Open Air at The Yards delivered the warmth on a cold Melbourne night

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Open Air at The Yards delivered the warmth on a cold Melbourne night

Words by Luca Cesarini

Open Air delivered another top-notch experience with a diverse lineup cementing itself as another staple of Melbourne’s live music scene.

Soundtracked by Miss Doobie C’s incredible DJ sets, eager fans were able to grab a drink and dig through the crates at Licorice Pie or even check out the Arts Project Australia Gallery. The Yards felt like a 50s New York Street Parade as people living in the apartments surrounding the venue stuck their head out the window and waved at excited punters.

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Katy J Pearson kicked off the festival and her last day in Melbourne with a beautiful and heartfelt set of folk and pop rock. She swayed each punter side to side as she sung incredible ballads like ‘Float’ and ‘Sound of The Morning’, which have become my essential car sing-a-longs since hearing them live.

Sinj Clarke rocked a gorgeous pair of speed-dealers as he guided his band to create this beautiful blend of jazz with hints of flamenco. As I walked closer to the stage my ears felt a similar sensation to my lips as I sipped the froth of my Stingrays Draught, soothed by the soft and bubbly sound of Clarke’s band. Their grooves shone through the shade that was beginning to form over The Yards.

Elle Shimada switched up the beat, bringing forward an evocative blend of rap, techno, and psychedelic pop. Elle was accompanied by the touching melodies of her backup singers and a captivating dancer who personified the essence of Shimada’s sound through a performance that weaved through the stage and the crowd.

The highlight of the festival was undeniably John Carroll Kirby and Eddie Chacon’s set, which I was most excited to see. I wasn’t alone, of course, as I attempted to hold my spot in the biggest crowd yet, moving swiftly towards the stage as the pair walked on.

As they played, the night had set in, and the glow of the fairy lights turned Eddie into this glowing purple figure.

Kirby began to cook up these beautiful canvases of keyboard melodies and grooving funk-disco rhythms for Eddie to paint on with his sultry vocals. They became the warmth for what had turned into a typical cold Melbourne evening.

With a sense of gratitude and introspectiveness in their set, they brought out the marvellous Nikodimos, one of Melbourne’s most exciting and promising artists to add his charming soundscape to the performance.

Chacon belted out Pleasure, Joy and Happiness with the mesmerised crowd, creating an unbelievably intimate set that brought those very emotions to everyone who was lucky enough to witness it.


After these acts, the night shifted into party mode.

I navigated my way through the bustling crowd to catch Baby G and later Shy One, who played inside the gorgeous Hope St Radio, where wine and laughs were being served as punters bopped under the warm red lights.

Space Ghost kept the heat running outside to an initially small crowd of punters, providing disco beats as he leant into the party vibe. All the way from Oakwood California, he packed a euphoric melting pot of house, funk, electronic and disco to what eventually grew to a packed crowd.

As the night went on, those who felt like partying stayed whilst others chilled out and had a drink and a laugh. Ultimately, Open Air was another tour of various soundscapes, each of which cemented the festival as one that can not be missed.

To see more from the event and keep up to date with future shows, follow When Pigs Fly on Instagram here.