Provisional List of Similarities Between ‘Mature-Age’ Big Day Out Attendees (like myself) And The Seemingly Dormant Amusement Ride Near the Food Stands—'The Claw’
- There’s rarely a queue. Much like the Claw—sunk into Flemington Racecourse’s grass like a deserted neon island— older patrons can escape to empty bar lanes, sparsely peopled venues of the less desirable acts, and pass the foaming torrent at the front gate, which happens to simply be the 'under 18’s’ queue.
- Conspicuously young kids don’t understand The Claw in it’s crumpled, unpeopled and inertiatic state, and glide past as if it didn’t exist. As a marginally older patron at the Big Day Out, invisibility is similarly achieved. I cite this as a contributing factor to the determination with which alcohol is consumed in the older age bracket. Bar tenders both serve us terrible booze, and verify our very existence.
- The Claw has become very uncool, but comes from a time where things were actually more reckless, where the 'No Moshing/No Crowdsurfing/No Stage Diving’ signs hung at the main stages didn’t exist. From a time when Eddie Vedder would have spent half of Pearl Jam’s set half naked, clinging to the lighting rig. Like the Claw, maybe we shouldn’t still be at All-Ages music festivals, but I’m kind of glad we are. It still feels useful to meditate on what popular music is gaining over time. And what it’s losing.
A Sampling of T-Shirt Slogans That Weren’t Pearl Jam or Violent Soho Related
- Pull the trigger bitch
- Wish you were beer (written over Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon cover art)
- I piss excellence
- I’m gonna be king of the pirates
- How’d you like meow?
- The sword
- Cool kids can’t die
- Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose
The Ponchos Draped Over the Crowd Were the Final Touch On the Early 'Ghost Carnival’ Atmosphere of Flemington Racecourse, Which Included:
- Semi deflated plastic palm trees, dangling in the Melbourne drizzle
- The ranging clouds of huddling teenagers, stooping like underdressed golems in the unsteady rain
- Bluejuice’s lyrics, broadly consisting of a disconnected series of “ooohs”
- The graveyard of stage presence during the Bluejuice set, which lead inexorably to the ambient horror of their gold leotards and the further horror of their wacky underwear
- Plus at this early stage the whole thing felt thoroughly undersold
The Most Incongruous Names Scattered Throughout the Festival Site:
- The 'Splashdown’ Portable Toilets
- The massive, nerve shattering gyro swing, chillingly named the 'Freestyle’
- The Red Tent (which was white)
- The security staff, discordantly named Vision Security, for reasons I probably shouldn’t directly disclose.
The Different Strata Of Portugal. The Man Fans That Were Present During Their Afternoon Set
How Violent Soho T-Shirts and Tame Impala Overlap
- Violent Soho shirts fell just short of Pearl Jam shirts as the overwhelmingly popular band shirt of the day. Given the disparity of the two bands in terms of longevity and volume of fanbase, it seems odd that there were so many. Are they really that popular? I’m pitching towards 'no’. I think the reasons for the Violent Soho t-shirt avalanche are extra-musical. I OH YOU is a brand, a brand that captures the spirit of youthful abandon, and regardless of how contrived it all gets, it captures this spirit rather well. Violent Soho, I OH YOU’s messiest, loudest (and hairiest) act to date, traps this energy in its most aggressive state. Violent Soho are cool, because they 'Don’t Give a Fuck’. All very attractive to the young. Tame Impala (whose festival sets are almost always about 45 minutes of sublime relief) attract the same kids grinding against each other to Flosstrodamus in the Boiler Room. Fifteen minutes of lurid psychedelia with no lyrics is an awfully long time in front of an all-ages crowd at a day festival. But Tame Impala seem somehow immune to criticism. The kids will put up with it—Tame Impala are Cool because they also Don’t Give a Fuck. One day festivals (and particularly all-ages festivals) are increasingly reflective, not unlike the perfectly sculpted online profile to which the day’s photos will be swiftly uploaded. In a convenient maxim, the modern day festival is increasingly less exploratory, more of an exercise in self-branding. I feel so old.
The Silent Disco as a Social Palindrome:
Moving towards the stage there’s a silence, LeBruce from Clubfeet DJing, Chela dancing beside the decks. There’s a shuffling of bodies, an awkward silence. I put my headphones on, house music filling my skull. Then Marty from Purple Sneakers, drags me backstage to drink rum, and meet some DJs I don’t know. After drinking some of their rum, I put my headphones on, house music filling my skull. I can feel that the high-grade social inappropriateness of this action has had its probable affect. I slip them back off. There’s a shuffling of bodies, an awkward silence. Then I slink back towards the stage in silence, LeBruce from Clubfeet DJing, Chela dancing beside the decks.
Call and Responses Offered to the Audience by Snoop Dogg:
- Hell Yeah
- Fuck Yeah
- Hell Motherfucking Yeah
-Snoop Doggy Dogg
The Four Most Major Moments of Discomfort Experienced (in Ascending Order):
The Most Pleasant Surprise of the 12 Hours I Spent at Flemington Racecourse
- The Deftones headlining the JBL Stage, spread over the stage like a smoldering hawk, squalling at the moderate crowd with almost 20 years of intensity. During the first haunted bars of 'Digital Bath’ I could hear Major Lazer galloping in the distance, Diplo sliming his way over the crowd Wayne Coyne style, in a giant latex ball. The kids loved it, and usually so do I. But the Deftones screaming “Shove it! Shove it! Shove it!” to a few hundred people, the stage obscured and sinister like a dead sun felt like a far more direct way to Get Free.
For Cool Accidents