HoldyFest is Adelaide’s newest summer music festival held at, you guessed it, The Holdy. This festival spans across three days (Friday 2nd–Sunday 4th) so everyone will have the opportunity to appreciate some quality SA talent. Last night kicked off day one beautifully, with tasty cocktails, awesome street food, and even a flower crown workshop! The lineup was stellar, with four bands—Dusty Lee (Wasted Wanderers), Ollie English, Thom Lion and Dexter Jones—taking the stage, enabling the audience to pull up a floral sofa or leather armchair and enjoy the chilled vibes from 6.00pm ’til late.
Dusty Lee and Matt Birkin from Wasted Wanderers graced our ears first with their sweet foot-tapping tunes. The loop pedal echoed Dusty’s smooth angelic vocals—his voice is the lovechild of John Mayer and James Bay—leaving the crowd captivated and relaxed. Saying that though, don’t be quick to stereotype; his beautiful blend of pop/blues/folk is certainly hard to pinpoint but certainly great to listen to.
The HoldyFest was off to a great start and the good stuff just kept on coming. Next up was Ollie English and band members: Louis, Anthony and Joe, with some sultry blues tones. Although his self-classifying genre is ‘soul and blues’, there seemed to be a mixture of some jazz/funk sounds that were truly mesmerising, his voice reaching climatic highs then suddenly softening once more.
Thom Lion stripped it back to artist and instrument, demonstrating how sometimes less is more. As the night went on, he pulled out the keyboard and harmonica, with Troy joining him on the drums. Thoughtful lyrics go a long way with a crowd, and Thom’s lyrics certainly resonated with last night’s crowd. The drinks were flowing, the floor became more crowded and the people at The Holdy were certainly ready for what was to come.
Dexter Jones was the final act of the night, adding a little bit of rock after a day of lighter music. Matt, with his signature locks and husky vocals, took centre stage, with Sam on guitar throwing in some supporting vocals with perfect synchronisation. The band concluded HoldyFest perfectly—all their tunes were super punchy and a pleasure to listen to.
Overall, the first night of HoldyFest was impressive and worth a look for both regulars and newcomers. With a party to excite your eyes and tastebuds, this festival is the ideal way to welcome those balmy summer nights.