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Magnificent sunshine burned brightly over Groovin the Moo on Saturday as an equally radiant crowd of 15,000 punters flooded Maitland Showground.
The annual event has come a long way since it was held at Gloucester Showground in 2005, now bringing some of the world’s most exciting live acts to the heart of Maitland.
Smiling kids in whacky festival garb flowed through the main gates, past a strong police presence and only a few sniffer dogs.
The crowd’s high energy continued throughout the day and the atmosphere was one of trouble-free frivolity.
Elizabeth Mackie spoke to some of the punters at the Moo on Saturday. They loved the vibe.
Many people in the designated drinking areas were quick to take advantage of the festival’s cash for cans scheme, where the bars were paying $1 for every can returned.Some enterprising individuals made hundreds of dollars throughout the day.
With two main stages, the music came thick and fast.
Indie-pop group San Cisco played just before midday and were received by a rapidly growing audience.
Australian Idol alumni Matt Corby was met with piercing, female screams and serenaded the Moo with his Jeff Buckley-esque vocal range.
British indie-rock group The Maccabees proved a highlight of the day, channelling countrymen like Maximo Park and Bombay Bicycle Club.
Mutemath put on an extraordinary show in the Moolin Rouge tent, which was overflowing to see the American band. The four-piece’s wild mix of blues, soul, progressive rock and electronica was an overwhelming experience. Their set included a stirring cover of Alicia Keys’
City and Colour’s melodic folk-rock was a change of pace to the other mainstage acts, but singer Dallas Green was captivating. His set finished with a cover of Neil Young’s
Rap icons Public Enemy gave the crowd a lesson in old-school, politically-charged hip hop and paid homage to the late Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, who died of cancer last week.
As the sun set, the temperature plummeted.
Many of the scantily-clad members of the audience went home and the size of Groovin’s audience halved.
German dance duo Digitalism headlined the Moolin Rouge stage with a heart-shaped light show and a dynamic, high-energy set.
UK rockers Kaiser Chiefs closed the festival’s proceedings with their world-class live show. Singer Ricky Wilson finished the set by jumping in the giant slingshot ride adjacent to the main stage and singing as he was fired high into the night sky.
It was a momentous end to the biggest year in Groovin the Moo’s history.