Island Vibing! Our first Aussie festival
Trip Start Jan 21, 2011
23Trip End May 01, 2012
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Where I stayed
Amity Point campsite
What I did
Island Vibe festival
As I mentioned in the last blog, I was actually given an interview fairly quickly for an 8 week temp role, and I found out within a couple of days that I had been successful
Tom's job started off well as he found out that he got to leave early every Friday at 2.30 and that they put on free beers for their staff. They also had a morning tea on Wednesdays where all manner of cakes and pastries were provided, so he was happy enough, more so when 2 more temps were hired and he had some company! Then it all started going downhill as his job got less and less demanding and the boredom crept in. Despite this the CFO of the company kept tracking him down and asking his opinion on random things and what he thought they could do better in the department, so he was making a good impression anyway
We looked into getting tickets, which were thankfully still on sale, and then the planning began as to how we would get there, where we would camp etc. That was decided for us as all the close campsites were already booked up, so we booked into the Amity Point campsite at the north of the island. It costs about $180 to take a car over on the ferry from Brisbane so we all decided to take tents, and only our lovely friends Claire and Loz would bring their campervan - large enough to carry all of our stuff too! There were about 12 of us in total so we had a great fun group and were able to split a lot of the costs. The morning of the festival was warm but a little cloudy, but that was perfect for travelling over. Me and Tom headed over on the frerry a little later than the others as I decided to get a hair cut first, much to Tom's annoyance. We got there by around 3pm though and our tents were all set up for us by Shele, Matt, Dez and Anna, who had arrived earlier!
As soon as we arrived we were pretty much told to get going as we all wanted to see the opening ceremony for the festival. Unfortunately our campsite was a good 14kms away from the festival sight, but there was only 1 shuttle bus scheduled to go to the festival, and that was at 5.30pm. Taxis were extremely rare (apparently only one on the island!) and expensive, so it was decided that we would walk along the beach to get there! Dez and Anna had previously stayed at this campsite and were sure it wouldn't take us very long, maybe an hour to walk there, so we set off with gusto into the sunset
The festival itself was tiny in comparison to festivals we are used to in the UK, but it was perfectly formed and one of the cleanest places I have ever seen considering the few thousand people who were making their way through tents and stools and eateries. There was an array of amazing food, lots of lovely organic stuff and the most delicious Yemeni food place ever that we frequented a number of times during the weekend! The weather was outstanding and if anything we could have used a little more shade, but the vibe itself (I am not one for using the word 'vibe' but it's the only way to describe it) was awesome. There was zero attitude, everyone was friendly and chatty and there for a good time, it made for a really refreshing change. The festival itself was sold as a Reggae/Dub/Roots kind of thing, which for those of you who know me will know that's not my thing at all! However, I went with an open mind and there was some absolutely outstanding music and acts playing that were really danceable and just plain silly fun
We headed back to the campsite early-ish as we had to make sure we caught the shuttle bus back, and we were all quite tired after the day in the sun. We slept surprisingly well in our tent and awoke to the sound of the birds singing and the distant sound of the ocean. Deciding that we needed a pick me up before we set off we all went for a swim in the sea before heading back to the festival for day 2. This time we didn't need telling twice to get the shuttle bus so we all managed to get ourselves there in good time! The weather was gorgeous once more and we got stuck into the bar for a few drinks. The festival set up was pretty family oriented so you were only able to drink alcohol in the bar tent itself, which made sense but was a little annoying when we wanted to go and have a dance with a drink! We coped well enough though and had another cracking day dancing to the likes of Grace Barbe (AMAZING Afro Kreol singer who had so much energy and who actually played twice over the weekend so we had double the fun!) and Blue King Brown (a rocking band who I am told can be described as Dancehall/Roots/Rock mash-up, but I just thought they were great!)
This day was a more alcohol fuelled affair than the first, and therefore ended with us all travelling home on the last shuttle bus in extremely high spirits - I was in hysterics for about 20 minutes but I couldn't tell you why! We chilled out in our little community camp area and had a few more drinks and a lot more laughs that night until finally calling it a day at around 2.30am. That's pretty good going for me as I am usually a bit lamer these days! Needless to say Sunday was a rather painful wake up and required a full on breakfast to make us human before we could gather our thoughts for the last day at the festival. We started off by heading to Home Beach, the beach right next door to the festival site, and spent a few hours swimming in the ocean as it was beautiful and clear. We chilled out in the sun and I think everyone was feeling it a bit from the last two full on days, so it was a quieter and somewhat sleepier group that headed into the melee! I can't really remember much about who played that day, except that Grace Barbe did again and our dancing was not as energetic as the first time. Tom and I decided that we were going to leave the festival a bit earlier to get back home, as we both had work on Monday and knew we would want some time to chill out before we had to get up and do a full week's work. We left everyone at the festival and made our way back to Brisbane, and back to reality, getting home around 6pm. I think we were in bed by 9pm that night!
The whole weekend was just so much fun and made us feel really grateful for having such lovely friends here to spend weekends with and be totally welcomed by. I wouldn't hesitate to go to Island Vibe again as I was completely impressed with how it was run - there was a real community spirit; recycling areas, water bottle refill stations and opening and closing ceremonies that celebrated the indigenous people of Australia with some inspiring stories and cultural shows. It was a complete eye opener for me and I think Tom was just impressed that I not only was able to get through the weekend but that I threw myself into it wholeheartedly! We went back to work that week with sleepy heads but great memories.
Now we have only a week left before we leave Brisbane and head down to Sydney, we are definitely ready to start travelling again and get back in the van for a new adventure!