Off The Grid '17: Review
Returning in 2017 for its 3rd annual event, 'Off The Grid' delivered on its promise to be a party powered by the sun. In an occasion brought to us through the collaboration between an environmentally focused power organisation, Finding Infinity and beloved Melbourne Record Label of crate digging aficionado’s, Crown Ruler. Off The Grid was a day which showcased renewable energies place in Australia’s future, as well as some of the finest local and international underground artists.
Held at the Australian Centre of Contemporary Art, the small forecourt grounds were scattered with a range of forward thinking, sustainable initiatives: large metal bio-diesel cookers, ice machines run on renewables and perhaps most impressive, the fully solar-powered main stage where the electricity used for the decks, mixers and speakers were all sourced from the gorgeous rays of Melbourne.
Starting the day early with a number of talks from speakers that covered everything from conscious clothing to the societal infrastructure of tomorrow and finding the balance between doing ‘good shit’ and 'shit that pays the bills'. The speakers selected for the festival were engaging, unique and well versed in their areas of environmental expertise. They offered insights, statistics and ways to overcome the challenges of sustainability in ways that were creative and profitable. A must going forward not only for those who are interested in leaving a minimal eco-footprint, but also those with an inquisitive mind who want to understand the way society will use energy in the future.
Kicking things off musically at this years event was Jaala Vs Man, a synth-heavy set that managed to turn more than a couple heads from the ongoing environmental talks some 40 metres away. The day's music continued with an emotive performance from Melbourne Folk/Punk band ‘Two Steps on the Water,’ the band played a number of songs from their latest album ‘Sword Songs’ taking the crowd dedicated enough to rock up at 3PM, on a journey through identity, gender fluidity and self reflection.
As the party powering sun rays started to heat up so did the music, Japanese international Chee Shimizu, showed the crowd why his 2017 Boiler Room has been touted as one of this years best. Moving between genres seamlessly, Shimizu’s clean mixing and on point selection was the perfect way to kickstart an evening of partying, a great booking from one of the true great lovers of vinyl on the planet. (Attached below is the song that really got things moving!)
Melbourne based up-and-comer KAIIT, is quickly becoming known for her powerful R’n’B flavours. Her performance which was sandwiched in between two DJ sets didn’t lack the energy or audience interaction that you might have expected, launching into fan favourites ‘2000 n Somethin’, Kaiit showcased her soulful vocals to the admiring crowd before asking them to join in on the lyrics, dismissing one of her former lovers and filling out the Brookfield Pavilion.
Toni Yotzi and Ben Fester are seriously good DJ’s. Quickly forging themselves as staples of the Australian underground dance scene, their skills were on full display as they continued to use the energy that had been gaining momentum all day to create sets that were both memorable and a bloody good thing to be a part of.
Headlining the festival was Detroit selector Jay Daniel (who might just about be the coolest DJ on the planet.) Daniel was quick to make an impression dishing out some heavy house tunes to the packed out pavilion. However, despite his best efforts and the efforts of the team at Off The Grid, which included tearing apart and placing a cardboard chair in front of the turntables, the wind became an issue for his set causing a number of transitions to be shaky. None the less Daniel's powered through spinning, tech house to close his set and capping off an incredible day of talks, knowledge and music.
Keep your eyes peeled for Figaro's after movie from Off the Grid 2017.