Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Earthdance 09 Redux

Alright, now that I've had a chance to shower, and sleep [literally for about 20 hours] I can make a nice big post about Earthdance this year and share some of my favorite pics.

This year went incredibly well, we had an enormous turn out [a few hundred more than we were expecting] and it was insanely hectic, with most of the organisers pulling 36 hour shifts at one point or another. My official job was "gate coordinator" which essentially meant that I was here

for the overwhelming majority of the festival, administering entry to the party.

Come Saturday night thought, when the gate had slowed down enough to allow me to stick some volunteers on it, I had a shift at running the festival. We broke it down into shifts so that we could all finally get some rest. It had the added advantage for me of giving me the opportunity to actually see the festival, which I had not had a chance to do yet. [other than seeing Oxygens set on friday night, which was rad]

It's easy to forget when you're an organiser that you're surrounded by people having an incredible time. All we tend to see are the problems that need attending to so that everything travels smoothly. It's kind of like a duck on a pond, it glides along serenely, but under the surface it's kicking like mad.

To combat this I made a point of going around asking punters how they were going and if they thought there was anything that needed seeing to. The overwhelming majority of people were happy, and having a grand old time boogying, or chilling with mates, or going for a bushwalk.

This does not mean, however, that there were no problems.

First of all, I'd like to register my supreme distaste for people who cant handle their drugs, illegal or otherwise. Now I recognise that I helped put on an electronic music festival, and as such, there was always going to be people getting sideways at the party. But seriously, to all the people who have ever gotten so drunk, high, stoned, ripped, zonked, or whatever other contemporary nonmenclature you wanna use, that you can no longer a] control yourself, and b] have any higher level knowledge of what you're doing. Take a good, long, hard, look at your motivations for doing the things that you are doing. I hate the fact that people simply retreat into a land of substance abuse to avoid dealing with the world without asking why first. I've mentioned anomie before, it's a concept I've come across only recently at uni, but it's one of the very few things I've learned that seems to be hugely applicable to the problems of the world. Booze and drugs seem to be one of societies go to fixes for anomie.

Another issue I had with the weekend as a whole was the police. Now, up until this weekend I'd always tried to maintain respect for the fuzz. They're one of the professions in this world that should get the most respect [alongside teachers and nurses]but seems to get the least. After last years Earthdance the police informed us that they would not support us coming back, this year they did everything in their power to ensure that we will not return next year. Roadblocks into and out of the festival [which they did not inform us of, a courtesy normally afforded festival organisers] with sniffer dogs and drug checks. There were also roaming squads within the festival itself randomly searching people for drugs and age checks for drinking. They also endeared themselves well to the private security we hired, yellow stickering their car on the way in [again, not hugely professional to do that to the men who you'll be liaising with all festival and who are your first port of call for behavioral troubles all event]. They also did things like drive their cars around the dance floors with lights on, just to really intimidate all our punters. The thing that troubles me the most though, is that I can fully understand them not wanting a bunch of tripping city slickers in their neck of the woods, but their behavior and organisation was not designed to minimise impact, or keep as many drugs in the city, or anything of that nature. It was to bust people, as many as possible. After the behavior of the police this weekend, I have lost ALL respect for the members of WAPOL, and going forward into the future will do my utmost to undermine their authority and thwart their plans.

On the plus side though, the security I mentioned previously... amazing. The guys we hired for this event, although stretched over their limit, did an amazing job, professional, understanding, severe when the need was present, but otherwise concerned with avoiding trouble rather than stopping it. Something the police could have taken notes on.

Finally I'm going to share some of the pics I took that I really enjoyed.

This first one is of my amazing friend Justine [left] and my amazing friend and partner Alia [right] around the campfire late on Sunday night. They were incredibly patient with me asking them to hold really still for the 4 second exposure it took to get them this clearly.

This is of Al Star, old school member of the doof scene and a pretty awesome sonic engineer, it was his system that we used on the second stage. He's also a mad good DJ/producer.

Lol, this one was taken after Alia [who is a barber by trade] had given me a shave with her cuthroat razor in the bush. The water is all blown out and over exposed, which adds to the look that I'm being redeemed by some kind of whack televangelist minister.

This final shot is of bad quality, but the composition pretty much perfectly sums up the feel of earthdance.

That's all for now folks, if you like the shots you can see more at my picasa page

And remember guys, if you like this stuff, vote for me like mad. I can win an internship at sunset events, something this post should prove I'd be pretty keen on.

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