The night started off beautifully. Although a little behind schedule, Goodvybes started on the right foot with a sunset performances by Tenderfists, Brisom, and The Assembly Generals. As people filed into the venue and laid their mats down, the sky melted into a dark purple from the warm orange glow it had once been. The wind was cool and a few stars hung overhead — it was undeniable, the night was going to be a good one.
It’s pretty much a given, though: the performers out on the main stage were forces to be reckoned with. Passion Pit was perfect, giving at least a hundred people an out-of-body experience. CHVRCHES brought the house down, with an audience that literally ran to the main stage in excitement for their performance. Oh, Wonder was immaculate, bringing tears to a few eyes and definitely making everyone smile after announcing, “You guys have the most beautiful country in the world — that’s a promise.” Stars had everyone crooning to their instant classic “Your Ex-Lover is Dead.” All the performers that flew in for the first ever Goodvybes festival definitely did not disappoint. They had the crowd on their knees — or more appropriately, off their mats.
But perhaps the true highlight of Goodvybes and unsung heroes of this festival — and to be honest, of almost any festival — were its local acts. These artists that gave way to schedule changes, technical difficulties, and program shifts but played the night away with full hearts anyway are the reason why festivals here are such huge successes.
The adrenaline rush from Kjwan was unparalleled, and watching them on stage felt like being part of a giant rock concert. She’s Only Sixteen had the crowd dancing with their fast songs that were juxtaposed by a backdrop of slow fireworks. BP Valenzuela powered through a difficult set with her most loyal fans — the beat tent was filled with screams and hollers for more from the beatmaker, the energy was insanely palpable. Moonwlk stunned the crowd with a marriage proposal that everyone was pretty much happy to see end well.
Oft seen as supplementary to the bigger bands from outside of the country, perhaps it’s time for us to recognize the true worth of the participation of local performers at music festivals. Moreover, perhaps it’s time to recognize the potential of local talent.
Goodvybes was great and music festivals in general are always a treat. Perhaps, however, it’s time to try giving smaller gigs a shot. Visit pubs, bars, and clubs and give yourself a chance to get lost in local music. Enter local music joints with the same curiosity and open-mindedness you have for a new music festival and find yourself ending up with an itch to dance the night away.