FOMO @ Elder Park, Adelaide 5/1/2020

Boasting the slogan ‘one stage, no clashes, party together’ FOMO yet again delivered on its promise as festival goers gathered in Adelaide’s Elder Park for an epic line up of international talent. In just four short years FOMO has transformed from a one-show festival into a six-stop tour throughout Australia and New Zealand, attracting over 50,000 attendees.

The cooler temperature and morning showers were certainly a welcomed relief for Adelaide amidst the turmoil of nation-wide bushfires, but the weather appeared to keep some festival goers away with crowds slowly trickling in to see the early acts. Nevertheless, there was plenty of young talent on show with keen fans who were ready to party through the rain.

What makes FOMO unlike any other festival is the eclectic mix of international artists. The day began with 18-year-old Sydney musician and producer Ninajirachi who was described by Wonderland Magazine as “strikingly unique”. French dance music producer Dombresky also proved why he is now a known international artist, and all the way from Vancouver, Caroline Cecil, aka Whipped Cream had the crowd transfixed with her gritty EDM.

As the weather cleared, crowds gathered near the stage to see local Sydney talent, Chillinit, causing a ruckus, and American rapper Rico Nasty who went hard from start to finish. British songwriter, Giggs, appeared to have a loyal following despite this being his first visit to Adelaide. Giggs stepped up the tempo with his Dizzee Rascal-like voice asking the crowd, “can we get a little party vibe going on?” and fans managed to keep up with the rapper’s quick spitting verses.  

The event picked up the pace when Italian production trio, Meduza, opened their set with Lose Control as fans literally ran from all corners of the festival to join the mosh pit. As streamers burst from the stage, people piled on each other’s shoulders and jumped in rhythm to the techno track. They delivered an impressive remix of R Plus’s My Boy before ending the set with an extended version of Piece Of Your Heart.

The crowd was eager to party and Jax Jones harnessed this energy and delivered an electric performance, opening with his hit All day and All Night. Colourful lasers beamed across the stage as the English DJ screamed, “if you’re ready to party, make some noise” and fans did just that, screaming and singing through his 45-minute set. Jax delivered one party anthem after another with You Don’t Know Me, and Play remixed into Daft Punk’s One More Time with hints of Major Lazer’s Pon de Floor. Stepping away from the decks for a moment, Jax sung to the crowd to hype them up before continuing his clever mix of original hits with other EDM greats. His midnight remix of Endor’s Pump it up was a highlight, as was his version of Fisher’s Losing it with remnants of his major hit Housework underlining most songs. Jax ended his set with Instruction before jumping off stage to dance out the final song with his fans.

Before A Boogie wit da Hoodie took the stage, DJ Omnia delivered a mash up of Antidote, Mo Mamba, Soldier Boy and All I do Is Win to keep the crowd pumping. Starting with Look Back at It, Boogie had the crowd fighting for prime position in the mosh pit. He then went acapella and showcased the versatility of his vocals with Love, Drugs and Sex, and welcomed his brother, Ra Sossa, on stage to sing his track Into That. The crowd didn’t stop dancing from his feature on Khalid’s Right Back to Startender and his final song Swervin.

Undoubtedly, the standout performance of the festival was Lizzo who arguably should have been the final act of the night. Prancing on stage in a black and white leotard with four back-up dancers dressed in fluorescent pink, labelled by Lizzo as her “big girls”, the singer belted out Good as Hell gaining the crowd’s attention quickly. The dancers fled the stage for her ballad, Cuz I love You, but returned soon after to dance their way through Worship. Lizzo showed off her Aretha-like vocals with verses from Respect and had the crowd clapping in sync. A born entertainer, Lizzo twerked her way through Scuse Me and Boys, with her dynamic stage presence making her set unmissable. Showing her love of Australia, Lizzo shared, “a special shout out to Tim Tams, I’m gonna thank them at the Grammy’s but what the f*ck is a Tim Tam slam, Adelaide?” sending the crowd into a fit of appreciative laughter. Lizzo finished her set with a high energy performance of Juice and Truth Hurts but not before a reverent moment when she addressed the crowd to offer her prayers for Australia, “my heart goes out to everyone on the front lines fighting fires. This is a global crisis and we all feel this”; a moment which touched the hearts of many.

The last three acts of the day, Madeon, Brockhampton, and Kaytranada were highly anticipated. As the sun set over the Torrens, Madeon slowed down the pace with All My Friends. After a few technical difficulties he showed off his multifaceted talent controlling the entire DJ deck while simultaneously singing Dream Dream Dream.

The crowd was growing weary as we reached the ninth hour of the festival and tensions grew as Brockhampton were forty minutes late for their set. The stage went black and all sound ceased as the crowd chanted for their arrival. The group opened with St Percy with the singers slowly arriving on stage one-by-one in matching orange overalls, their numbers multiplying until all six were on stage. Almost carnival-like in tune, Zipper sent the group enthusiastically jumping around the stage, fly-kicking the air to pump up the crowd. The mosh pit continued to expand as people strongly held their place for the rest of the night. Singing Ejazeh by Dariush as a lead in to Boy Bye, their high-energy and enthusiasm to entertain made up for their late arrival.

The festival finished with Kaytranada delivering many of his well-known tracks including Vex Oh and Gray Area. Fans were hoping for Kaytranada’s extended version of Chance the Rapper’s All Night and they went off when he delivered. Ending with Glowed up, the crowd joined in on the chorus and danced into the darkness. Shining the light on international acts and genres, and creating a space for all to collectively enjoy live music is what makes FOMO a truly unique festival and one surely not to be missed.

FOMO Review By Caitlin Graziano

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