Festival Takeaway: 8 highlights of our experience at Sunny Side Up Festival 2016

People from around the world scrambled to Seminyak for Sunny Side Up Festival’s two day takeover of Potato Head Beach Club. The place was packed with half-naked hippies, boozed up hipsters, wealthy wannabes, and neon ravers (drug free for the first time). It’s nothing we haven’t seen before at a music festival. Beach party meets dance party which was greeted by a pool party. All around it was a constant party at Sunny Side Up.

But from the tropical shirts to the bamboo mat hangouts, floating lanterns, and temple-like decor, this event was “Balinized.” Here are eight things we found that made this festival a Balinese edition.


Safety Comes First

It took three wristband checks, two bag checks, and one metal detector later to officially enter the venue. So even if there was a fence to climb to sneak in, you’d be caught before your first step. For those that thought the beach would be their ticket in, Potato Head was three steps ahead and blocked off the back entryway. Sure, they couldn’t mute the sound from the stage but listening isn’t trespassing. From door security to grounds security, the place was covered in guards (and rightly so). The pool area even had someone in the water on patrol. Safety first kids, right?


Playing with Tokens

Token girls.

By the end of the two days, people’s fat wallets had dropped a few million rupiah worth of weight. The festival was not cash based, but driven by a token market. One token was worth Rp 100k. An alcoholic drink (that had weak proportions) costed Rp 150k. We admit, it’s a clever way to force you to buy at least Rp 300k worth of tokens. But money doesn’t grow on trees, and plastic token halves aren’t exactly useful, environmentally friendly or sustainable. While the token system kept the lines moving and bartenders happy, we’d prefer to play, not pay, with board game accessories.


Getting drunk all starts at Mini Mart



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The Mini Mart across from Potato Head became one of the hottest bars in Seminyak over the weekend. Thank god re-entry was allowed so people could leave Potato Head to chug a Bintang, down an Alben’s, or rev up with Red Bull. A short walk saved their bank account hundreds but there’s no way it could help their liver function. Nothing really could based on the towering pile of empty glass bottles outside of the store. Well done team! If drinking were an Olympic sport, the Mini Mart bound partiers would take the gold.


Appreciation for the Urination Station



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Our weak bladders were worried that Sunny Side Up would live up to the festival stereotype of having the grimiest smelling toilets. No one wants to have to squat, plug their nose, step around the yak and brace their body all while breaking the seal. Usually we wouldn’t comment on the urination stations, but these porta-potties were something special. Walking into the peeatorium was like entering the Botantic Gardens. Fake flowers in the stalls on the ladies side even made for a more upscale vibe (though we noticed flowers missing from one pottie late into the night. Guess some drunkie thought it would make a great hair accessory!). The bathroom attendants kept them cleaner than a neat freak’s bedroom. They were absolute rockstars constantly stocking each one with toilet paper and wiping it down for sanitation. All prepped and pampered for our tushies. This might be the only time it’s okay to actually sit on the seat in a porta-potty (check it off the list).  


The Cool Kids Party in the Pool

Pool party

We were a bit skeptical about the pool at first. Dancing in people’s pee (come on, we know some drunk lads were too lazy to go to the bathroom) sounds almost as gross as sharting yourself. Somehow this didn’t bother a fair number of people. It was either the effect of tequila shots or the fact that the pool party was straight up classified as the boogie zone. People stayed chlorinated despite their hands shriveling up like raisins. Why not when you can splash and get smashed.


Won over by Disclosure



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From the beginning of Sunny Side Up everyone was anticipating Disclosure’s headlining set on Sunday. Their performance could have converted an innocent country chick to the electronic side. The combination of the bass vibrations and the trippy lights were face-melting good. Compared to some of the other DJs who were spinnin remixes of popular dance songs (sorry we don’t want to hear “Lean On” three times in two days), Disclosure brought a range of live originality. They make pushing buttons look easy, but reminded us that real talent, like theirs, is required for electronic tunes.   


The Awesome Mark Ronson



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From classic funk to deep dirty hip hop and catchy pop sing along tunes, Mark Ronson captured the essence of music. By trait he made his name producing some small acts like Amy Winehouse, Adele, and the Grammy for the Record of the year in 2016 for the single “Uptown Funk.” The 6-minute lude of “Uptown Funk” got the entire crowd feeling funky fresh. We swear people were singing loud enough for a noise complaint. Which only got louder as he looped into Whinehouse’s song “Valerie.” While it was an epic dance party, his skills are most impressive on the producing, not live DJing, side. Either way Ronson claimed his fame on that stage.  


Breakbot broke all expectations



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In a live instrumental and vocal set, Breakbot proved that you don’t need to headline to be remembered. Disco has certainly made a comeback with this band. If you don’t believe our word, just know that even Mark Ronson gave them a shoutout. From track to track they were absolutely slaying it. They conquered the stage and claimed the hearts of many new fans. Check back in a few years, maybe they’ll be taking Mark Ronson or Disclosure’s set time.               


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