So one needs to be prepared when going to a festival for the fact that there will be loads of people there and it will take a certain amount of time to line up for a drink. But when One Love (fest organisers) made the decision to make drinks only available to those with drink cards they made a HUGE mistake.
Not only did you have to queue to get a drink (about a half hour wait MINIMUM) you also had to wait to get a drink card to purchase the aforementioned drink. ANNOYING. This added AT LEAST another half hour to your waiting time, plus time to walk across the venue from the drink card stand to the bar. The process left a lot of very unhappy festival goers and I think One Love will hardly be impressed with the facebook group doing the rounds - 'Onelove' I don't want to lineup for HOURS to get a stereo drinkcard - with already over 500 members and lots of angry comments.
While I'm normally an eternal optimist it must be said that this festival was pretty poor. On top of the drink card issue there were few sets to write home about. I always go to a festival with a pre-prepared wish list of DJs I want to get and see but due to logistical issues, friends and the need to dance in the sun, this timeline is rarely kept to. Once again, this happened again.
Marco Carola was banging but who wants to dance inside a sweaty tent while the sun is shining outside!? Not me.
Ooooh, one good thing about the festival was the 'no tops off' rule whereby festival goers were not allowed to remove their tops while inside the showgrounds. I managed to remind one festival goer of this (he was not impressed) but on the whole, I think there were definitely less sweaty boys running around sweating all over you. YAY.
Due to the crowds and the size of my festival group (over 20) we decided to get a good spot at the main stage to make the most of Axwell and Deadmau5 and in the process did miss the Bloody Beetroots. From all reports their set was good, as expected.
Chicane was definietly the surprise of the day as I found myself dancing away quite happily to their cheesy tunes. Axwell was as expected, good, but far from amazing. Deadmau5 was a real disappointment. His set consisted of fairly mundane tracks and was missing the banging, crowd lifting tunes that I had seen him drop in previous sets. Sure, he had big Australian ears on, but that was one of the few things his set had going for him. And what was with Grant Smilie's five min interludes?! If it wasn't him appearing AGAIN on the main stage then the breaks between DJs were filled with SILENCE?! One Love - could you not just put on some backing tracks while the next act starts up!? Seriously.
And then there was the DISASTER that was exiting the festival site. We had arrived by train but in the mayhem to leave somehow missed the station entirely and ended up wandering the streets of Flemington. All the trams were full and our idea to walk to the next tram stop was obviously flawed as all the trams were already full from picking up the showgrounds crowd. We searched for another train station to no avail and were left hailing cabs (and random cars) in an effort to leave the area. We eventually walked down a side street and called a cab to that address. After 30 mins of waiting (total of about 2 hours since leaving the festival site) we were in DESPERATE need of another beverage and so hailed a random passer by who turned out to be the good samaritan of the day as he drove us to our destination and rejected our offers of cash. Paul, if you're out there, THANK YOU. We may have been destined to spend our nights on the streets if you hadn't been so generous with your lift.
My whole body crossing (see previous blog) must have worked as the sun did shine down on us for most of the day however One Love did their best to ruin the event. Perhaps it's also that I am getting on and the festival seemed to be over run with what looked like 16 year old boys dressed in check shirts......
All in all, I had a good day, but that was certainly DESPITE the organisation of the festival and the acts that I saw. Sorry One Love, but I won't be back next year.