this will likely to be the first of a few posts on the rainbow serpent festival as, even though I wouldnt say it’s a seminal event in my life, a fair amount did happen at it. I’ll leave this first post public but the rest will be f-locked.
rainbow serpent is one of the older alternative outdoor raves in victoria. gates opened thursday mid-day and people are turfed out of the site tuesday afternoon. so if you’re hardcore, you would be camping there for 5 nights in minimal shade with weather ranging from low 40s to mid 10s, winds up to gale force, a bushfire front 70km away and over 100 km wide (on Thursday) as well as misc atmospheric delights such as dust storms and 8 hours of heavy soaking rain. I was there from Thursday midday till late Monday night. somehow the tarp configuration held.
Officially, the music starts on Friday afternoon and ends on Monday afternoon. The music continues for all that time without a break and maxes up to three stages on Saturday and Sunday. People also bring their own quite powerful sound systems so Thursday and Monday nights arent quiet. Much of the music is falls within the various trance and electro varieties although the chill stage had a wider range. Needless to say, sleep can be a problem if you’re noise sensitive.
rainbow seems to have escaped the problems of mass popularity that has happened to earthcore and retains a lot more of its original new age hippy “energy”. What this translates into is that rainbow has a dearth of aggressive young men in flourowear dosed up on speed-like drugs and flailing through the air on the dancefloor seemingly intent on grinding their teeth into oblivion. Accordingly, it also lacks the kind of young women who find these men attractive. At the risk of being snobby (as it seems from casual observation of the rave scene that this is strongly corelated to the level of socio-economic/educational underprivilage of the person), I nonetheless think this is a good thing.
What rainbow has an abundance of is opt-out middle-class-background ethnic-anglo people with dreadlocks, tribal tattoes, assorted layers of earthy natural material garments and wellcrafted pouch belts. They have sunny friendly dispositions if you have the right look, less friendly but still smiley aspects if you happen to fail in the aesthetics department. This means that in general, if you happen to meet someone’s eyes, the person will smile, nod and acknowledge your presence. Unless you happen to be an aggressive young person with too much flouro.
New age beliefs are not just paid lip-service to. In spite of my severe scepticism in that area, I appreciated the general happiness and contentedness that this brings to many of its adherents there. Also, it seems to contribute to a healthier drug culture. Any drug-induced psychosis tend to manifest as low key whimpering and lying down in the healing space clutching a crystal and being nursed by a patchouli scented compatriot. As opposed to shrieking like a madman attempting to strangle a blowup emperor penguin while being pelted by your mates with empty Melbourne Bitter beercans.
The latter scene is not made up. Our non-feral non-hippy and presumably far from new age camp neighbours indulged in that activity for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon while i was trying to sleep before they succumbed to the heat. Fortunately, that was the only distasteful drug psychosis episode I witnessed. And it was kinda funny even if I was tempted to join in the pelting albeit with large sharp rocks.
On a final note, toilets are elaborately constructed boxes designed to poorly hide the fact that you’re crapping into a large wheelie bin. These are called composting toilets to make it sound better. Woodshavings assist in the illusion. Because they are organic. But no one really complained about it. Not that I heard anyway. Because everyone was enjoying themselves too much due to the miracles of modern pharmacology. And for those enquiring minds out there in public land. No, I did not take any substances. Hence, this paragraph.