The dust has settled, clothes are clean, the dirt tan has faded, and it’s now time to reflect on the time that was.
My last Rainbow Serpent Festival was in 2013. Since then they have started selling out tickets and I was very interested in seeing how the festival had changed and supported its growth.
After arriving and setting up camp on Thursday it wasn’t long until that feeling of being at home set in. I took a minute and the vague memory of life outside of the festival grounds felt like an eternity ago. A life lost to paddock life.
The first wander from the camp site was the necessary scout around of the main festival area, checking out the food on offer, finding where friends market stalls were located, and of course a beeline for the Krishna’s and their Kofta Balls.
The idea of making my way over to the Coco Poco Loco Pink Party lingered but a chill evening catching up with friends and an early night to prepare for the next day.
Friday we headed over to the Chill Stage for the Smoking Ceremony and Blessing, praying to our ancestors and “whomever” that we would be kept safe from the impending storm. Making our way in a group walk over to the Market Stage our Maori relatives danced and sang before Emancipator opened the stage with an epic set. So much dancing.
After leaving the Market Stage to get some Koftas from the Krishna’s again we wandered around and were lured into the Playground Stage and caught a bit of Cello Joe before making our way back to the campsite for a pit stop.
We regrouped and met back up with some others that we had separated from during the Market Stage opening and made our way back over to check out Spoonbills set.
After going for a bit of a walk around and checking out the views and sights around the site we stumbled upon some super cool beats and some of our mates rocking out at Coco Poco Loco party truck setup on the grounds. To the chick DJing at that moment, damn gurl you were playing sick tunes and gave me the dance I needed at the moment!!
The rest of the nights journey was spent checking out stages and stopping by here and there. I think it was this night that we also checked out the Art Gallery. Always a favourite stop of mine. This year was impressive as always, some amazing art to get get lost in. The creativity of people amazi
With a bit of a slow start to the morning our breakfast wander to get some Koftas (of course), led us to sit on some grass to hear the tunes coming from The Playground Stage. The Rock Aerobics and Real Hot Bitches were taking over the stage and their tunes were the perfect way to start the day. Some good old classic hits, Bowie, Divynls, …A market stall wander and shop was a nice way to begin the day and take in the festival and chill out. I ended up chilling out at the Dr.Strange stall and having some nice hangs and chats for a bit.
The day was leading up to the Opening Ceremony and open of the Main Stage with Pretty Lights doing the honours! This is what I had been waiting for. It was time for my dancing legs to activate and I was in heaven, even more so when some lovely mates came back to me bearing my care bear onesie so I didn’t have to leave my dance space to put on warmer clothes!
Hip hop played through the Main Stage speakers (I never thought I would hear that at MS) whilst the Opiuo Band where taking to the stage. I was seriously loving life. This was the first time I had got to experience Opiuo with band and what a way to do so! I danced so hard and loved it. Those that had wandered off to the sounds of the Market Stage came back shortly after and admitted that coming back was a better decision than leaving was.
After an epic nonstop 3 hour dance sesh we checked out Bombay Royale briefly at The Playground Stage before going off (you guessed it)… Koftas!. Then over to the Chill Stage for Spoonbills second set. I stayed to chill out for a bit of the set before taking my body to bed as mates went off to dance with HMC. This was my perfect ending to the night with the sort of tunes I want to chill and go to bed to.
Knowing what the night had install for me and after the dancing from the previous night today was a scheduled chill day. There were some camp hangs and chats, some food eating (wedges from the Pirates was discovered and the new food truck chosen!), and
After a cruisy day it was time. We headed into the party grounds to check out the Viral Happiness fire show taking place. The imagry was amazing, the beats cool, but the ones coming from The Playground (where I wanted to be) called me away from watching more fire play.
Stickybuds!!! Dude killed it! Woah, woah, woah. I knew tonight was going to be amazing for me but I was beyond my happy place. I made it to my ecstatic place. Especially as JFB in all his scratch awesomeness glory made my legs work harder and harder.
A breather was needed as 1200 Techniques jumped on the stage, though short lived as they dragged me up on my feet once again.
Mantra came on the stage and as the playground stage had opened with more space I found myself following the pockets of space that provided me ample dancing space to the front of the tent.
Combat Wombat were next and as leg fatigue was starting to kick in the music was hard to pull myself away from. Enduring the set my late night wander for Kofta’s was a necessity. Purchasing my food and deciding to repeat the previous night I somehow convinced my legs to make it to the Chill stage. Where I ate and chilled to the glorious Beatrice. The girls representing at Rainbow this year were phenomenal. Girl gave me what I wanted, I enjoyed her well crafted tunes until my body just wanted to be in bed.
A slow start to the morning, tofu burger from The Veggie Galley before getting ready and heading down to join the Monday madness at the Market Stage. I love checking out the awesome outfits and the energy that comes with Market stage on the Monday. It is always fun filled colour with a grooving soundtrack. Chilling up the back, enjoying the view of the crowd with some log dancing is tradition. I left the Market stage to have some food and chill time before heading over to the Chill Stage for Emancipator’s closing set before the closing ceremony.
Then more food and chill out time. Monday this year for me was more about eating than dancing. I enjoyed having a bit of a boogie, but really enjoyed just kicking back, taking in the sights, and eating all the Veggie Galley food I could and one last Krishna stop.
I can’t wait to celebrate 20 years of Rainbow Serpent Festival next year. The ante was lifted this year, I left refuelled, reenergised, motivated, and excited for the year to come. No post Rainbow blues for me this year – carrying the Rainbow with me. I was reminded about why I love this festival. I was impressed with the ground management and maintenance over the weekend (massive shout out and respect for the toilet crew! – Your job is so important and deserves an applaud. It is literally a shit job and appreciated immensely.) There was a bit of a notice of litter, which to festival goers – pick up after yourself, it isn’t that hard and it is noticed when you don’t.
Every year I vow that the next year I will get to more workshops, experience more, but as with every year it is overwhelming with the amount on offer and impossible to do everything. Each year the festival is a new experience and I am looking forward and planning for next years!