The Rose Hall hosted its Throwback Rosefest a couple of weeks ago in the Amethyst Shallows Subdivision of the Lavender Beds. Just a short walk from their usual concert hall venue, the beautiful outdoor location perfectly captured that quintessential festival feeling.

Throwback Rosefest was a two-day ‘80s and ‘90s themed festival with various live bard performances, giveaways, competitions, and more. The Wiggles, a well-known Bard group within the Final Fantasy 14 community, were amongst the line-up for Sunday evening, and having wanted to catch up with them for a little while, it was the perfect time to see them in action.

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I adore attending these in-game events. It’s always lovely to see so many players grouped together, cheering and holding lights aloft as they celebrate and watch performers. It’s all too easy to get swept up in the enthusiasm and energy of something like this. I love to imagine players who were running to their FC houses stumbling upon the event by chance and experiencing something entirely new and exciting, as you never forget seeing your first proper Bard performance.

If you’re wondering whether the group took inspiration from the Australian children’s music group of the same name, interestingly, they didn’t even choose the moniker themselves. “It was just a name the community took to calling us as we played, since we never picked a name for the group,” Mister Wiggles, the maestro behind the Bard Octet tells me. “Things started from solo performances and we just expanded the line-up as time went on and we leaned into the identity more.

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“It ended up being a coincidence. I only found out about the show due to the constant Fruit Salad requests [a well-known hit by the Australian Wiggles] from crowd trolls, but now it's a running theme with busking to play it whenever the song gets mentioned.”

Final Fantasy 14 The Wiggles Bard Band

Dressed in shiny colorful jumpsuits, headbands, and crop tops, The Wiggles embraced the retro theme of the evening in sparkly spandex style. Playing a range of songs using the game’s Bard Performance mode, which allows players to create music using a variety of instruments, The Wiggles treated us to a range of retro tunes that had the crowd busting their moves in their best glam gear. The group is one of the more prominent Bard groups within the community, but Mister Wiggles explains that you don’t need to be a music aficionado to get started with the Bard Performance feature.

“How it ended up working for me was just a trial and error process,” Mister Wiggles says. “Playing with different sound fonts and instruments until things sounded as close to the source material as we could get them. I have no music background at all, so there was a lot of experimenting and corrections to make. It was a fun experience!”

Final Fantasy 14’s Bard Performance mode can be overwhelming for beginners and crafting the perfect composition isn’t always an easy task, even for those well-versed in how it works. Mister Wiggles explains that the time it takes to create each song can drastically vary. “It can take anywhere between five minutes to 20 hours, depending on the song and source material being edited from. The songs we have to make completely by ear from scratch take the longest to complete but also feel the most rewarding if we can pull things off with the final product sounding good!”

The Wiggles have carved out a name for themselves by regularly doing the performance circuit on Primal Data Center, playing at various shows and venues, and becoming well-known for their fun and humorous style as much as their amazing music.

“One of our favourite parts of playing is when we can tailor-make an experience for a venue or client with their favourite pieces, as they always have tons of energy, and it's a really fun process to be a part of,” Mister Wiggles tells me. “Small private events always feel super rewarding! Everyone is always so appreciative of the work.

“We just love the projects we are lucky enough to be involved with. The venue owners are the real stars of the show, since they are the ones that have to operate the hype machine and keep things interesting for their patrons. It's a labour of love for everyone though, gotta give the bebes a show!”

Final Fantasy 14 The Wiggles performing

The Wiggles have a dedicated fanbase who will often travel across servers to see them perform. With the Data Center Travel feature soon to be added to the game, it means even more of the FF14 community will soon be able to enjoy the musical offerings of The Wiggles too.

“It will be nice to have a player base that hasn't heard any of our stuff before so we can enjoy them getting excited when they hear songs for the first time,” Mister Wiggles tells me. “The community has always been amazing, and there's enough of a variety in musical tastes across the player base that pretty much any song you work on is appreciated by someone. We see a lot of familiar names regardless of what server we are busking or playing on, people are so great. We want everyone to have fun, bebe!”

The Wiggles devote the majority of their time to the creative community within the game and performing, so much so that Mister Wiggles explains that he’s actually fallen behind in the Main Scenario Quests.

“Almost all of our playtime is based around bard performing,” he says. “Whether as performer or audience member at shows being put on by friends, so it would be safe to say that it's had an effect, bebe. I am sure it's the same for most full-octet performers as well. I haven't touched anything past patch 5.3 as far as content goes.”

Despite being a little behind on the main content, Mister Wiggles is super excited about the launch of Endwalker next month. Much like other Bard performers, he hopes that the new expansion might add new performance features and instruments.

“As I'm sure most Bards would agree, an actual drum kit would be fantastic so fewer compromises would need to be made with instrument and voice limits,” he says. “Any further variety would be great, though. It's always interesting to hear different takes of the same songs done by separate groups. More accessibility for new Bards would be a welcome change as well, as it is pretty daunting trying to get into the hobby without some contacts in the community already as things stand. More bebes to play with is always good!”

If you want to catch The Wiggles in action or book them for your own show, you can find all of their information on their website.

Next: Final Fantasy 14 Community Spotlight: Lemon Drop - A Recipe Reborn

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