THE END OF SUMMER FESTIVALS IN SYDNEY.
Every year the summer tingles teased me & brought on a feeling of nostalgia.. With the sun on my face & the smell of fun & adventure in the air I waited with baited breath for the Sydney summer festival season to begin. I’d wait patiently but with a certain amount of anxiety for the first release of tickets for my favourite festivals & when I’d get those tickets in the mail I was completely content, all was well with the world. The festivals we’re a time to get together with friends, go shopping for outfits & absolutely let loose & party our little hearts out. Some we’re better than others, some bands or DJ”S disappointed, but what never failed to disappoint was the fact that we always had an amazing time. We got smashed, we laughed, we never slept & we we’re always the last to leave. Sydney summer festivals we’re the place to be & so many others like me went through the exact same routine, year in year out, until now.
The first festival I remember being shut down, never to show it’s likeness again was Field Of Dreams in the 90’s. A totally psychedelic rave held in a farm field in the middle of nowhere out West. Now It’s 2018 & more of my favourite festivals have disappeared, Future Music festival & Sound Wave are just two of them to go but there are others & I’m sure there will be more to come. Two of the main reasons given about why these festivals are being shut down is drugs & violence. For me it’s just more bureaucracy, stringent rules made to control. Now, I’m all for people having a good time & partying, for me it’s no different to alcohol as long as you’re being safe & not hurting anyone else, but the violence is simply beyond my understanding. I just don’t agree with punishing everyone for a few unfortunate incidents. You can’t just make assumptions that all people are the same & in the same environment, will automatically do the same things. These shut downs have affected not only the consumers who frequent the festivals but all the small business they supported with an income. All of this is nothing more than an extension of the lock-out laws.
There was a time when people felt safe at festivals, loved even. Every person experiencing virtually the same feelings of elation & bliss bordering on the spiritual. We shared water & food & passed around naughty things we shouldn’t have been carrying. You met people & developed friendships, some of them lifelong. Festivals were a place you would go to feel young, young & free, a place to be yourself with no insecurities or feelings of judgement. So when did they turn into grounds of fear & paranoia, places of hate & violence? Why all the anger anyway, never in my day did I witness any aggression & I’m positive that even if there was violence, everyone, strangers or not, would help & support the person in need. Well, not anymore. Today you have to be careful not to look at someone the wrong way or even, goodness forbid, wear the wrong thing. It’s so utterly ridiculous that we have nowhere to go to have fun & let loose & really party our butts off anymore. We have to venture further away from Sydney to places where they understand the ethos & energy of what a festival is. It saddens me deeply, I’ve had my time, I’m happy I got to witness & enjoy it from another perspective that you won’t get today. I’m just sad for the generations to come who won’t get to feel the same sense of community & freedom, the ones who won’t be able to express themselves without fear. The ones who won’t get to witness an entire crowd dancing in unison with their hands in the air & their faces to the sky beckoning the dance Gods to never let it end.
Bring back those days, bring back that sense of youth & wonder. Let us have adventure, give us back the right to be inquisitive & question the status quo. We should be allowed to feel ignorance again. We want some fun & play, it’s not difficult, it’s not a lot to ask for. Sydney is a place with people who love to have a great time, laugh, dance & be merry. There are so many things that have been taken away from us so why not leave us the thing we wait for all year, just leave us our beloved summer festivals.
Love Lexi XXX