I bought myself a ticket pretty much ASAP after seeing the line-up announcement; I was surprised it didn’t sell out sooner. Anyway after a week of torrential rain and people selling their tickets, mother nature did behave today and the sun was out in force. Just right for me to put on my toothpaste costume and party!

FIrst impressions of the bowl

FIrst impressions of the bowl

Stereosonic Festival Sydney @ Olympic Park Showgrounds
Assessment Time: 3:45PM – 11:00PM
Opening Hours: 12:00PM- 11:00PM
Lockout: None
Passouts: No pass-outs are allowed
Address: Olympic Park Showgrounds, Homebush Bay, Sydney.
Venue Website: www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au
Promoter Website: www.stereosonic.com.au
Occurrence: Once a year since 2007, held early December / Late November, held in different capital cities.
Outside Line: Transport via train was no hassle, while lining up to get inside the stadium was pretty fast as well – I walked all the way to the right of the multiple gated entry where there was no lines.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Pretty much you can wear anything that is in good taste, but you can’t bring in alcohol, weapons, drugs etc. I was wearing a toothpaste costume.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $150 at the gate, while early bird ticket prices ranged from $110 to $135. The Sydney festival sold out a few weeks beforehand. A friend bought an e-ticket via a “promoter” and subsequently had his ticket invalidated at the gates – he was basically, conned and ripped off. he had to pay $150 at the gate for a brand new ticket. What luck. Always be careful when buying tickets not from Ticketek or Moshtix.
Inside: Think of the Easter show, and replace everything with music. Here is a map of the layout. In the stadium and some of the other smaller grassed stages, there are floorboards placed, so that you don’t stomp on the grass and get all muddy feet, in the event that it rained.
Cloak Room: There was one available but I didn’t use it today. Last year it was $3 per item.
Bar Prices / Line: I bought stuff but don’t remember prices – a can of Smirnoff red would be at least $10. These are typical for festivals.
Bathroom Facilities: At the stadium there were long lines for women, and not so long lines for the men. Outside there were plenty of port a loos for everyone (so as far as I am aware)
DJs / Artists: Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox, LMFAO, Empire of the Sun, Afrojack, The Bloody Beetroots, Avicii, Benny Benassi, Ferry Corsten, Dirty South, Kaskade, Dash Berlin, and more.
Music Style: Artists primarily reflected on electronic dance / dance culture music.
Crowd: People of all ages are here from all backgrounds to see their favourite act or to enjoy the show.

Atmosphere: I was at the stadium most of the time and it was pretty much packed the whole time I was there. On arrival there at around 5pm the moshpit was full, and no longer people were allowed inside. The floor of the stadium was also full and people were only being allowed to trickle in as people left. I had friends who came here earlier at 2PM and were able to just get places within the moshpit area. The crowd steadily built up through Afrojack and Benny Benassi sets so that we could watch LMFAO. The LMFAO set was arguably the peak of the numbers in the stadium, as well as my personal favourite set – simply because people were singing along and the guys were really into it. Highlights include actually popping champagne (“Champagne Showers”) onto the crowd, and the cameraman zooming into all the crotches during “Sexy and I know it” – Total gross out but hilarious at the same time. It was pretty bad that they came late 30 minutes late on stage, at the expense of shorter sets from AvB and The Bloody Beetroots. We stood around for 30 minutes just thinking.. when *are* they going to come on? Thank god that they weren’t cancelled. After the LMFAO set, quite a few people left the stadium (probably to Dash Berlin, whose set I heard was bloody amazing) – the rest of the people here were sticking around for The last two acts, or just had no idea who they were, and wanted to experience. I missed the entire Bloody Beetroots set, but got to experience the Armin van Buuren set. It was pretty good, but it would have been better if I was in the moshpit.
Video: Music Sample / Timeline
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Phone reception is simply atrocious
Pretty much from about 3PM onwards, I was unable to make ANY calls to ANY of my friends, just due to the amount of people here today. It totally sucked ass as I couldn’t meet up with my friends. So I just hung out with the friends I had already met earlier today. It was worse than new years eve, as new years eve call dropouts only last three to four hours – I was here for a good 5 or 6 hours! IT SUCKED HAIRY BALLSACKS.

Sydney is the biggest city, and so is this festival
Later in the evening, Stereosonic was declared Australia’s largest event in terms of attendance. I would say also probably the best overall line up in years for the general populace as well. I even had friends come out of festival “retirement” to come out for today. Never say never. You would be seriously missing out if you didn’t come out to see this line up. Like seriously. For the days upcoming beforehand, it was raining heaps, and lots of people sold their tickets, to the astonishment that today was a bright sunny day. A shame for them.

Packed to the rafters
All the main acts were at the main stadium, which was situated a few hundred metres away from the rest of the action. As mentioned earlier, this resulted in a lockout of the mosh pit area, the floor, and even a lockout of the stadium itself. I unfortunately got locked out of the stadium alongside some other folk. It was about a 30 minute wait of protesting and watching other people climb over the fence then we were finally allowed to be let in, under police supervision.

Video: The shitty side of Stereosonic (and other festivals): Lining up for ANYTHING. 
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Kicked out for having his back to the police
A police dude was trying to get out of the crowd lining outside the locked stadium, and ran into someone who had his back towards him. The officer thought the dude was trying to block his way and pretty much rough handled him out of the line and to be probably be charged for something. The guy was totally innocent. Everyone was pretty shocked, but here’s hoping he got let off and back into the stadium. Pretty unlucky dude. I would be pissed off.

How to find a lost friend
By sheer luck, the clubbing gods allowed a call to come through. A friend of ours got lost and was looking for me. We were in the middle of the stadium, there is no chance she would find us. But the gods again pulled out a winning card – a dude came up to me randomly and asked if I could sit on his shoulders. Um.. sure!

On someone's shoulders

Now I’m sitting raised on this dude’s shoulders, on the phone, looking out back at the crowd – the crowd are are all staring, cheering at me or however people react to seeing a toothpaste bottle arising into the air. My friend spots me (I couldn’t spot her) and finds me a few minutes later. That was awesome.

Condoms and other bad things
Here is a photo of one of the many condom balloons thrown around the place. Somewhere behind I could smell someone puffing on some sticky icky. A friend also got asked if he had pills. All in a typical day in a festival. LOL

Condom Balloon!

Life being a bottle of toothpaste
While a friend was being asked for drugs, people only were asking me if I had toothpaste. Then this was followed by people squeezing whatever part of my costume in order to excrete the wonderful, white, magic substance that is known as toothpaste. And the most common question I got was “where was the toothbrush?” – In my pants of course.

I didn’t get really hot until about after 3 hours, when I started to sweat profusely. It was quite disgusting, and I was glad that sunset finally arrived to cool me down.

Mixing it up with the crowd

Sticky, icky floor
Half of the time people are kicking cans away from themselves, to other people. So many people have spilled drinks in this heat, that the floor has become quite sticky. So sticky that beer cans are sticking to the bottom of the soles of my shoes. Yes, fucking BEER CANS ARE STUCK ON MY SHOE as I dance. It’s ridiculous.

Spotted by a fan?
Out of the thousands of people who came here today, surely one of them read this website. Well, someone did, and that someone found me. Haha! I was pretty amazed that I was spotted, but now that I think about it, I *was* in a Giant Toothpsate Costume

Finished at 11PM. Transport out involved a long walk around the station, but we got on the first train right away, no waiting around. I was pretty exhausted and ready to go home. However, I got a call from a friend in the city….

Final Thoughts & Recommendation
A great lineup and as I said before one of the best I’ve seen that a festival pull. No idea how these guys will top it for next year, but I’m a shoe in for next year. Definitely a festival to go to.

Though I wish prices were cheaper as well as less of a requirement for people to have to be locked out of stadiums or be held up waiting for acts. I spent at least an hour of my time doing these things, when I could have listened to other acts.

One Response to Stereosonic @ Sydney Olympic Park: Saturday 26th November 2011

  1. […] have literally finished with the Stereosonic Festival and ready to clunk out at home. On the way to my car, a friend calls me: “PARTY IN THE CITY […]

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