this is the last ever earthcore, spiro the owner and main organiser of the event, said tearfully into the mic on sunday on the main stage. The council is making it too hard for us, he said but as I looked around at the crowd comparing it to last year, it seemed more likely to me that it was because people have stopped coming. This year’s earthcore was considerably smaller than last year’s and last year was already said to have been half the size of the one previous to it. This year’s rainbow serpent, always earthcore’s smaller (and nicer) version had much better attendance.
Still i liked this year’s earthcore. I felt more comfortable there and the crowd seemed much friendlier. There was an almost complete absence of suburban nightclubber types, the ones that tend to get drunk or take too much of the wrong kind of drugs and wander around in packs hassling every female they find. the ones that are often seen in king street in the city.
One of the lesser guarded secrets of Earthcore is that while the music officially stops on Sunday at around 3pm, it starts up again at 8pm and continues for the rest of Sunday night. This year was no different except that for most of the night, instead of one stage playing, three stages reopened. Sunday night is often the best night because only the old-timers stay on, the ones who’ve paced themselves, the ones who understand that bush parties are not about taking all your drugs in one go and collapsing the next day. At last year’s earthcore the difference in atmosphere between Sat and Sun nights was stark. This year there was hardly any difference. People were more tired of course but the music went on and they danced and chatted.
I didnt stay up Sunday night. I felt no need for it and I was tired anyway from the night before. Instead, I dragged my swag to the river bank and slept under the stars, watching a thin crescent moon rise up over the trees and turn the river silver. The music was muted and comforting and in the morning I woke to silence. A part of me regretted that i would not be able to do that again in this particular type of party but mainly i felt that its time was over and that ending up as a much smaller gathering of the kind of people who were there in the first place was fitting.
My ex was already preparing to leave when I got back to the camp. The weekend between us had started off cautiously on my part, uncomfortably on her part. But by Saturday we’d both relaxed into a distant friendliness.
i’m never coming back again, she said as she packed up. She’d not enjoyed earthcore much. Over the three nights, I’d not seen her much on the dancefloor at all or anywhere much else for that matter. The music had not been to her taste
It’s not going to happen again, this is the last one, I pointed out. But she’d been there at spiro’s final speech and i guess it wasnt just earthcore she was referring to.