According to Jungian philosophy, sooner or later the shadow must come up to the light.

I think that festivals are an opportunity for a collective ‘coming to light’ for thousands of individual subconsciouses. If you have ever been to one, you will have noticed that that really are ‘another world’. A parallel universe, where absolutely anything is possible.

The things one sees! So many young people gobling down copious amounts of substances to let their subconscious off it’s ‘societal chain’ for the day.

To show you what I mean, today I will be taking you for a walk through the Parklife festival. I will be adding to this blog from my phone as the day progresses. So without further adue… Down the rabbit hole I go! Enjoy.

It’s 5.45 and I’m wide awake. Why?There are few things I like more than going to a festival. Particularly Parklife. I have had some incredible experiences there that have been firmly imprinted in my mind. I think for me, it’s the freedom and the expression (through dance) that attracts me the most. Whether those experiences were a factor of alcohol or simply the experience itself, I’m looking forward to finding out today!

In the words of Kenny, ‘It’s summer, and every bastard and his dog has a festival’. The festival season has breached what seems to be the entire Brisbane population, whatever their musical preference. People make their way to either Sounds of Spring or Parklif. There is this funny cross section of people in the city going in opposite directions, kind of reminds me of a battle scene in Bravehart. Different uniforms, different haircuts.

I’ve arrived at a friend from the sunshine coast’s appartment for the infamous ‘pre-drinks’.

The appartment overlooks the riverstage and there is a tangible electricity in the air as the bass of the the sound check bounces sporadically accross the road.

Two old people that look like they’re from Roma exit the hote with a box pf vegetables. I imagine that this is their 50th anniversary and they splurged out on a hotel room in Brisbane, little did they know that 10000 fluoro’d up musketeers would be scurrying around.

Thousands of people squash in on the pre-drinks appartment verandah. As I’m only really close friends with one of the boys there (Simon ‘king of killa’ Maher), I feel a little awkward. It’s crazy how much the energy sharply raises when alcohol, Indian outfits and adrenal anticipation are blended together in the brain of a young
person. I feel a little left behind but I start to let go, release the clutches of my thoughts that i cant be silly unless im drunk and I get involved in the banter.

After hearing their splendour in the grass set on Triple J, Art vs Science was one of the bands that I was very keen to check out. They were close to first up so myself and Simo cruised down to join the now viscous river of people squeezing the inches out of the entrance to the festival.

Unfortunately the King of Killa forgot his ID when we were halfway in so we had to turn back and salmon dance our way upstream to the hotel. But that was OK by me because Simo seriously is the funniest kid I know, and true to form, the shit he was saying to people on the way back made it worth it.

We finally arrived to catch the lead singer of Art vs Sience being egged on by the crowd to skull a can. I’m starting to think this could turn out like Big Day Out – piss pig paradise.

First things fist. The day is officially opened by us getting some photos next to the Art of Science crowd.

When I’m getting one done of me – this random babe comes and jumps in the photo and as I choose to believe it was an act of affection not patronisation, ‘I getta a feeling… that today is going to be a good day… a good good day!’

After the initial entrance pose pics, the dance walking kicks off and…it’s onnnnn!! The best thing about festivals is the freedom. Everything just seems so carefree, so utopian. Everything at a festival involves dancing. Lines. Toilet. Conversation.

We dance like we are choreographing a Lewis Carrol novel, with all kinds of shakes, spins, kicks and turns.

I feel this sense of gratitude towards alcohol for helping people be able to experience this release. Without it, the world would be a pretty confined space for many people.

I seem to periodically loose Simo and find him again. Thousands of people between us and it’s like I’m invisibly attached to the end of his home sown tassle hanging of his singlet (king.of.killa).

I seem to run into my entire facebook friend list. One after the other. I love how you can talk and dance at the same time and it’s completely normal. Life should be more like this.

I venture over to see Junior Boys and run into my sister Louise. In NLP they say that our beliefs are framed by individual images that anchor in feelings that change our state. As such, people often choose to drink or take drugs because of a solitary image in their mind that associates specific feelings with the substance. Dancing at sunset to Junior Boys with Lou, Simo and a bunch of mates, randoms and a few others is an image that sticks in my mind as why festivals are so fucking amazing. I guess a lot of people see alcohol and drugs as the colouring-in and shading of their pictures.

I also run into a heap of friends and people that are either really supportive of the project and have been engaged with it or like what I’m doing when I tell them why I’m not drinking. I also told a couple of people that I would put them up on the blog. Here you go…

Today has been one of the best days of my life. I feel priveleged to be able to say that alcohol had nothing to do with it for me, personally. But, to be honest, every time I high-fived a stranger, had a silly hypothetical conversation or just hugged it out… I feel as though in many ways I was feeding off their high. Their freedom and creativity that alcohol had enabled them to express brought out those attractive qualities out in me.

Such a massive day of learning. Before today, I feared that festivals were just about getting ‘wasted’ and this experience would be the nail in the coffin for me. However, in a beautiful way, I now have a whole new set of festival eyes.


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