UNIFY Gathering 2018: Day One – The Ultimate Gallery

Our round-up of all the action from the Friday of Australia's coolest festival – shot exclusively by Jay Wennington.

It simply wouldn't be a proper festival without waiting in huge traffic queues outside the site. Only difference out here is: if you jump out the car to stretch your legs or kill some time, you might get eaten by a snake.
Don't you hate it when you're trying to capture the ultimate festival moment, and Spider-Man comes in and steals your thunder?
While the likes of Architects and Parkway Drive are undoubtedly festival highlights, due to their sheer size, production levels and back-catalogues, Knocked Loose are easily the best 'young' band of the day. Just look at that crowd. Oooof.
From Architects and Four Year Strong singing their praises on site, to the Oldham County mob drawing one of the most excitable crowds of the day, not a single person leaving UNIFY doesn't know Knocked Loose's name by the end of the day. Badass.
Unlike at some of our bigger UK festivals, UNIFY's modest size means that only one main merch stall is required. It's extra cool, too, because it's where bands on the bill do their signings, so there's a double-whammy of awesome threads and ace artists nearby.
Friday headliners Parkway Drive aren't the only band enjoying 10 years of a massive record at UNIFY: Four Year Strong bring the sing-alongs with a set celebrating their second full-length. Hell. Yes.
"Go to Australia," they said. "It'll be lovely and sunny, and you'll get a nice tan while watching some killer bands." Yeah… we're still going to be stupidly pasty after this weekend.
Yes, we're on the other side of the world. And yes, Aussies and festival-goers here still enjoy getting their dress-up fix. Phew.
We don't even need to answer that question, tbh. It's obvious.
Because The Simpsons. That is all.
Is there a better way to unleash your brand-new record than with a colossal release-day festival set? Hint: no. No there is not.
The Brighton mob give newest single Doomsday its second-ever live debut to unbelievable effect, as well as reminding everyone down under just what a brilliant state British metal is in right now – and it's 100 per cent lead by Architects. Stirring, emotional and downright exhilarating stuff.
Shrouded in smoke, hood up. The exceptionally friendly Architects frontman has a different persona entirely onstage tonight. And we love him for it.
When you're headlining a field in the middle of nowhere, celebrating 10 years of an album that changed your career, it's only fair to bring an IKEA store's worth of lights and lasers with you, right? And blast them into the night sky relentlessly for an hour, right? Right.
He's one of Australia's finest frontmen, and during the band's first gig of the year, he's on stunning form, inciting colossal bounce-alongs and even joining in on the muddy action himself. The best.
He still has time to have a blast while he's at it, of course. What a hero.
A set list filled with headbanging favourites, with confetti and smoke cannons going off left, right and centre, all whilst on home turf? Yep, you've got every right to look this victorious, guys. Now, if you could bring that Horizons set to the UK, please…

Australia's UNIFY Gathering – the country's only heavy music camping event – has been one of the most desirable destinations for lovers of punk, metal, hardcore and rock for four years now. 

So, when they announced that in 2018 Parkway Drive and The Amity Affliction would be headlining the festival, along with a whole host of other Kerrang! favourites (hello Architects, Tonight Alive, Knocked Loose, Hellions, Stick To Your Guns et al), we simply had to jump on a plane and check it out.

While the Friday's weather was reminiscent of Download in its very rainiest of weekends, the vibe of UNIFY couldn't have been more awesome and welcoming. So, if you weren't able to make it along this year, check out our gallery from the first day of the festival, and keep your eyes peeled on Kerrang.com for all the fun from day two, as well as interviews with some of our favourite acts on the line-up.

Photos: Jay Wennington

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