In its 21st year, the Falls Music and Arts Festival expanded beyond its two outposts in Marion Bay and Lorne, to include a sold-out Byron Bay stint for the very first time. Kicking off on New Year's Eve, the Byron Bay lineup featured more than 60 acts, spanning a vast array of musical genres, including a stack of local talent. Read on for the highlights.
Whilst the other festive season festivals were coming to a close, thousands of revellers were making their way to North Byron Parklands, many donning intergalactic costumes, as per the New Year's Eve theme.
The day was dotted with small-scale acts, but as the sun set, Japanese heavyweight funk band Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro took to the Amphitheatre Stage, where their deep soul groove was met with furious energy—punters were clearly eager to move.
The Roots helped rein in the New Year with their loose, back-to-back party anthems, which vacillate between jazz and disco, and then spin back to hip hop. Amongst killer tracks like "The Seed (2.0)", the set included an epic rendition of "Paradise City" and "Get Lucky", met by a jaw-dropping solo by Questlove.
As the sleepy rose from their scorching tents, Melbourne's Chet Faker brought his magnificent beat-making to the fore, playing out his loungey brand of electronic, and dropping a new track entitled "1998".
At midday came the blissfully addictive rhythms of The Preatures, whilst English man Bonobo drew the afternoon crowd with his beautifully intricate storytelling.
On the Forest Stage, Sydney synth maestros, RüFüS, performed incessant dance beats before Grizzly Bear's gorgeous harmonies swept across the field.
Festival favourites The Cat Empire cemented a party vibe in the Amphitheatre with gems like "The Chariot" and "In My Pocket", while Brooklyn's Vampire Weekend played out their sunny indie rock into the final minutes of the evening.
By day three, festivalgoers may have been disappearing through layers of dust, but energy levels remained high. Oliver Tank kicked off the morning, before Canadian rockers Born Ruffians enthralled the midday crowd.
Gossling's dreamy vocals provided the perfect soundtrack in order to take some respite at the Forest Stage. And Irishman James Vincent McMorrow continued to wear his heart on his sleeve—this time with back up.
When Solange strutted out in dazzling multi-coloured prints beneath glorious knee-length hair, she instantly became the queen of cool—confirming she sings and dances just as well as older sister Beyoncé!
Trip-hop trio London Grammar was humbled by the vast scope of their audience, and at one point lead singer Hannah Reid grabbed her phone to take it all in.
By evening the clouds had opened, and while MGMT rounded off the festival, it was The Wombats' catchy hooks that had the fans sopping with vigorous energy.
Image credit: Nicola Sevitt