Here’s my partner Frank sitting outside our tent at the music festival we went to last weekend. We got there Thursday afternoon and left Monday afternoon, so it seemed more like 5 days.
This is a relatively small festival—about 2000 people go. The site is in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, not far from the snowfields. Here’s a Google Earth bookmark of the festival site, to download, should anyone be interested… you double click on it and Google Earth will open, if you have it.
The festival was great, and we feel different. Apart from the sheer pleasure of mixing with the people, and enjoying the music, there’s something about camping in a bush setting that makes one feel more physical.
Or connected with the earth, or something. Perhaps the physical feeling comes from a mixture of using lots of different muscles while negotiating a tent over a few days, from having no showers, being surrounded by beautiful bush, and using the fancy composting toilets—I won’t describe them, because they would sound worse than they are, but let’s say they make you feel very ORGANIC.
The toilets have their own website, actually, called Natural Event, should any of you be interested in things like that.
Here’s a shot of some of our neighbours in the band camping area, with the toilets in the background—the hessian walls are the men’s pissoir.
I should mention that though there were no showers (other than some ‘bush showers’), there is a creek and a swimming hole that lots of people walk to—but we were too busy WORKING, to go.
Someone’s got to do it
I was doing stage managing and Frank was doing sound engineering. Frank’s first shift for the weekend was the late shift on the main stage on Friday night, which finished at about 4.30 a.m., and I stayed up with him, and we got to bed at about 5.30. I was rostered on the main stage Saturday night from midnight till close, which was 5 a.m., and Sunday night 7 p.m. to close at about 1 a.m.
The morning light before we went to bed on Saturday and Sunday mornings was beautiful. However it turned into bright sun which wouldn’t let us sleep more than 2 hours—especially when combined with the noise all the kids camped next to us made in their excitement. I would have liked some sleep—stage managing is quite high energy, with lots of rushing about… in this situation, anyway.
I was rather upset by Sunday afternoon, from exhaustion and an array of things going wrong from an organisational point of view, but we were both on a high after my Sunday night shift—Frank was able to assist me, fortunately, which made things easier.
It’s pretty exciting stuff, being in such a pumped environment. Here’s a photo Frank took while doing lights from side of stage, on the main stage:
This shot is one we took another year, of the main stage area during the day:
The people make a festival, and the ones who go to this one make it great. There’s a feeling of connection between people, whether you know them or not. We had fun with people we already knew and with others we had just met.
We didn’t get to take many photos, but here’s one of the guys camping next to us making a coffee table out of some wood lying around (it turned out their band played on my stage on the last night):
This festival is held in an old gold mining area, and the small town nearby is called El Dorado. One of the bands on my stage were singing something like the following, at one point (to an up-tempo rhythm with people dancing wildly):
There’s gold in the hills
but the gold’s in the people
the gold’s in the people
the gold’s in the people
I thought it was great… ain’t it the truth?
Bloggers’ Recording Project
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Hey! Welcome back. It appears you had a wonderful trip. It is nice to get away. I love the picture of the guy making a coffee table. I too enjoy connecting with strangers. New conversations, etc. I am sure connecting with nature brings you back in connection with yourself. I don’t know about the composting toilets! Well, it is nice to give back to nature I suppose.
Stage managing. What a job? I don’t think I could coordinate a group of strangers that well. I am sure you are happy to be home in your own bed. Slow down and get some rest.
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Sounds like you had a great time, Robin! It really was a fun trip report to read (and see through pictures) – to hear about your week.
I especially like the lines of music you shared at the end – about gold, but it coming form the people – there’s certainly something there in those words!
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Hi Robin. Welcome back! This sounds like it was a fun weekend. I can imagine how tiring it was just from being in that pumped atmosphere, like you said. But still, I could see myself there, enjoying every minute… even sleeping in the tent (maybe not the toilets though).
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Hi Robin – the festival sounds amazing. But you had a really exhausting itinerary. I don’t know how you managed to stay awake.
So there you were talking about toilets, and I scroll down and see two butts hanging over a log. I did a double take, but then realized they were fully clothed. LOL
Glad you had a fantastic time, despite the grueling pace. The energy at a music fest is so incredible.
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@Panther– I noticed the same thing too…LOL
@Robin — I like going to the woods and enjoying nature, but for the life of me, I don’t like camping. I can do all that nature stuff but at the end of the day, I need a comfortable bed and a t.v…
Next time maybe you can just watch and listen and not have to organize anything.
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Hi Robin: I gotta tell you, I’ve only been camping once and I hated it. I guess I just don’t have an outdoorsy personality, but I can see how someone who loves camping would have an awesome time at this event. That’s one of the things I love about blogging, you get to peek into the lives of interesting people who are very different from you 🙂
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Sounds like you had a great time, despite the organizational challenges.
5 days away from the internet sound heavenly.
I agree with Vered. This post speaks to the natural me who most likely needs a break from all this virtual connection. Glad you and Frank had a ball.
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@Tammy – Thanks Tammy – I’m starting to feel “normal” again (whatever that is).
@Lance – I found those words resonated with me, too.
@Davina – thanks! I think you would really enjoy it – the toilets aren’t as bad as they seem – people actually like them – they are much better than those toilet trucks you get at festivals.
@Cath – we get pumped with adrenaline and then collapse in a heap afterwards.
@Urban Panther – ha ha ha – I wouldn’t do THAT! Yes – it is incredible.
@Chris – we actually took a little one inch battery-operated TV with us to a festival last year – to see the national election results. We work because we LOVE it!
@Marelisa – I wonder what happened when you went camping! You know – I think it depends on who you are with and what you are doing. If there is a purpose that is aligned with your life purpose, everything changes.
@Vered – thanks – and yes, though my blog has suffered (in the short term), it is good to get away.
@Tom – yeah – to make the blog sustainable in the long term – I need to do these other things. And thanks!
So happy you had a good time despite the set backs. I love camping but 2 nights have been the maximum for me and then I feel I NEED a shower.
I gotta admit 5 days without the internet sounds pretty amazing — I have been thinking lately of JUST how dependent on it I have become. No screens at all sounds very relaxing for your body and soul (even with the strange toilets). 😉
Thank you for sharing your story and pictures and I’m with Lance – those words are beautiful!
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That scene, landscape looks like it could be right out of this area of Texas. Trees look very similar too.
Have you ever heard of our Kerrville Folk Festival? You’d be in heaven here!
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Wow Robin – what an experience! Thanks for the pics, I think those made me be able to get an idea a little bit of what it was like (amazing what imagery does for us).
But besides that being like that, living in nature must have been something on its own even without the amazing music. This is where I believe too our spirit feels so free and we can really experience louder and clearer our deeper essence.
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Oh….you are taking me back to my honeymoon (2002) when I camped in the bush in Kakado National Park. The creeks were filled with crocs so there were no bathing for me either. It was natural, organic, fun. The people we met were outstanding (and hilarious). The Australian landscape left me speechless.
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The people make a festival, and the ones who go to this one make it great! That is the best and oh those exhausted highs…collapsing into a heap…What a great experience and then to think it was all about music and outdoors…amazing. Thank you for sharing.
Good time away is always festive…out of the routine
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@Jenny – ha ha we certainly felt we needed showers! The weather was hot and humid on the Friday.
@Jannie – I haven’t heard of it – there must be so many great festivals all around the world.
@Evita – I agree about the nature thing – but it’s funny – Frank and I keep saying we’ll go camping somewhere some time, but we end up only doing it at music festivals (where you have no choice).
@Stacey – Crocs! Did they come “on shore”? The people you meet when you do something out of the ordinary are great, aren’t they?!
@Patricia – yes – there is something about going all out then collapsing – as long as it is in line with our life purpose!
I’m with Marelisa on the camping, but the rest of it sounds like a lot of fun.
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I had gone for camping twice at school. It was fun! We learned a lot of stuff like discipline, cleanliness etc. But we had our share of fun too 😉
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