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Sympathy cryer Nicki Minaj rocks Melbourne

Fomo 2019
Photograph: Katya Cameron

Just how much does Melbourne love Nicki Minaj? Judging by the crowd at this year's FOMO, at Flemington Racecourse on January 13, quite a lot.

She closed out the one-day music festival on a stage surrounded by two giant gold unicorns, backed up by half-naked dancers clad only in bras, G-strings and fishnets. It was very extra – and very Minaj.

She pulled four twerking 20-somethings up on stage at one point, and all four were overcome by emotion at meeting their idol. Fun fact: Nicki Minaj is a sympathy crier. "Stop crying. I can't help but cry when I see people crying!" In case you were wondering, they did not stop crying. But they did twerk through their tears, and the best (as voted by audience cheers) got a present. All four got hugs from Minaj, which you got the feeling was the best gift of all.

Electronic music producer Mura Masa, Brisbane rapper Carmouflage Rose and hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd had warmed up the crowd, with Rae Sremmurd encouraging a bit of light vandalism: "Hold up! We so lit in here we broke the fuckin' barrier! We gunna break some more shit! Keep that energy up! On the count of two I want you all to say Meeeelllbboouuurrrnnne!"

In the end, Minaj's spirit was willing, but the power grid (and noise regulations) was not. "We only have two more songs, 'cause Melbourne is going to give us only a little more electricity," she told the crowd. "I see a lot of epic fucking people here, and I just want to take my time."

The crowd roared as the opening beat of 'Super Bass' started. And then, with an explosion of gold streamers and confetti, it was over.

Can't get enough live music? Here's where to see live music every day of the week. And here is your guide to the best summer music festivals.

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