The hours of build up before Digi were filled with rain, there was a premeditated dread of the day being ruined. Though that dread instantly vanished. As soon as I scanned my ticket and walked through the gates all I could feel was the bass from the speakers before I could see the stage. All the concerns I had were thoughts of the past.
With the electronic music scene exploding in Australia, it seems as though all major cities around the country have started to cater to this growth in some way. The introduction of Digi Culture and Music Festival in 2022 was Canberra’s attempt at giving the fans what they wanted.
I had not been as excited for an event as I was for Digi for a long time. It is safe to say that it lived up to the incredibly high expectations I had set for it.
Although I wish I was able to see everyone I wanted to, because of set clashes I had to pick and choose. Here are the sets that I saw throughout the day.
Sam Alfred and STUM B2B
For those unaware, a Back to Back or B2B for short is when two DJs play a set together alternating who plays each song. If you told me that I had to pick two artists to play a B2B I would pick these two without hesitation.
Although I have already seen both STUM and Sam Alfred multiple times individually and as a B2B, they still somehow found a way to play new songs and weave them into their own classics. They created an unforgettable set.
Seeing two best friends sharing the stage and having a blast together emits a feeling that is almost indescribable. It almost just forces you to smile and dance with your mates.
I think this set can be described in the one sentence that my brother said to me. I remember looking at the stage and seeing STUM loading up for something special. He lets the bass drop and I looked to my left to hear my brother yelling at me, “this is what I’ve been craving!”.
Finding that track days later made our day, but I would give anything to relive that set one more time.
As a huge Fred Again.. fan, I’m a sucker for a live set over a DJ set. In terms of electronic music I don’t think it gets much better. In my opinion Pretty Girl is as close as you’ll get to the quality of a Fred Again.. live set here in Australia.
I know that is quite the comparison to make, but Pretty Girl created a level of intimacy that I had only ever experienced when seeing Fred Again.. that made me just want to hug everyone.
I always knew that Pretty Girl had hardcore fans (before Digi I also thought I was one), but there was something about this set that changed my mind.
Playing a few of her unreleased bangers, I was having an absolute blast jamming. But seeing some of the people around me hugging each other living their best life made the whole experience a wholesome one.
The highlight of the set for me though, was when I was trying to work my way to the front. I felt a hand grab my arm as a girl I had never met before said, “We NEED to get to the front!” and showed me the sign she had made.
(Spoiler: she made it to the front)
As much as I loved Pretty Girl’s set, I needed an emotional break afterwards to recover before the next.
Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love Crush3d.
Although he is the person on this list that I have seen the most, this was the set that I was most looking forward to.
Having just released his first album, I was so excited to hear the songs that hadn’t been made public and how the crowd would perceive them. I think everyone should listen to ‘Slug’.
Although I have already heard it close to a million times, whenever I hear the synth of ‘Brick!’ load up as the other track fades out, I get a childlike sense of excitement. Every single time, it just makes me want to jump around.
This was another set that exceeded my expectations and gave me everything I was hoping for.
The best part of the set was that I was expecting a song to come on that I wouldn’t enjoy. Somehow it never came. It was an incredible hour that I never wanted to end.
I had the option to see Kettama in Sydney the week before Digi and after seeing his set I regret not going.
For anyone getting into the techno/electronic music scene, Kettama is the artist I would recommend to introduce you to the genres.
With his use of catchy hooks and incredible use of samples, he finds a way for everyone to enjoy a set.
If I was asked right now what my favourite song was, I would say “Rok Da House” instantly. Hearing it live though was a surreal experience.
I think Kettama produced my favourite moment of the day. Although we had already heard ‘Sunchaser’ in STUM in Sam Alfred’s set, he decided to play it again but this time in front of STUM!
Being a spin off of the classic ‘Chase the Sun’, ‘Sunchaser’ is a song that just gets people going.
Kettama also put tracks from his good friend Mallgrab into his set too, which was a nice touch. It left me wanting more once his set ended.
I don’t know if the event organisers did this on purpose, but ending the day with Willaris K was the best choice they could have made. The combination of smooth groovy tracks along with upbeat electronic flow meshed seamlessly together to cap off a perfect day.
“Iyewaye” (Hatzler remix) was a song that I had never heard before Digi. When Willaris pressed play, it kept me intrigued as to what he was going to follow up with throughout his set.
It would not be a Willaris K set without him putting in his ‘The Difference’ remix, which I personally like more than the original.
I remember hearing that song on loop in my head as I left the venue and had absolutely no complaints about it.
Other than the rain, I don’t think there is anything that I didn’t enjoy about Digi. An overall incredibly well run event with great people and even better music. There wasn’t a point in time during the day where I felt tired and was ready to go home, which is very surprising for me. With an atmosphere that welcomes everyone, Digi created a safe haven for everyone – experienced or new to the electronic music scene. If this year was anything to go by, I can see this as being a staple in the Canberra calendar in years to come. I cannot wait to go back next year and encourage anyone reading this to do the same.