The memory of New Year’s Eve is still so vivid – one stage, one band, thousands of people and hundreds of shoeys. Jumping up and down because you don’t have any option other than moving with the crowd, feeling like your heart will pop out of your chest when the beat crashes out of the speaker, screaming “5, 4, 3, 2, 1…” with Violent Soho as they welcome you into the New Year. The party-goers are lip-locked with either the potential love of their lives or a stranger they laid eyes on two seconds prior. If you told me it was yesterday that I was partying at the front of the mosh pit with the potential love of my life, I would believe you – but it was 67 days ago.
Signing yourself up for a three day music festival means that you are committed, dumb, and by the end of the festival, the filthiest you’ve ever been. At the time, my biggest dilemmas were choosing outfits and deciding if I liked camping or not. Three months later, I have permanent skin damage on my feet from the sun and I still haven’t washed my car since driving it for 8 hours in the dirt. I think that’s how it’s supposed to go at your first music festival?
Trekking through the festival at Marion Bay is like adventuring through an old village, but with drunken teenagers and thumping music coming from every direction. Outfits were outrageously interesting, but that is the best thing about music festivals as big as Falls – people travel from all over to listen to the same good music and express themselves in a way they may not feel comfortable with elsewhere. It is 100% acceptable to wander up to people, introduce yourself and make the best of friends with complete strangers from all over the country.
Counting down to New Year’s is an experience that will hardly be forgotten. I waved my arms over my head, jumping with the people around me to music I didn’t even know, still having the time of my life. The moment midnight struck, people were either sculling drinks out of their mud-covered shoes or sharing a New Year’s kiss to kick off the New Year. I was a member of exhibit B (although attempting a shoey did momentarily cross my mind), being squashed at the front of the mosh pit among heavy metal fans, music blaring so loud I thought my ears might explode, and being kissed by my at-the-time crush turned love of my life.
PARTY IN THE PADDOCK
Despite PITP being a day less than Falls, you still manage to feel just as disgusting and covered in glitter from head to toe. The only difference was I managed to almost freeze due to competing in a water fight whilst wearing a fur jacket – the only jacket I seemed to take to the festival. Forgetting the fact that I didn’t stop shivering all night, PITP was an immense amount of fun. Partying with your girlfriends, being covered in glitter (it still falls out of my hair in the shower), and drinking for a full 48 hours always adds up to a good time.
The fashion was even more outrageous if that’s possible, but again, it still manages to be one of the highlights of going to a music festival. Excitement levels heighten when you’re walking to the stage or lining up to use the port-a-loos (not a highlight) and you spot one of your friends from a distance. There’s hugging, yelling, more hugging, more yelling and it continues for very, very long time.
I had amped up seeing Tash Sultana live for so long that I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw her in person. It’s like reliving a One Direction concert as a 14 year old all over again… (Embarrassing yet true). My heart was thumping exceptionally hard as I continued to glance over at my friends with the biggest grin on my face, excitement running through me as I swayed to the opening bars of Jungle.
Standing in a crowd with people you adore, listening to music you love and surrounded by so many wonderfully weird strangers, it’s easy to realise how incredible your life can be when you make the most of it.
HOT DUB WINE MACHINE
3 festivals in three months is exhilarating, tiring and leaves your bank account somewhat empty. Hot Dub Wine Machine was a one day music festival – it was stinking hot, vastly smaller than the others and possibly the most fun I’ve ever had. The party location was the Huon Valley Winery in Hobart – basically a fancy version of the last two festivals but with lots of wine and hitting the capital city’s best clubs afterwards.
Drinking wine all day and night in the scorching sun is not necessarily the smartest move but it’s definitely the most fun. DJ’s from around the country performed their sets to the small crowd whilst we indulged in the delicious food and sculled the tasty drinks. Despite there being less people than expected, they were just as wild and keen to party as the music continued throughout the night.
Four of us friends, dancing the night away, listening to Hot Dub Time Machine play the best hits from the 1950’s through to 2017 – the smile on my face was tough to wipe off that night and for the days that followed. We watched the enormous inflatable beach balls being pushed around above our heads, the splashes of confetti shooting from the stage into the crowd and glanced at one-another in awe of absolutely everything.
The urge to book tickets for every music festival in Australia is powerful (it’s also expensive which is why it’s not happening). It’s exciting to go to one or two concerts a year, if you’re lucky. In the last three months we have seen 98 artists do what they do best and provide killer performances for all the music lovers. I would swear on my life and your life that any music festival is worth going to (apologies if you aren’t a fan and I swore on your life), no matter how big or who’s performing – the vibe is so satisfying that you can’t help but be your best and happiest self. Surrounded by friends and incredible live performances, I could spend the rest of my life travelling the world, going to festivals, experiencing different lifestyles and having the absolute time of my life – which is what I’m doing now.
Life is made of small moments like this. This is where I feel alive.