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University of Melbourne staff and students rallied outside Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell’s Parkville mansion yesterday in opposition to the University’s growing casualisation of teaching staff.

Students and staff say no to the Robert Menzies Institute

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Lady Powers Of Groovin The Moo

<p>Vera Blue closed her set with her powerful track, ‘Lady Powers’, and I couldn’t think of a more fitting song.</p>

Music festivals are traditionally dominated by men. Male acts take up well over 50 per cent of the spots on the lineups and receive the best set times, and you can barely even dance without getting shoved by some guy high on MDMA who has no idea who he’s even watching. Unfortunately, Groovin the Moo 2018 didn’t prove to be an exception to this. Yet, despite the odds working against them, it was the women of the festival who took the stage.

The award for the most fun festival act goes to Tkay Maidza, who injected life into the crowd until we were all singing and dancing along with her—although definitely not as well. Her contagious energy reverberated around the Cattleyard stage, hyping us up for the rest of the night.

Melbourne indie rocker Alex Lahey offered up something completely different yet just as incredible. The crowd roared when she brought Paul Kelly onto the stage to help her out with ‘Lotto in Reverse’. Kelly’s one of Australia’s most prominent musicians, but Lahey herself was still undoubtedly the best part of the set. Lahey’s brilliance and success can be put down to her melodic rock vibes and her intensely relatable lyrics; ‘I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself’ is an anthem for those who are struggling a little bit right now.

Conversely, the astonishing Vera Blue—who was my highlight of the festival—gives off the impression that she has everything completely together, and that maybe one day you will too. She changed her songs up just enough to keep her audience feeling like we were receiving something new and unique, although not too much to make the territory unfamiliar. Her voice was as incredible live as it is recorded, and her stage presence was phenomenal—even as she hit the hardest notes she was twisting her body across the stage in her long grey swishy cloak.

If you’ve attended a music festival as a woman, you’ve probably experienced making eye contact with your friends because some guy is a bit too close to you, or have avoided moving too close to the stage because you know you’ll probably end up struggling for breath in the crowd. To be a female musician performing a music festival must be a whole new world of frustration; all three acts I’ve mentioned were finished by 4:30pm, which isn’t exactly prime time for a music festival. Yet, none of this stopped women from dominating Groovin the Moo.

Vera Blue closed her set with her powerful track, ‘Lady Powers’, and I couldn’t think of a more fitting song.

Farrago's magazine cover - Edition Three 2021


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