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Life harvests life '

Festival adventurer and agent obscure ... Stu gathers his thoughts from the summer and sends home some stories of Splore!

12 Apr 2004

I had been at Splore for a couple of hours when a funny guy came up to me. He was wearing an Asian designed mask with big buckteeth and an equally styled suit. He handed me his typewriter, with my hands steady, in one magical moment his quirky little fingers typed a note. Without a word, he handed it to me 'life harvests life'.

In this brief moment I was cast back to my first outdoor music gig, the gathering in 1997/98. The environment felt similar, beautiful surrounding trees, good vibes, and as people we were escaping the rush of urban dwellings, to gather. On the Main Stage, the lyrics of Fat Freddy's Drop were filling my spirit,

'Hope for a generation,
hope for a generation,
just beyond my reach.
but by my side.'

Now I was buzzing, Splore's natural flow captured my imagination. In the space of 24 hrs my energy and peacefulness was transpired. There was a sense of closeness at Splore, perhaps the ease with which one could walk about without feeling lost. By nightfall, twinkle lights guided us through walkways and between music zones, and the markets were a maze of food choices. I especially like the Pacifica man chopping up coconuts with a swinging machete, handling it like a natural.

Just beyond the markets was the movie theatre and circus performing stage. Treats included a 2-hour documentary on the Solar Eclipse Party, Flinders Range Dec 02, and a late night Central City Circus fire performance. At 1am on Sunday morning Splore had a surprise for us, the Lightening Man. The Lightening Man sends out electric volts through his hands and conductor rode. It was the first time for me to see his performance and I was amazed. In his words 'it sets the crowd off like nothing else.' I couldn't agree more.

Unfortunately, the Main Stage was turned off after 1am for noise control reasons. It was a bit of a shame as I could have roll through the early hours with some solid beats. However, the Ocean Zone warmed up pretty quickly. It was an especially cozy place, tucked under the trees and decorated with colour and sparkling lights. We were protected from the evening's cold air and warmed by the dancing turns. Next day I returned to the Ocean Zone, and enjoyed DJ Gabriel during the heat of the day. She played wicked house, warming the mood of the people I was with and putting lots of love into her music.

On the Main Stage Trinity Roots smoothed out any rusty feelings from the night prior and one felt the vibe these guys have spread over the summer, from the Roots Festival to Rippon and now Splore, naming a few. By Mid afternoon, DDub played upbeat tunes. They brought the dancers out with lyrics like 'come dance with me shake my soul'. The sound of the saxophone, trumpet, bongos, drums and voice-overs grounded people as they danced, unstoppable and satisfied.

Suddenly, after a welcomed encore from DDub, Splore was all over. Amanda and Allen greeted us to say thanks and goodbye. Amanda's words were 'thanks to the audience, it has been the most beautiful love festival ever.' Allen also put things into perspective, giving respect back to everyone involved with Splore. Allen's words 'if we had had the rain we received last Saturday this Saturday, we would have been running from the country'. In other words, the weather is a significant element in the enjoyment of any outdoor festival, not to mention the people and music.

And thank you, to all the people involved with outdoor gigs during the summer of 2004. I feel like we have had a summer. The days I gathered at an outdoor gig in 04 were real good. While I missed Destination and it's final gathering at Cave Stream, Flock Hill, Destination deserves the respect it has for soul and good vibes. It's a challenging place run a music festival as the alpine environment has an array of storms to shake our bones. I was briefly chatting to a woman at an airport check-in the other day. She spied a destination sticker and asked if I went this year. She was truly amped, having not been before; she went because she didn't want to miss out. And commenting about the weather, 'it might of rained and there may have been some mud but I didn't notice a thing'. Kia ora.

It's autumn now, the leaves are falling and days shorter. Where was the smoothness of our summer just gone? It was in the music. Music harvests life too.