The MuMu dudes invited us to set up an alternative fluoro zone this year, near to the main zone, but acting as a chill-out space.
It was the weirdest dance party I've ever been to, because in some ways it didn't feel like a dance party at all....
All the tech dudes were there, doing their thing (I think offering their services for free) and so from a technical point of view (lights, sound, video,laser) it was the most incredible setup you could possibly imagine. It's basically a tech's dream party - a chance to try out their wildest ideas and go totally overboard on using as much gear as they can in as over-the-top a way as possible.
Huge cascades of mirror balls suspended amongst the trees reflected lights galore through the branches and leaves that overhung the dance floor, and the multi-coloured big fat laser (from Auckland?) just looked unbelievable - it really was mind-blowing. Added to that some of the country's most experienced VJs and video companies - and the visual setup was very impressive.
The sound was great, the DJs were great, they played great music, but the crowd was very very weird. I don't know why, but it is almost totally a bogan fest. They arrive throughout the day, set up their tents, get their beers out and proceed to get very drunk and off their nuts, listening to terrible cover bands performing on a stage set up in the camping area/car park, while we all finish setting up.
It's almost dark when the party proper begins, and they start it by letting off a cannon a few times. That's the signal for lots and lots of scarey-looking dudes to start filing into the dance area, beers in hand, leather trousers on bums, cowboy hats on heads.
The first few acts are more rock oriented - the guy who organises it (can't remember his name) is totally into Pink Floyd - and they had an awesome band who played live techno-y stuff accompanied by a woman singing opera - and then they bring on the first DJ and the dance party proper begins.
I guess at least 75% of the crowd do not usually go to dance parties, don't get the vibe and don't listen to the music on a regular basis, so you had this very weird situation where 75% of the punters (beer still in hand) were just standing still on the dance floor, totally mesmerised by the visuals, and there were little pockets of ravers in amongst them, trying their best to go for it - and getting very strange looks/vibes from everyone else in the process.
I don't really like getting bashed into by some drunken guy in the dark who turns round and looks like he's about to hit me, so I didn't do much dancing, but the vibe was odd odd odd wherever you were, and I'm not sure I liked it that much.
Great setup, great organisation, they looked after us extremely well and were very nice to us..... but I don't think I'd necessarily pay to go - although I'm very glad I got the opportunity to check it out - and those moirror ball/laser effects were amazing...