it has got too popular to be fun, I thought yet again as I lined up to get into the regal theater. If there was a theme to the annual high vibes music festival on high street northcote last sunday, it was queues. queues for the venues, the bars, toilets, food stalls (most of which seemed to be selling sausages this year) or even just to get from one side of the street to another. Even the dance areas were too packed, a set by myagi in front of the kick gallery being standing room only. A significant reason for the crush was that the many of the outdoor areas were cordoned off into tiny little spaces due to license laws. These had no effect on the drinking. in spite of police attempts, people drank pretty much anywhere they liked and why not? Stalls were selling takeaway cans for three bucks while the going rate at the bar was five. the high street festival has always been about alcohol. With the venues packed out, there wasn’t much else to do.
I presevered nonetheless. in between seeing everyone i knew in melbourne, talking to a few and dancing with more, i managed to see three bands all at the regal. As a venue set in an old grand ballroom, it was by far the best looking with great lighting and low chandeliars (even if the acoustics and soundsystem made the music a bit blurry) and the roomiest but having only one entrance open into a bar area and throughfare was a mistake.
But hey, its all free right? And for that price, the festival – crowded, noisy and smelly that it is – still has enough fun that even when compared to costly festivals, makes it hard to beat.