The ins and outs of the first ever Output Festival
Over the weekend was the very first OUTPUT FESTIVAL, Sydney party crew MOTORIK‘s first foray into festivals with the help of UNDR CTRL. For the first of it’s kind, the festival was a unique experience, blending the intimacy of underground parties with impressive stage set ups and a stunning location. Packed with plenty of big Australian names in disco, house and techno, Output Festival was a celebration of underground sounds and scenes on the big stage. As there are with any new projects, there were a few bumps in the road, but the positives outweighed the negatives for a really fun day out. There are plenty of things that made this festival a stand out experience, but here’s just a few of the ins and outs of Output Festival.
LOCALS ARE LEGENDS
The lineup featured only one international act (Optimo, who crushed it) with every other DJ and producer from our own backyard. Highlights included heaving crowds at Willaris K. and Made in Paris and big names like Mall Grab, Fishing and CC:DISCO! packing out the main stage. The Ricardo’s stage saw an energetic sets from Body Promise and Luen Jacobs getting people out of seats and onto the dance floor for a boogie. The festival completely sold out in the end so now it’s official: Australians vibe on Australian acts and they have the ability to practically run a festival.
EARLY BIRDS GET THE WORM
The main hiccup for Output was the ferry system getting punters out to the location at Goat Island in the middle of Sydney Harbour. Sure, the ferry ride itself was one of the many things about the day out that made it such a great experience, but if you weren’t on one of the earlier rides in or out of the festival chances are, you would have been waiting on the dock for a while. Limited capacity ferries going every 40 minutes caused a hell of a queue, but the crowd’s energy remained high and everyone was v respectful.
STAGING IS IMPORTANT
The location of the festival at Goat Island already made for a unique setting for a new festival. Along with the impressive lighting and projected visuals, the warehouse spaces were transformed into intimate stages. The Motorik and UNDR Ctrl stages felt like niche warehouse parties, and they packed out, quickly turning into sweaty raves for the bigger acts. The Silent Disco felt like a little secret hideaway, with plenty of special guests from the line-up making an appearance throughout the day. The Ricardo’s stage also featured a stacked line-up, and was consistently playing groovy bangers, but was placed right in the middle of the food tents. This stage, even though it was booked with many high calibre acts, was nowhere near as packed as it should have been with festival goers a bit too intimidated to dance in front of people munching on burritos and shawarma.
BOUTIQUE IS BEAUTIFUL
For a small festival, it sure was a special one, with such a unique location and niche feel. The festival made good use of Goat Island’s warehouse spaces, creating a compact festival experience with 4 stages that you could cross in about a minute’s walk. Knowing that festival goers all wanted to be there made for a welcoming atmosphere with zero space for gronks and the shortest lines I’ve ever seen at a festival (unless it was to get on the ferry of course). Output was a completely new festival experience, and a brilliant blueprint for more to come.
PHOTOS BY JAMES SIMPSON
WORDS BY HOLLY O’NEILL