their biggest hits, True Lovers, was certainly a crowd favourite as it received the biggest cheer of the set, and they even threw in their Triple J Like A Version cover of Beyonce’s Hold Up for good measure. Holy Holy set the tone for the good spirits that were about to ensue.

San Cisco was catchy and relatable. Punters’ were dancing with random strangers and were pushing themselves to the front of the mosh pit. As the sun started to set over Margaret River, the second half of San Cisco’s set really cranked it up into the party zone. With the crowd constantly bopping along, with the sun going down, and everyone really settling into the evening.

Dune Rats crashed through the front door, plugged their guitars in and started a house party without you even knowing they were invited. Once they got going they couldn’t be stopped. Dunies (their affectionate namesake) kicked the speakers up to eleven and got everyone head-banging and shouting along to their stoner rock. The raw, garage sound was unrelenting, and the band sort of felt like the guys you randomly meet at a pub and become best mates with for the night. They were high energy from start to finish.

SAFIA was absolutely rocking, their music taking you away, the stage showmanship was actually great. At the back of the mosh punters were free to bop around and enjoy the amazing lighting production. The atmosphere was on fire.

Giving their biggest tunes, including Freakin’ Out and Cellophane Rainbow, the drums slapped hard, the electro-pop synth and guitar danced over the top with lead vocalist Ben Woolner’s silky falsetto. SAFIA took charge of the groove and even dropped their monster 2014 collab with Peking Duk Take Me Over. There was non-stop singing and dancing inside that mosh, and it was awesome to end the night on such a huge high.

Margaret River could potentially be dropped from the WSL World Tour in coming years, hopefully, the success of The Drop means it isn’t just a one-off event. Heading down south can be embraced in many different ways. Going high-flying style, getting back to nature while camping or anywhere in between. However, remember to pick your road trip buddies wisely, car games are always an option and do a little research before you go on where things are located not everything is close by. Also put down the phone, it will make you car sick anyway.

Rouchelle Gilmore and Josh Sunderland

Photos: Ashley Westwood

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