It was hard to avoid getting caught in a mosh pit yesterday at the Listen Out festival in Sydney.
After shows in Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne, and with around 30,000 people in Sydney, this year’s tour was the best attended in the festival’s history.
He shows a real appetite for festivals, even if several have not been able to get ahead of them in recent times. Dark Mofo, Falls Festival and This That festival have all been subject to cancellations.
Rapper Vv Pete was the opening act at Centennial Park in Sydney.
The 22-year-old spoke with ABC News backstage after her performance.
Pete has been writing music since she was nine and performing on stage since she was in fifth grade at school, but things could have turned out very differently for her.
“I always wanted to be a scientist,” Pete said.
“But it turns out my destiny is to become an artist. It was really cool to discover that.”
Pete has also performed at the Sydney Opera House, which she said “manifested”.
“In 2022, I said to my mother, ‘Mum, next year I’m going to make sure I perform at the Sydney Opera House.’ Bang, I played there,” she said.
“So I feel like the power of words is so wise, and when you have that consistency, that motive, that you believe in yourself, faith is the most important thing.”
The rising star was born and raised in Western Sydney. She lived in Merrylands before moving to Mount Druitt aged 10.
And even though Pete never traveled to New York, his image did.
A photo of her appeared on a Times Square building in a Spotify ad.
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“It was an honor,” Pete said.
“My first album was Bussit, but what really did well in terms of numbers was the Frauds and Jordan 1 (songs).
“So because of the high streams I’ve been getting from those, as well as the Mall Grab Remix (of Frauds) – big thanks to Mall Grab as well – we’re almost at 1 million streams.
So things like that are why they hosted me (in Times Square), because according to statistics, I’m one of the fastest growing artists in Australia right now. “
Social media has played a huge role in Pete’s continued rise.
“When we dropped the Jordan 1s, we managed to get 2.2 million plays on TikTok, which also helped it a lot for streaming because we got some advertising.
“And also, different dance classes around the world started creating choreographies and stuff and important people participated in the game.
“Now if you go to the Jordan 1s, there are hundreds of videos, reels.”
Pete comes from a close-knit family, despite her parents splitting up when she was young.
Towards the end of her performance, she paid tribute to her proud mother who was on stage, waiting in the wings and was always by her side.
“When I told my family I was going to be an artist, a lot of them looked down on me, but the only person who supported me was my mother,” she said.
“It’s like she knew I was going to have a bright future.
“Now my whole family obviously supports me, but my mom has always been that person that…she gave me agency and she allows me to be myself and I respect her so much.”
Gates opened at midday with no earlier access to the pitch, and Pete was due to take the stage from 12:05 p.m., meaning even the most dedicated fan could have arrived late to his performance following his bags being searched at the Security Station.
Pete calls his fans Varvies. One of her Varvies, Darren Heng, said it was the first time he had seen her perform live.
“She’s such a big part of my friend group,” he said.
“All my friends love her, so they introduced me to her and I fell in love with her.
“His energy is so awesome.
“Her body positivity… it means a lot to me too.”
Pete is a fan of his fans.
“I love my Varvies,” she said.
“I love you guys so much. Every day we grow more and more.
“And I thank God, I thank the universe, I thank my ancestors, I thank my family, my spirit guides, everything, because it’s only up from here.”
Pete was also able to attend a few performances by artists she knows well.
“I was so excited to see (Gomeroi artist) Kobie Dee,” she said.
“He’s awesome. He’s also from Sydney, my hometown. That’s my brother right there.
“A big shout out to him and a big shout out to Zion Garcia.
“He’s one of the triple j Unearthed (winners).
“We went to school together. So we’re really close. I jumped on stage and saw him, gave him the biggest hug. I’m so proud of him.”
The festival’s lineup included American rapper Lil Uzi Vert, electronic DJ Friction, and American DJ and music producer Skrillex.
By the time Bronx native Ice Spice took the stage for a brief set, the temperature had cooled considerably and the sun had been replaced by a full moon.
ONEFOUR inaugurated after a change of program
People booking the $204.90 general admission and $288 VIP tickets were warned that the festival lineup was approximate and subject to change – and it did.
Sydney drill band ONEFOUR arrived late, replacing American producer and DJ Metro Boomin.
Sorcha was in the audience when ONEFOUR took the stage.
“I write them down,” she said.
“I think they’re good. I don’t think they should have been banned from performing for so many years.”
ONEFOUR is known for canceling shows itself, telling ABC in 2019 that it was due to police pressure on venues.
Sorcha was disappointed that Metro Boomin couldn’t come.
“When you buy a ticket, you want it to be that queue, but I think as far as replacements go, this one is acceptable.”
Nelson, who was partying alongside Sorcha, agreed.
“Australian festivals are still replacing big international acts with inadequate replacements,” he said.
“At Splendor in 2019, they replaced Chance the Rapper with Hilltop Hoods.
“It’s better. I feel like Metro Boomin/ONEFOUR is better,” he said.
ONEFOUR has been nominated for an ARIA award, with the ceremony taking place on November 15.
The festival benefited from a heavy police presence, with officers targeting anti-social behavior and alcohol-fuelled violence.
Prohibited drugs were also on their radar, with sniffer dogs present and 85 people found in possession of illicit drugs, according to NSW Police.