Review :: Peats Ridge Festival 12/13

January 25th 2013

After being plagued by significant money troubles in the wake of their latest edition, the organisers of Peats Ridge have announced that the dread-locked, bindi-wearing festival is calling it quits. But fear not you tent-dwelling live music lovers out there, relive the fun with our Choose Your Own Adventure version of Peats Ridge Festival. Let’s get started!

Peats Ridge – Choose your own adventure

or: How I learned to stalk people.

A camping festival can be pretty intense. (In tents. Get it? HA HA). Ok. So now that I have captured your attention with the use of a bad pun, please join me on my adventures through space and time, where the options have already been pre-selected and subtle hints of how to stalk people are not so subtle/probably very creepy to those watching from a safe distance…

Chapter One: Beginnings

Pg. 1: It begins.

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP… “And if they try to slow you down (slow you down!) BEEP, BEEP, BE.. “Tell them all to go to hell!” … BEEP, BEEP. It’s 4:30 am. This is the sound of your alarm and Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built” simultaneously blaring into your surprised ears.

Do you: Wake up with ease and excitement for the long drive ahead? (pg. 12) OR: SNOOZE? (pg. 23)

Pg. 23: Snooze, obviously. But everyone knows if you snooze you lose and you definitely don’t want to lose. Go back to pg. 1.

Pg. 1:BEEP, BEEP…- Pg. 12.

Pg. 12: You’ve forgotten to buy groceries and it’s 5am, idiot.

Do you: Raid your cupboard for probably inedible tinned peaches and ritz biscuits? (pg. 17) OR: Head to a grocery store at a sensible hour? (pg. 21).

Pg.17: Dip, biscuits and tinned peaches are all you’ll need to survive the next three days, right? Right?

After one hour of picking up passengers from three different corners of Sydney and another half hour of driving North listening to FBi, your car collectively decides it’s time to listen to something else. An iPod is plugged in. Connecting cable is broken. Looks of horror wash across all faces. There are only two CDs in the car.

Do you choose: Modest Mouse ‘ The Moon & Antarctica’? (pg. 24) OR: 100% Hits – ‘The Best of ’98’? (pg. 31)

Pg. 24: Isaac Brock on loop until entering the festival grounds. You save the best (of ’98) ‘til last.

Chapter Two: An Intense (in tents) Experience

Two girls, one tent. It’s not an exotic film, but if it was, the storyline would go as follows:

Two girls that don’t camp very often attempt to put up a tent. Tent doesn’t obey tent rules. Girls start cursing tent for not putting itself together. “Maybe we should just sleep in the car!” one of the girls exclaims in frustration. Eventually tent is put up and the two girls stare proudly at their creation and the very pale of the two girls is already turning pink in the sun. Everyone puts on more sunscreen and jumps in the river. “Maybe the next few days won’t be as intense as we thought.” You’re enjoying the scenic valley surrounding you and watching people swing on what seems to be a giant noose, which is slightly off-putting.

Do you: Have a quick snooze? (pg. 35) OR: Explore the festival grounds? (pg. 16).

Pg.16: You remembered! You snooze, you lose. Walking into the festival grounds you hear somebody yell, “I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MANY DREADLOCKS IN MY LIFE!” Does one trust someone with dreadlocks? They’re so full of secrets, or so you assume. Then you remember that John Butler is headlining and that you are at Peats Ridge Festival. It all makes (in)sense.

You can hear The Preatures in the background. It’s only 1:30 on the first day but they already have pulled a sizeable crowd. Their motown-meets-rock n’ roll style infects everyone and gets everyone boogying to their much loved, ‘Take a Card’. Deep Sea Arcade must have been sweltering in their long sleeved shirts and jeans, though the psych-pop group pulled out many old and new favouites such as ‘Keep On Walking’ and ‘Granite City’. The weather didn’t deter anyone, as by the end the entire crowd was jumping and sweating in delight. The ever so lovely Sam Buckingham plays in the Chai Temple and you grab her for a sunset takeaway show by the river, which you can watch here. Mat McHugh sends you back in time to your 13-year-old self, enjoying a huge array of The Beautiful Girls songs. Wandering over to The Night Odditorium, the queue was enormous. You can’t decide what to do next.

Should you: Attempt to get into the Odditorium to see what is behind the giant sexy leg doorframe? (pg. 76) OR: Should you wander about to see what else you can find? (pg.19).

Pg.19: You happen to stumble upon The Rusty Spring Syncopators playing on top of a gypsy van. Manky jazz/American blues with washboards, banjos, a handmade one stringed bass attached to a wash bucket. You dance and you laugh.

Chapter Three: The Sunburn Begins

There’s no time for messing about here. The heat wakes you up, though it is overcast. You sit in a chair for a few hours. Your sunburn is getting sunburnt. You don’t realise until somebody points out you look like a salmon. After interviewing a couple of bands and scoring some free cider, you thank god that Peats Ridge doesn’t provide “Mule” a foul concoction of a drink that you had at Falls Festival the year before. Now it’s time to stalk some people. A creepy looking old guy looks suspicious. Where could this lead you?

Do you: Follow him to see what adventure this could take you on? (pg. 54) OR: Buy some snacks? (pg. 33)

Pg.54: Creeping about with a serious look on his face, the man leads you to an array of twisting alleys. He has no idea you are stalking him. And you begin to realise how hard stalking someone really is. He turns a corner sharply and… orders some vegetable nuggets. It turns out he was just hungry.

Later that evening you find a circus family. Yes, a circus family. As they cartwheel around, you have the feeling they know you are following them, but they don’t seem to mind. Eventually they and their burlesque one-armed friend head into The Night Odditorium. You lose them, but line up to speak to God in a telephone booth. God has a female posh English accent and answers, “Hello? This is God”. It reminds you of that “Hello? Yes, this is dog” meme and you laugh. God says some things that are really quite funny, but are probably too rude to put up on The Flog. You see a lady with nipple tassles exiting.

Do you: Keep talking to god (pg. 66) OR: Follow the nipple tassles? (pg.48)

Pg.48: You follow the nipple tassles and non-surprisingly, you end up at a nude disco. It’s very funny to watch and nobody seems to be hitting on anyone, everyone is just dancing in the nude. In the far distance you hear Talking Heads’ ‘Burning Down The House”.

Do you: Follow the song? (pg. 72) OR: Stay and watch the nudes? (pg. 49)

Pg.72: You follow the song, because watching the nudes gets a bit awkward. You end up at Vic’s Disco. He plays some great songs, but Vic is a little bit weird.

Chapter Four: NYE

You’re quite used to stalking people by now. It’s not anything like following someone on Twitter or Instagram you have realised. In fact, it is much more exciting. The day fills with exciting events and the smell of weed is inescapable. You somehow end up watching The Rusty Spring Syncopators for the third night in a row. You’re so good at stalking that you’re accidentally stalking people now.

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings (and the Dapettes) are so full of sass and energy. It is the best show you have seen over the whole festival. You dance the Boogaloo and oh boy do you dance The Funky Chicken.

The lady with the nipple tassles appears again. She’s with a man that looks like a turtle. He is wearing no shirt, red shorts, a small knitted cap and his dance moves look like he is warming up for a race or he is punching thin air. This leads you to the Dub Shack. It’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen and turtle dub leads you into the New Year.


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Images by Ash Berdebes


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