Alternative festivals have seen a resurgence of late, which was a welcome change to fans following the news that Soundwave would not return for 2016 (well, we were told it would and many people bought tickets, myself included, only to learn bands hadn’t been booked as promised and the festival never went ahead *sad face*).

This is why the announcement that the rumoured Good Things festival would be hitting Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane respectively from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 December lit a fire in the loins of metal and rock fans alike.

Festival organisers promised that this new event on the festival scene would ‘bring forth a new era for Australian alternative music fans, ushered in by an unstoppable army of some of the heaviest, and most alternative bands the universe has on offer.’

T’was a bold claim to make and fans hungry for the perfect lineup were salivating when they received news that not only was it happening, it was hitting 3 major Australian cities to boot!

Whilst our fair country is not without its metal festivals, for anyone who doesn’t live in Melbourne they are hard to come by.

Unify, a 3-day heavy metal camping gathering held in Gippsland Victoria, is moving into its 5th year in 2019 but has no plans to expand beyond Victoria just yet. Luckily, Download Festival is hitting two locations for 2019, Sydney and Melbourne, after the first instalment of the festival – which took place at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne in March this year and headlined by Korn, Limp Bizkit and Prophets of Rage – was a raging success.

Good Things 2018 was headlined by punk rock legends The Offspring and Corey Taylor’s (aka Slipknot frontman) Stone Sour. The line-up also included The Used, Bullet For My Valentine, Babymetal, and a veritable smorgasbord of metal, rock and punk bands.

Sadly, I couldn’t attend the Melbourne event this year due to a 6-week jaunt around the USA leaving me both without annual leave and funds (first world problems, I know) but I managed to catch up with 2 lucky ladies who did.

Alix caught the Sydney leg of the show, held at Parramatta Park, while Kaitlen headed to the Melbourne one at Flemington Racecourse. Check out my interview with them both below.

My good times at Good Things Festival: A chit-chat with Alix on the Sydney event

Good Things Fest

Hey Alix, thanks for taking some time out to catch us all up on your experience at Good Things in Sydney. To start off, tell us what were you most excited to see on the day.

I was super keen for Bullet For My Valentine and Stone Sour – last time I saw both of them was at Soundwave, so I was eager to see them again!

What was your favourite part of the day?

Bullet For My Valentine without a shadow of a doubt! We were a couple of people back in the mosh and felt like we could’ve passed out a few times but it was so worth it; they put on an amazing show! Another top moment was when we all sang Corey Taylor Happy Birthday during the Stone Sour set, then someone was nice enough to give him a pair of glasses with a dick for a nose, which he wore for a little while and earned roars of laughter from the crowd.

What was the atmosphere like? Was it busy or did you think the crowd would be bigger?

Atmosphere was great overall. I did think the crowd would be bigger but everything was really well laid out, and we didn’t have to wait in line for drinks or toilets so I think that made it seem like it wasn’t busy.

There was a good range of bands from various metal and rock genres, did you think the crowd reflected that or did it appear more geared towards a certain genre?

The crowd definitely reflected the different genres, especially when we were securing our up-front position for BFMV and listening to The Used as they played on the stage next door. Some young kid in front was going on about ‘Who the hell is this old guy, c’mon Bullet!’ Whereas I was bouncing around singing to The Used reliving my high school days with Taste Of Ink and Box of Sharp Objects. Then there were quite a few golden oldies there to watch The Offspring as well.

What band surprised you the most on the day?
Babymetal were awesome! Good music and great costumes/choreography.

Was anything a bit of a let down?

There could have been more shade and seating. Stone Sour played some songs I didn’t know; felt like the worst fan ever.

Was there a good range of band merch available? Did you buy any?

There was a lot, but we went to look a few hours after gates opened and a number of items had sold out. We were sad to miss out on the brightly coloured Good Things stubby coolers – they definitely need more of those next time! I got a black Stone Sour shirt with a winged skull on the front and the Australian tour line-up on the back which is wicked. Would’ve liked a BFMV one also but they were a bit overpriced at $50 each whereas Stone Sour were only $40.

How did Good Things measure up to the likes of the sadly defunct Soundwave, or the recent Download?

I think the line-up (personal preference) and layout was much better than Download as while waiting for food, drinks and bathrooms you could still watch bands but nothing will ever compare to Soundwave. I think if Good Things put on a few more acts and spread it over 2 days they could certainly get to where Soundwave was.

Did you like the venue choice?

Yes, well laid out and spacious – biggest downer was the lack of shade.

How was it getting in to the venue?

Our Uber from the Ibis in Wentworthville only took 10 minutes, bit of traffic but that’s just Sydney! We left 3 songs into Offspring, however, and we still had a few issues trying to connect to internet to find an Uber, so I’m glad we left early and didn’t wait around until they finished.

It doesn’t have to be all about the bands though, and we all low-key love the food and bevvy options at festivals. What was your favourite?

We didn’t eat a lot at the festival, I only had a hotdog, it was pretty standard though. Drinks were good, would’ve like to have had Canadian Club and Dry, but Captain Morgan’s was a nice change.

How much were tickets and did you think it was worth it?

Tickets were $178, for a one day festival it was a bit expensive but for two of my favourite bands I didn’t mind paying for it.

If Good Things returned in 2019, what would you like to see change? Do you have any suggestions for improvement?

More shade and seating areas would have been great, everyone was huddled under the minimal trees that were there trying to get some relief.

And finally, would you go again?

Yes, definitely!

My good times at Good Things: A pow-wow with Kaitlen on the Melbourne show

good things festival

Hey Kaitlen, while I was pretty devastated I couldn’t head to Good Things with you, I am keen to hear more about your experience. What were you most excited to see on the day?

To be honest there wasn’t one band I was most excited to see, I had been equally excited for Baby Metal, The Used, Bullet For My Valentine and Stone Sour.

What was your favourite part of the day?

The Used frontman Burt McCracken’s face while performing – the passion and energy was contagious. Babymetal also put on a great performance, I really hope they return to Australia for those who missed out this time.


What was the atmosphere like? Was it really busy or did you think the crowd would be bigger?

The atmosphere was incredible, very positive and excitable. It did get a bit busy as the day went on and the weather cooled down, however, the venue was large enough to accommodate the numbers.

There was a good range of bands from various metal and rock genres, did you think the crowd reflected that or did it appear more geared towards a certain genre?

The crowd definitely reflected the various genres, you wouldn’t walk in and think ‘oh this is a metal or old school rock gig’. It was good to see the crowd just there to have a fun day out and enjoy the music.

What band surprised you the most on the day?

I mainly listen to metal, so I was very surprised to find myself getting carried away with the Dropkick Murphys, who put on an amazing performance. Once the banjo came out I couldn’t help but dance along.

Was anything a bit of a let down?

I think the heat meant a few people (myself included) weren’t as active as they would normally be at a music festival, so that is not the festival organisers fault just an unfortunate fact of summer in Oz.

Was there a good range of band merch available? Did you buy any?

I saw 2 merch tents and the merch was geared towards the bands performing at the stage they were near, which was well thought out. I would have bought some Babymetal but that sold out instantly I was told.

How did Good Things measure up to the likes of the sadly defunct Soundwave, or the most recent Download?

Good Things is definitely on par with Soundwave and might even have surpassed Download based on my experience.

Did you like the venue choice?

I thought Flemington Racecourse was a great choice due to the size and ease of access getting there. There were also shade tents, free sunscreen and water, and a misting tent – that one was understandably popular.  

How was it getting in to the venue?

Very easy. I am not sure about Sydney and Brisbane but Melbourne was running extra trains so we weren’t packed in like sardines.  

We all low-key love the food and bevvy options at festivals. What was your favourite?

I never in my life thought I would get to try vegan shawarma at a music festival, but I managed to (luckily) stumble across the guys at Hamsa Hummus Bar and Vegan Shawarma which blew me and my carnivorous husband away. As for beverages, there was a wide selection available like Captain Morgan, Furphy, Red Bull, Jack Daniels, Smirnoff Ice and Smirnoff Soda and Lime, and there wasn’t a moment where I saw the slushie cart without a line.

How much were tickets and did you think it was worth it?

Tickets were $178 including the booking fee. While the price seems a bit steep, for the bands you get to see it’s worth it.

If Good Things returned in 2019, what would you like to see change? Do you have any suggestions for improvement?

Maybe stock more merch of the international acts because they tend to sell out quickly. As for Good Things itself, I’d say they nailed it.

And finally, would you go again?

Definitely! I am already counting down until the next one.

Experiencing FOMO? Check out our guide to Aussie Summer music festivals to find out which events are taking place in your state this season!