Words: René Shellis, Sam Howard and Liam Thompson

Event Review: smalltown at B3

Image Credit: Duncographic


Novel have a knack for uncovering non-traditional dance floors in Melbourne and the most recent smalltown event, while out of the ordinary for punters, was just another spectacular choice of boogie-spots for the major music event-company of the city.

Over the grand final weekend, the city was to expect plenty of standout acts coming to town, as promoters pulled out the big guns to win over punters itching for a shuffle. Novel definitely stole the spotlight with their latest venture, B3, a venue boasting a massive five-thousand person capacity in an underground stadium car park. The venue was exactly what we would have imagined – a carpark with low ceilings and an unthinkable amount of concrete. But as it turned out, it was the perfect location to host some of the world’s best international artists who would entertain thousands in a space which filled a fantasy that Melbourne deserved.

The night was filled with a pumping electronic force oozing out of the Funktion-One system, strategically placed, thanks to some savvy sound acousticians. The local creative studio John Fish tastefully complemented the aural experience with a stunning shower of lasers and lights. It was a semi-integrated system which was designed in a way that anyone within full range of the speakers would experience no disparity in the audio.

While places like these usually would not compensate for the mass amounts of empty space, Novel went above and beyond to guarantee nothing but the highest quality audio, which was delivered to its patrons by the means of everyone’s favourite English delight, Funktion-One. Such a tailored set-up allowed the three internationals to really flex their talent.

b3 weird thing

While the selection of artists was not particularly what you would expect – each artist coming from entirely different backgrounds and expertise of genres, , Gerd Janson, DJ Koze and Charlotte de Witte surely put on a show. The night started with a mixing masterclass, continuing on to tribal warfare as Gerd Janson delivered his signature experimental beats. DJ Koze was to follow, and for any punter who mistakenly assumed he was the headline, they were sure to be surprised when he played an entire set of techno to support the big-name Charlotte de Witte. He didn’t drop anything similar to his signature albums and most current release, but he definitely played a set to suit the epic venue.

Koze dropped an ultimate favourite, ‘Pick Up’ to remind us of his exceptional production talent, and as the carpark dance floor erupted in celebration, Charlotte de Witte was instantly recognised as taking her turn on the stage as she dropped bass so fat that it could barely fit through the doorways, shaking the entire underground stadium, as she concluded with a pounding techno assault. Smiling punters who were completely filling the venue, almost momentarily forgot that they were filling a car lot — a good indication that the first event at B3 was a success and with a few mysterious ‘coming soon’ teasers decorated around the venue, there is sure to be more delights to come.