One stage. No clashes. Party together; that is FOMO’s mission statement and every year they continue to deliver by that. They create an all inclusive atmosphere which is quite unique for a festival setting and allows everyone to witness a diverse selection of artists that are quite literally some of the biggest “finger on the pulse” acts out there.
The 2020 edition of FOMO saw them delivering their biggest line up yet with Brockhampton, Lizzo, Madeon, Kaytranada, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Jax Jones, Meduza, Rico Nasty and more kicking off the new year right.
It’s a weird time in Australia to be going to music festivals and partying when there is the biggest emergency crisis happening across the country with the bushfires. It almost doesn’t feel right to be doing it, but FOMO have taken the initiative to launch a huge fundraising campaign that gives punters the opportunity to give back. With every drink purchase at the bar they were able to add $1 which will be donated direct to the bushfire appeal. And this initiative will be continuing across Australia at all FOMO dates.
Kicking off the 4 city tour in Brisbane where FOMO originally started, the festival has upgraded from their original Riverstage venue to the Brisbane Showgrounds where they opened it up to 16+ for the first time.
With the crowd making their way into the venue in the early afternoon, Rico Nasty made her Australian debut performance with some hardcore fans ready to scream all the lyrics down at the front with her.
Launching straight into ‘Trust Issues’ and ‘Bitch I’m Nasty’, her energy levels were set quite high but as the set continued she started to mellow out and began to rely on the track and audience quite heavily. In her defence she did only arrive in the country after a long haul international flight that morning, but you couldn’t help but feel that you weren’t receiving the full Rico Nasty experience.
As she continued her set with ‘Sandy’ and ‘Hard’ and got those circle pits opening up, her fusion of punk-rock attitude and hip-hop roots really stood out.
Throwing in her Doja Cat collaboration ‘Tia Tamera’ towards the end of the set, it was her tracks ‘Smack A Bitch’ and ‘Rage’ that got the biggest audience interaction as she said goodbye to the Brisbane crowd.
British rapper Giggs was up next and while he did play his tracks ‘Set It Off’, ’Baby’, ‘Lock Doh’ and ‘Linguo’, he didn’t do his verse from his Lily Allen collaboration ‘Trigger Bang’ and that was a lost moment.
Italian producer, Meduza was up next and immediately delivered some different festival vibes with ‘Lose Control’ kicking off their set. “Brisbane, are you ready for some nice music?” he asked the crowd before he continued to deliver slick dance beats that had the crowd dancing and jumping simultaneously.
With CO2 cannons erupting and confetti filling the air, the vibe was electric. But everyone was waiting for that one song in particular to drop and when ‘Piece Of Your Heart’ finally did, it was insane.
British producer Jax Jones knew immediately how to get the party started by launching straight into his mega hits ‘All Day And Night’, ‘This Is Real’ and ‘You Don’t Know Me’. And the hits didn’t stop there with his whole set being filled with radio and playlist favourites that you may have not realised was him like ‘Play’, ‘Breathe’ ,’House Work’ and ‘Harder’.
“What’s going on Brisbane?” he asked the crowd as CO2 cannons and confetti continued to erupt throughout his set. With giant inflatable sauce containers at either side of his decks, he effortlessly created such a fun vibe that made his set one of the most enjoyable of the day.
He may have been a last minute addition to the line up, but A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s fans came out strong and made sure that their presence was known. As the New York rapper made his way onto the stage, a giant inflatable hand was hung over the stage as he rapped through his hits and his fan favourites. ‘Look Back At It’, ‘Swervin’, ’Startender’, ‘Right Back’, ‘Drowning’ and ‘Mood Swings’ were immediate highlights in his hour set.
Taking a moment of silence for the recent passing of Juice Wrld, the venue followed his lead and fell to an absolute silence as they all paid their respect.
His banter with the crowd was strong and he visibly formed a good connection with them. But at one point during the show someone threw something at him and his security immediately jumped down to the front row to find out who it was. He was also not impressed by this and it seemed for a moment that he was going to walk off stage but he kept it professional and continued the set. But this is an important thing to note because he shouldn’t have stayed, because respect and safety is the thing that comes first and it needs to be made aware that behaviour like this isn’t okay and no artist should have to stand for it.
As the sun began to set, it only seemed appropriate that the queen that everyone was waiting for finally made her appearance on the FOMO stage. Lizzo was easily one of the biggest acts of 2019 thanks to her breakthrough single ‘Juice’ make people become aware of her on a global scale and saw songs that were 3 years old start charting.
Strutting her way onto the stage to ‘Good As Hell’, she had the crowd immediately onboard and singing on top of their lungs.
Taking a moment to thank the crowd for coming out to see her during her first ever Australian live performance, she explained what her main core values were. “I’m Lizzo and I’m all about body positivity, feeling yourself and all about being 100% that bitch!” she exclaimed.
During her 40 minute set, she showed a lot of different sides to her. From her killer vocals that were highlighted during ‘Cuz I Love You’ to her twerking, her dancing and yes, even her flute playing made an appearance.
She started by playing some of her older songs like ‘Worship’, ‘Scuse Me’, ’Water Me’ and ‘Boys’ that the crowd closest to the stage knew before performing recent album tracks like ‘Jerome’, ‘Tempo’ and ‘Soulmate’.
Starting a chant saying “no fuck boys 2020”, she embraced self positivity and made sure everyone was on board with the same sentiment. She even made a quick little side note while preaching to the crowd; “Oh and no fuck girls 2020! Because I know there are some of you out there!”.
Joined by 4 dancers on stage, which she lovingly refers to them as “the big girls”, she not only performed choreography with them but she also playfully interacted and gave a show that felt unique and special. Closing with the mammoth hits ‘Juice’ and ‘Truth Hurts’, she left the audience wanting more.
Lizzo is a born entertainer and that set was one of the most euphoric, pure and real shows I’ve ever witnessed, and I just want to go to another Lizzo show ASAP.
Having the tough job of following that set up, Madeon delivered something quite different and special. Bringing his “Good Faith Live” show to FOMO, the French producer delivered an art piece which was quite different to any ‘producer set’ I’ve ever witnessed. It was an aesthetically pleasing set of all original music that started with his smash hit ‘All My Friends’ and then showcased material from his new album ‘Good Faith’ and his debut ‘Adventure’ before closing the set with his Porter Robinson collaboration ‘Shelter’.
The set up was quite unique too with two see through tables on either side of him with a light up microphone stand that looked like a lightsaber from the Star Wars franchise. He sang everything live and played everything live.
The accompanying visuals were very moody and really brought the crowd into the aesthetically pleasing and cinematic world he was trying to create through the performance and music.
You may know the hip-hop collective BROCKHAMPTON as “the best boyband since One Direction” and their cohesive set and super passionate fans backed up the legitimacy of these quotes.
With two giant hands and some stairs spaced across the stage, the lights were turned down into a moody aesthetic as Rihanna’s ‘Stay’ blasted through the speakers. They then started to come out one by one during ‘ST. PERCY’ before rolling into ‘IF YOU PRAY RIGHT’.
The majority of their set was in a more chilled out hip-hop aesthetic with moody lighting complimenting that feel. Songs like ‘ZIPPER’, ‘BLEACH’, ‘GUMMY’, ‘1999 WILDFIRE’ created some big singalong’s. But as they crept towards the end of their set, the big tunes were pulled out like ‘SUGAR’, ‘BOOGIE’ and ‘NO HALO’.
Closing out the festivities was Kaytranada who honestly didn’t seem like the right fit for the closer of this particular festival. With the vibes being very relaxed in the dance music territory for a day that was full of such hype and energy, the crowd started pouring out of the venue early as they were happy with witnessing the likes of BROCKHAMPTON, Lizzo and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie earlier in the day/night and didn’t want to have those memories altered because it really was a pretty epic day of live music and euphoric celebration.
Check out the full gallery captured by Jordan Rogers-Smith Photography BELOW;
Photos by Jordan Rogers Smith
FOMO 2020 Tour Dates
Saturday 11 January – Parramatta Park, Sydney
Sunday 12 January – Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne