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Escape the winter with Festivals Down Under: A day at Summa Fieldayze, January 5, 2013

-By Rhia Wellbelove

The winter season tends to put a damper on partygoers trying to make
the most of the cold long dark days indoors. Meanwhile on the other
side of the world, Australia is bustling with festivals taking
advantage of the combined summer-holiday season. Despite being
isolation from the rest of the world, December through March attracts
big name artists looking for a break from the miserable northern
hemisphere, making Australia a hub for world class acts.

This year I ventured out to one of Australia’s best-known electronic
music festivals, Summa Fieldayze on the Gold Coast, put on by Future
Entertainment. Over the past fourteen years it has grown from a one
off show to a multi massive-tent festival that travels across
Australia visiting the cities of Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and the
Gold Cost. This years line up included a spectrum of DJs and live
talent with; The Chemical Brothers, M.I.A., Hot Chip, Booka Shade,
Kimbra, Maya Jane Coles, Eddie Halliewell, SBTRKT, Fedde Le Grand,
Mark Ronson, Carl Craig 69 (live), AN21 & Max Vangelli, Disclosure
(live), Adrian Lux, Fake Blood, Hudson Mohawke, Scuba, Aeroplane,
Krafty Kuts & A-Skillz, Jesse Rose and many more.

I like to think of the Gold Cost as the “Miami-Vegas” of Australia,
filled with beach bums, limousines, tourists, and resort style hotels
towering over the long stretch of surf beaches. It’s a great refuge
for festivalgoers especially with the organization of shuttles that
take you ten minutes up the beach to Doug Jennings Park where the
festival is located. Even though Summa Dayze starts at 11:00 am, it
didn’t hurt showing up at 3:00 pm to avoid the 29°C burning heat. The
grounds where dry and grassy, but a comfortable place for fives stages,
rides, food trucks, sponsor showcases, and a few shady trees. The three main
stages were set side by side, divided by bars, making it quick and
easy to grab a drink and change stages with out missing much of your
favorite artists. Most staff and services were fast and friendly,
which made for a good vibe all around, especially if you needed a
splash of cold water from the Rave Safe Crowed Care.

What stood out the most for me where the groups of tanned ripped
bodies flaunting themselves in little to no clothing. Ok I get it,
we’re located near a beach, but it also had me questioning if the drug
of choice was steroids? There were still your traditional Aussie beach
bums and people in random costumes, helping to set a scene of over
joyed people dancing in the sun on holiday.

I spent most of my time at the Cross stage, a line up made for
house-techno lovers. First I caught Scuba, whom played a lot of techno
classics while keeping up with the momentum from the adjacent stages.
After was Carl Craig’s 69 live set. Trying to appreciate the unique
use of live loops and voxs you wouldn’t normally hear from a DJ set,
his deep dark mood in music seemed to scare people away. Nonetheless,
high in demand Maya Jane Coles quickly picked things up by
effortlessly blending a variety of house and techno, giving the crowed
an up-beat progressive set they couldn’t escape.

Meanwhile the Summa stage seemed to be the most popular as the crowed
went nuts over acts like Eddie Halliwell, AN21 & Max Vangeli, and Mark
Ronson. M.I.A. banged out her heavy bass beats dressed up in a green
keffiyeh and large gold shirt. Sporting Australia’s colours? Besides
the over run echo on her mic and spontaneous feed back blips, M.I.A.
gave it a full on performance singing most of her hits including
“Paper Plans”, “Bad Girls”, “Bucky Done Gone”, and a remix of Gangnum
Style with her “Hussel” track which got the Aussie crowed going wild.

Back to the Cross stage, Booka Shade’s bright lively set really got
peoples attention, especially when they performed “Body Language” early on in their set.
Rarely seen DJing anymore, The Chemical Brothers gave the festival the
perfect end playing an ecstatic electronic set along with an
illuminating light show of bright flashing lasers and strobes for that
full on classic rave experience.

Compared to many other festivals I’ve been to around the world,
Australia offers the best bang for your buck. Considering the long
list of international talent, I liked how there were just enough
people to make the crowed exciting and vibrant, but not too many where
you start to lose your friends and spend half the time waiting in
lineups. Although it is technically the rainy season, the worst of
your concern is dust and the risk of dehydration, nothing compared to
the rain, mud, cold, sand, and bugs other festivals are renown for.

Flying to Australia during the festival season wont come cheap, so if
you are going to make your way down under, make the most of it by
giving yourself lots of time to venture around. As for the festivals,
the popular ones can sell out fast including the accommodation near
by. So try to plan at least three months in advance, otherwise there
are tons of smaller summer events happening all over the country.

Summafieldayze 2013 | Line Up from Future TV on Vimeo.

Summafieldayze Website


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