Red Deer Music & Arts Festival
@ Mount Samson, Brisbane
14/10/2017 (Live Review)
On a muggy, wet Saturday morning on October the 14th I find myself walking through ankle-deep grass up toward a gated area in the lush greenery that is Mount Samson (app. 34km from Brisbane). This is my first time attending the Red Deer Music and Arts Festival, but what will be its seventh and final installment, I had high hopes for the two days of art, music and making friends ahead of me.
Red Deer Music and Arts Festival has been described as,
“Red Deer is basically a house party at your mate’s place. Except your mate lives on 40 acres of pristine grazing land beneath the rolling hills of Mount Samson” – Bas Pelly (festival director).
And with this years theme being ‘Intergalactic’ I was not surprised to see hordes of people looking more like astronauts and aliens trudging their way up to the entrance at 10.00am through rain, mud, and grass. It was a site some would think strange, but I was more eager than ever after seeing the extent punters got into the theme.
What is amazing about Red Deer Music and Arts Festival is that it is BYO booze + couch; so, you can bring your own cheap booze and a sofa to crash on for when you need to sleep, if at all. Upon entering the festival I immediately assessed the atmosphere, and it felt like such an intimate, open and creative space to be a part of even before any music had started. I could see punters setting up their campsites, people already chatting and drinking, girls putting glitter on each other and a guy close by playing guitar – it really is a shame this will be its last year; I can see what a glorious event the organisers have culminated over the years.
There are three main stages for the music acts of which included The COOL CALM, MEZKO, Nat Welch, Mitch Baskerville, The Lyrical, The Dashounds, Blake Thompson with The Kite String Tangle being the last act I caught on day one but it was an epic electronic set with banger after banger! I was soaked in my own, and probably other peoples sweat.
Not only did day one of this incredible experience grace me with some incredible tunes, but I got plenty of time through the day to check out the creative workshops such as hula hooping, arts + crafts, face painting, chai tea making, and jewelry making. On top of all these super sweet play workshops, there were spectacular performance pieces on show throughout the day and fun activities like ‘Fashion on The Field’ and photobooths.
Day two brought the goods with the annual sack race relay that encourages mass participants and is probably one of the funniest things I have seen to this day. After seeing what looked like hundreds of people attempting to sack race (sliding) through mud, axing themselves with every movement, I decided to take a pass on entering the comp. This event was a great bonding moment where it felt like most of the festival punters were gathered to either watch or participate. After devouring a giant wood-fired pizza from one of many tasty food trucks available on-site I made my way to one of the stages to catch some of the last music acts of the festival. I was lucky enough to catch Kingfisha, one of my must-sees who put on a great set with their smooth reggae beats and chill vibe – absolutely perfect for the atmosphere of the event.
To close day two, the entire weekend and the final Red Deer Music and Arts Festival were none other than headline act, The Preatures. The main stage was packed with a sea of punters, dancing to classic hits like Somebody’s Talking and This Is How You Feel?. The upbeat, groovy sounds of The Preatures soared over the crowd, and looking around I could see thousands of people having the time of their life. I would have come back to Red Deer Music and Arts Festival again, and again…. I can confidently say that the festival ended its seven-year run on a VERY positive note!
AMNplify – BD
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