What the Fuck is a Shoey and Why Is It Taking Over The Australian Music Scene?


Once relegated to the seedy corners of underground clubs and bars, the controversial shoey has well and truly entered the limelight over the last year, seemingly becoming a staple part of gigs and festivals. Want proof? Look no further than this morning’s Like a Version which saw US indie rockers Grouplove (aka the band that the wrote the awesome Bojack Horseman theme) initiating themselves into Australian Aussie Straya culture by performing the act on live radio/camera.



For the blissfully ignorant, the shoey involves pouring an alcoholic drink into your shoe and skulling it in one go. Debate still rages on to when the shoey began, and when it entered the ‘mainstream’ but our team of shoey researchers draw our attention to an early version of the act: the gumboot bong. Invented by an anonymous legend and shared by Violent Soho, the act received widespread acclaim, with the punter going down in the history books as a fair-dinkum Aussie legend.



Although the gumboot bong seems to have faded into obscurity, it did spark the ‘Strayan imagination, getting us to collectively ask ourselves, “what else can my sweaty, old shoe be used for?” The answer now seems so simple and obvious that it’s easy to overlook the revolutionary nature of it.

The shoey quickly became a mainstay of 2015 musical festivals, with our photographer Josh Groom capturing the act in all of its glory at Farmer and the Owl festival 2015. The sun is shining, the crowd is cheering, and the beer is flowing. Have you ever seen a more beautiful sight?


the shooey
“When I witnessed the sun rising over Mt Kilimanjaro, I thought to myself that I’d never see a sight more beautiful…and then I saw this” Josh Groom


American DJ/Producer Dillon Francis was an early international adopter of the shoey, closing his 2015 Field Day set with an epic skull.

HE’S A BASTARD SO THEY SAY @dillonfrancis

A video posted by Nina Las Vegas (@ninalasvegas) on


From here, the shoey made its away into gigs as well, with Sydney photographer Pat O’Hara capturing the incredibly rare sight of a double shoey taking place at The Smith Street Band’s Metro show. Pat’s incredible work saw him shortlisted in the Moshcam Photography Awards, with our judging panel amazed that such a unicorn-like moment had been captured on camera. We salute you, anonymous punters.

TSSB_metro 030616_pat o hara 001

Now, it seems that the shoey is an essential part of any Aussie gig, with us even accidentally capturing one on video during the filming of our upcoming King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard gig. It truly has become as Australian as Bali shorts.

The question that remains now is whether or not the shoey will make it across international borders. Stay calm everybody, but we legitimately could have the next Vegemite on our hands…

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