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SOTA Festival 2016: WAM’s Essential Guide

1 Jun

This Monday 6 June, the long weekend public holiday celebrations are set to peak when State Of The Art Festival returns to bring you an array of WA goodness. Presented by Celebrate WA and curated by WAM, the 30+ acts (incl. Jebediah, San Cisco and Ta-ku) won’t be the only thing you’ll want to get around on the day. Nope, the full SOTA experience is one for all the senses, from virtual reality sessions to workshops to enhance your circus/dance skills and food comps to get your taste-buds tingling/tangling. With so much to take in, we’ve put together a guide to prevent the classic post-party Snapchat FOMO, “What! There was a ____ at SOTA Fest?”

You’re welcome.


Last year a SOTA ticket cost $55 (pic above taken SOTA 2015 by Chris Kerr), and the headliners this year would all normally charge around this just to see them at their own show. So if you thought the accountants must have bungled the numbers when you saw this year’s #SOTAFest is free, question no more; for the first time ever, #SOTAFest is most definitely FREE ENTRY! No RSVPs are required either; just rock up on the day, but early to ensure you don’t miss any acts.

The first time a major music festival event has taken over this new development, #SOTAFest will fill the Elizabeth Quay space, with four stages and a tonne of attractions specific to the WA Day celebrations turning this so far underutilized area into the Perthect playground!
Click to expand map.

SOTA 2016 Maps

With over 30 acts, four stages and 9+ hours of entertainment we recommend you get down to EQ nice and early. Free gigs fill up fast and you don’t want to risk missing out on that front row spot of your fave band or any of the other sweet activities on offer. So get down with these playing times to really get down.
Click to expand playing times.

Sota 2016 playtimes variation_AW 2


Pop-up bars
and sectioned drinking areas means that the 18+ crowd can enjoy this coming Monday with a drink in hand. But remember: no valid ID, no play! Have a family or under 18? No sweat! All stages are all-ages friendly. The main stage is within a fully licensed area, so anyone under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. A non-licensed viewing area for unaccompanied people under the age of 18 will be available beyond the fence line. The Solo Stage and Barrack Sq Stage is available in an all ages zone.


#SOTAFest might see a shower at some point, but not a problem –  SOTA will have you covered, with tents for three stages (incl. the main stage which will fit thousands).

matsos unplugged

As part of WA Day Festival 2016 on the same day as the SOTA Fest, MATSO’s Live, Raw & Unplugged is conducting the search for WA’s finest live, unsigned and unplugged acoustic musicians. The finalists of the competition will have the opportunity to perform live on Stage Two at the WA Day Festival. The best bit? You get to see the finalists battle it out in rounds, with judges deciding the overall winner to be crowned Perth’s Best New Acoustic Act. Aka more music for FREE!

Ta-ku and Wafia

State Of The Art Music Festival is filled with non-stop entertainment every way you turn; aside from the superstar line-up, the day will be packed with some of WA’s lesser known names, but no lesser talents waiting to be discovered.

It’s impossible to pick favourites, but here are a few acts you should mark down:

  • Ta-ku (live, with special guests) – Okay, we’d be lying if we said he wasn’t a superstar. Thing is, much of WA still don’t know just how big he is; with is ridiculous considering he has around a million social media followers. And many punters also wouldn’t know don’t know he’ll also be bringing east coast starlet WAFIA (whom he’s releasing a new EP with, and is pictured above with Ta-ku) and friends with him for the WA debut of his live show!
  • Elli Schoen– Her recent transformation has seen blogs all over the world falling in love with her recent Hard Heart single, including triple j, Double j and Unearthed all getting hot and heavy on it. Now it’s time for you to make your move…
  • Jennifer Renee – A Country Music Academy of Australia graduate, “The Voice of WA” and “The Search” winner, Jennifer’s just-released WAM Sounds Of The Goldfields track has caused a spin. Heading across from Kalgoorlie, it’ll be well worth your while to make her welcome.
  • Rough Love Sessions – Presenting various artists at the peak of their electronic game, this is the designated zone to get your dance on. And considering they’ve packed out the area the last few SOTA Fests, best bring a towel.
  • The Merindas – Whilst they’re known for being a better-than-real-life ode to The Sapphires, their originals have increasingly been making people shake a tail feather, including at WAM Festival’s last Block Party where they were the feel good highlight for many.
  • Jacob Diamond – Winner of WA premier live band competition “The Big Splash” and the reigning WAM Award Best Folk Act champ, Jacob will preview his album before it drops very soon. Dig on that.
  • Mosquito Coast – Winners of triple j’s latest Unearthed High comp, they’ve had few shows since due to their studies, so take advantage of this rare chance to catch them, sans textbooks.
  • Galloping Foxleys, The Tommyhawks and Riley Pearce – catch these acts fresh off the back of their recent WAM Song Of The Year successes, and just general domination of important and loving earholes all over.
  • Helen Shanahan Winning last year’s ‘Telstra Road to Discovery’ national comp, life’s been a whirlwind since including touring across America and playing a heap of festivals.

    With so many ludicrously talented local artists taking part in SOTA Fest 2016, we’ve put together a Soundcloud playlist for you to enjoy ahead of the big day.


If family friendly is your jam then look no further – heaps of family friendly events will be taking place alongside #SOTAFest from 10am, including cool stuff from Scitech (they are bringing Virtual Reality headsets!), art installations, Tempest Pop Up Performances, circus skills workshops, pop up performances, markets, community artwork displays and much, much more.


Some of Perth’s leading food vendors will be there on the day to provide your tastebuds with the Tastes Of The World, and there’ll be food trucks including stops by The Merrywell Food Truck, Fish Boss, Miam Miam, La Fuente, Comida do Soul, Wooden Box and Suzy’s Ice Cream. If that wasn’t enough, the Main Stage will be hosting the WA Burger Competition from 11.30am. Never fear, those with weak stomachs; this burger comp is the hunt for WA’s most creative and best burger using only the finest local produce… not how many you can fit in your mouth (but you’re welcome to try!).


Minutes on foot from Elizabeth Quay Train Station, #SOTAFest is being held in a prime public transport location. For those who would prefer the comfort of their own cars (and a pre-festival sing-a-long) the City of Perth Parking have a mobile app to help you plan ahead. The nifty app enables you to locate the car parks closest to your destination and view exactly how many bays are available in real time across 12 of CPP’s major car parks. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance!
Click here to download for free!

SOTA Snap chat


Want to see more of SOTA? Add them on Snapchat to view all the #SOTAFest fun. Scan their snap code or just search SOTA_Festival, then follow the hashtag #SOTAFest on all the usual socials so you don’t miss out on any news.


Have you entered to win a trip to UK to see Methyl Ethellive at the End of the Road Festival yet? This prize includes two tickets (including flights and all the trimmings!) to see one of Perth’s rising acts live in the UK! Register by Tuesday 7 June, 11.59pm WST to be in with a chance to win this rather rad prize.
Enter here to win

Further information on SOTA Fest and WA Day FAQ’s…



Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The ArtsGovernment of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Lottery West, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.