By my own admission I'm well out of festival form. Prior to the weekend, the last camping festival I attended was a wet Spendour in the Grass which I didn't take much enjoyent from. Combined with the memories of a wet, cold and windy Falls Festival a few years earlier and I had kind of sworn off camping festivals.
With this in mind, along with horror stories of the conditions from the previous year, I woke up at 3:30am last Friday with some trepidation. We were heading via charter bus to the Meredith Music Festival. After exchanging some angst with the bus driver about whether or not he would be waiting in line with us for 2 hours until the gates opened, we finally made our way to Outter Mongolia and claimed an excellent camp site. The weather was looking pretty good all things considered. Patches of sun and blue sky through grey clouds, which let loose nothing but small sprinkles all weekend.
I was determined to have a large one, even knowing that I'd be backing up directly after Meredith to head off for 4 days of heavy golfing and heavier drinking. This lead to Friday afternoon quickly building towards a huge Friday night. I didn't really have any bands on the ticket which were "must sees" so I just hung around the stage and gave everything a shot. I was my usual gregarious self and made a number of new friends.
Sia was impressive, I have a theory that her set alone would have led to about 25% higher rates of curious lesbian encounters. Patrick Wolf's set was probably my musical highlight of the festival, I regret not being up and dancing for the whole 45mins he was exploding all over the stage. Tumbleweed put on an excellent rock show.
We happened to be standing next to the world's biggest Royal Crown Review fan when they took the stage. At first I was chuffed, as his obvious excitement was spilling over onto everyone around him. I surprised even myself with how quickly I grew tired of his incessant annoucing of how amazing this all was, along with the complete backstory of how someone so young was such a fan of such an odd band, combined with the group hugs between each song.
I only caught the earlier bands on Saturday, highlights being; Pharoahe Monch, Combo La Revelacion (seriously, if you like a bit of salsa music you need some Combo) and Heavy Trash.
Paul Kelly's set was good, but seemed a bit out of place with the vibe of the crowd. Animal Collective and Javis Cocker both also left me a little "meh". I think I was just in a different party mode than what they were performing on stage, but I often found myself annoyed that the bands were stopping the DJ's from continuing to spin more cool tracks.
I only heard the Yacht Club DJs set from the campground, but it really sounded like it was pumping. If only they'd been on at 10:30 instead of 1am :)
All in all, I had a total blast. The music was damn good, but really these festivals are 50% about the people you're with (I'm giving 25% to the weather and 25% to the music) and I was lucky enough to spend my 1st Meredith with a crew who've essentially become professionals and also met a bunch of excellent people.