Purple Sneakers Approved: Golden Plains 2016

gold class

Golden Plains is one of Victoria’s most popular and beautifully different music festivals. Set in Meredith, aka the middle of nowhere, the tunes pump loud and the people do as they please. It’s great.

The festival is the smaller version of Meredith Music Festival and that’s the way Aunty Meredith likes it, she’s said that they’re not so stressed about selling out or packing the fields. She’d rather allow people more space to enjoy themselves and not get bogged down in crowds; the name of the game is freedom and space.

There are also no real investors or sponsors; and of course the golden No Dickhead policy; Golden Plains keeps it all about the music. For their 10th Anniversary, they’ve gone all out on another eclectic lineup and we thought it the perfect occasion to launch Purple Sneakers Approved, a new editorial series we ‘approve’ aka tell you why you should love acts from event lineups. Let’s go:


A Melbourne based four piece band akin to other bands like Joy Division and The Smiths, but Gold Class tend to keep their music faster and rougher sounding than their older foreign counterparts. Listening to a couple of their tracks gives you a solid idea of their dynamic; short snappy drums that hold up gritty guitars and running bass; topped off with powerful vocals. The band have a great chemistry going between them and you better believe they keep that chemistry and high intensity sound on stage.


Darcy Baylis is an electronic artist/singer from Melbourne (fka Namine), his music is in the House/Techno ballpark, but he adds real emotion to it, like we’re talking emotronica. His vocal delivery has this inflection, an audible strain to it if you will, like he’s forcing each word out, yet he makes that yearning vibe work on what could easily be upbeat productions.

Speaking of production talent, Darcy also has got heaps of it. When the focus isn’t on the vocals, you get lost in his dense production work. Although upbeat and groove-laden at times, he takes influence from the moody R&B sounds, which creates a haunting soundscape. He’s coming off the release of his latest EP and people should definitely make an effort to get deep, dark and moving when he hits the stage.


friendships are an odd audio visual duo from Melbourne, making tripped out electronic tunes with much variation it’s just hard to explain, so I’ll let them: friendships is an art project. one part music. one part visual. we paint a lot. we write music a lot. we talk & drink + smoke. human stuff. we work really hard and sometimes pull each other to pieces until we have it right.” 

friendships’ music has a strong blend of heavy bass and atmospheric soundscapes under their belt. They can be soft and melodic, and then next minute they can be balls to the wall; literally going insane with heavy kick drums and loud synths pelting through the sound system – and visuals to match. friendships are a GP wild card that will bring something unpredictable to their exclusive A/V live performance this weekend.


Sampa is a poet/rapper/songwriter hailing from Sydney, making a soulful style of hip hop and taking Australia by storm in the process. Although it seems to draw heavy influence from artists like Lauryn Hill, Talib Kweli, Mos Def et al, yet there is a real organic and original element to her songwriting. With traditional and personal stories put on display. Sampa‘s music is smooth and easy to listen to, she has an impeccable flow and her production is always on point, yet the lyrical content is raw, and powerful. Sampa The Great should be a must see, especially if you like to groove.


Koi Child are a hip hop/jazz/funk group from Fremantle, they have a full band creating (with Kevin Parker’s help) some really jazzy hip hop. It kind of sounds like if Nujabes actually got a band out to play rather than just sampling vintage records. Delicious production with solid rap flow over the 70’s jazz styled beats. Hip hop bands this good are few and far between so don’t miss out on seeing Koi Child if you have the chance this weekend.

There ya go, our very first five #PurpleSneakersApproved acts! See you at the Sup!

Words by Aiden Benavides

Photo by Sara Retallick




Will write for money.