Rain-soaked music lovers brave the wet at Harvest Festival

Revellers take shelter in QUT after the music festival was evacuated.
Revellers take shelter in QUT after the music festival was evacuated. Owen Jacques

THE greatest music festivals are memorable not for the line-up, but the way they create a story or a moment for the audience.

For the final leg of the Harvest Festival in Brisbane yesterday, it was a severe thunderstorm that forced organisers to send thousands of already-drenched fans into the streets surrounding the Botanic Gardens venue.

In the minutes before 6pm - just as many were rambling to see Ben Folds Five - grainy voices boomed that everyone had to go, seek shelter, to leave calmly through their nearest exits.

After those in flimsy ponchos were threatened by lightning, buffeted by wind, rain and hail, they were welcomed back in about 30 minutes later.

It was this rabble, now exhilarated after staring down a storm, that mostly headed straight to Beck.

When he played, he swept the crowd to great heights.

Beck's set was unimpeachably perfect. He moved through his set-list with a kind of relaxed precision that overshadowed every other performer.

After Beck finished manipulating the ears of the crowd, they headed to see Icelandic sound masters Sigur Ros, electronic beatress Santigold or down-tempo dance act Crazy P - formerly Crazy Penis.

But plenty shuffled home after Beck.

Even with Harvest organisers seamlessly orchestrating an evacuation of thousands, by the time Beck had had his way with them, they looked as though they had gorged on his music with no room left for more.

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Topics:  harvest festival

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