Over the new year break I went out to the wilderness and volunteered at a music festival. I mention wilderness because it was literally in amongst a rainforest, and the particular spot I was camping I had to walk through enormous and beautiful trees and scrub before looking for my tent in a big heap of other tents.
A couple of months ago I saw a post to apply for a working or volunteering position at Falls Festival. I’ve been wanting to go for a couple of years, and this year the line-up was amazing (as usual, but also as usual, I had little to no money). Not to mention the tickets sold out like there was no tomorrow. So when I saw the ad to work there, I was onto it faster than the tickets sold out! I then got the email to say I’d been accepted to volunteer – woohoo!
December rolled around and I was getting more and more info about the festival and what I had to organise to get there and everything. So I found a couple of people to carpool with me; and on the 27th I hopped in my car, picked up the 2 extras and we headed off to Lorne. Upon arriving and setting up camp I was informed I would be working in “The Village” which was a separate area of the festival that had weird and quirky things going on – of course I was really excited about this!
As volunteers, we had to work a minimum of 15 hours for the week/festival, and I was rostered on for three 5 hour shifts at the village, which worked out kinda perfectly. Each day was the same time (12-5pm), giving me the evening and night to see bands that were on in the main areas. There were a couple of acts that were on during my shifts, but some of them I managed to ‘sneak out’ quickly and catch a
glimpse song or two by certain bands.
The bands/acts that I did see over the course of the week were:
Salt n Pepa (yeah, old school! It was awesome)
Japanese Wallpaper (2 songs)
The Temper Trap
Jamie XX (3 songs)
Asgeir (3 songs)
John Butler Trio
Empire of the Sun √
Cold War Kids
The Presets* √
*Unfortunately, I do not remember seeing these bands due to alcohol consumption. I was told I was there, but I’m pretty bummed I don’t remember it. Especially Bluejuice cos it was their last gig before they broke up.
√ I have seen these bands before.
Also, working at the village meant we could hear some of the bands play as one of main stages wasn’t too far. So I heard a fair bit of Megan Washington‘s set, The Kite String Tangle (whom I have seen a bunch of times before), Vance Joy and The Art of Sleeping, (both I actually saw at Splendour 2013).
There was also another separate section called Rancho Relaxo where they had some other cool and funky things on, and other low-key acts, so I saw Essie Thomas, Free Like Me, and my new-found love; Ziggy Alberts!! I was so in awe just watching him, and managed to meet him and get a hug (and CD) after his set and randomly throughout the festival because he was just cruising around for the few days.
All in all, it was a fab week that consisted of making dreamcatchers, tie-dying shirts, watching comedy shows and circus performers, drinking, dancing, and a bunch of other festival shenanigans!
It was/is very similar to Splendour in the Grass in a lot of ways, I’m pretty sure they are owned/run by the same people. But I reckon volunteering is the way to go a lot of the time! Especially if you can’t afford to buy a ticket. You get a free ticket to the festival, food while on shift, access to certain off-limit areas, and other cool things. So as long as you’re happy doing a few hours of work, it’s easy as pie!
Another unfortunate moment though is that I ended up losing my phone. I didn’t take my camera so the only photos I took of the festival were on my phone. Hopefully when I get a new one I might be able to recover the photos through the iCloud or whatever – I don’t really know how it works – so, if I do, I’ll post photos here for you to see my magical week in the rainforest.
Also – I naturally met some awesome people and actually didn’t feel as anxious about going or being there on my own as much as I thought I might.
*Update: I have got a new phone now but it only synced back to the last time I synced the info to my computer…which was apparently 22/12/14. So there are no photos or anything from falls. Sad ones. BUT, on the bright side, I’m lucky I synced it in December because I’m pretty sure the time before was quite a few months ago! Look at the positives 🙂