Tag Archives: music

Art, consciousness and a whole lot of doof at Eclipse 2012 festival


Recycling the eclipse

In my sheltered world, hippies and trancers don’t live harmoniously side by side. In my stereotyped view, people who dance to trance are off their heads on party drugs that sustain them through hours and days of dancing to a repetitive beat. In my head hippies are natural and flowing and mix with creative crowds, preferring didgeridoos to synthesizers. In my world, hippies don’t attend trance parties, or doofs (if you’re an Australian partyer). At least, this is what I used to believe.

The Eclipse 2012 festival would show me otherwise.

The event will host a huge music lineup of the world’s leading musicians and DJ’s, outstanding artists and decor crews, a dedicated workshops and intentional healing space, extensive food and market stalls and a perfect viewing platform only a short distance away from the eclipse centre line of totality path. Link

My world started to expand and any preconceived ideas about 24/7 beats and dancing, about everyone being cocktailed to the highest high, about being disconnected from the world in order to appreciate the world started to shift. I knew it would happen. Why else was I here?

Apart from the total solar eclipse itself. Oh yeah. That was the real reason.

But if it was just about being present at the total solar eclipse then I could have instead nestled in amongst astronomers from around the world on purpose built viewing platforms somewhere else, somewhere close.

No, from the moment I’d heard about the festival I’d been determined to go. I wanted to fling out my arms and dance uninhibited at whatever time of the day I pleased, I wanted to be filled with thoughts and ideas about the future direction of the world, I wanted to immerse myself in a new experience and surround myself with beauty in all its forms. What an indulgence.


DJ set backdrop on the Sun Stage

The Eclipse 2012 festival ticket and website were the first giveaways to something beyond a primitive party, making reference to a ‘spiritual’ festival, to ‘healing spaces’, to consciousness raising, to an array of workshops and speakers and films designed to inspire change and open the mind.

And why else do we travel?

The music itself was not the catalyst for me to part with AU$350. Despite there being six stages, I barely recognised any names in the line-up, other than the likes of Fat Freddy’s Drop and Tijuana Cartel, both on the Earth Stage, the only truly live stage at the festival. If I’d ever been into the trance scene or had stood longer on Australian ground, I’d probably have been aware of the reputation of some of the other acts, but it was all new to me. No bad thing.






Food and relax stops

Getting involved in yoga and craft classes, lounging out listening to learned folk discuss current thinking in relation to the upcoming cosmic and spiritual shift (including the impending end of the Mayan calendar), dancing under the sweet kiss of sprinkling water, of being surrounded by sculptures and murals and living art, that is what convinced me to join thousands of people for a week of celebrations rather than huddle quietly with the odd cluster of scientists and astronomers for one night only.

And so the days went by and people stomped and bounced day in, day out, taking moments to refresh themselves with fruit juices and wholesome, fair priced curries, to solar shower away a thick caking of dust, to chat and catch-up with friends, new and familiar.


Daytime Sun Stage raving


Sprinkler dancing @ the Sky Stage


Doofer in training


Beach feel flake out

Polka dot dresses and exaggerated face paints, tutus and lederhosen, basking on the branches of living art, taking dips in crocodile cleared waters, window shopping the work of artisans more concerned with their craft than making a sale, catching a ride on a motorised sofa, relaxing in the women’s shelter, watching fire art, learning to hula-hoop, re-gathering at camp for water refills and sustaining snacks.


Daytime lazing


Sun, shade and crocodile warnings


Tutus and wobbles


Doctor dress-up


Parasols, fishnets and boat sails


Brace dancing


Sofa riding


Art branch moments


Face painting


Base camp catch-ups

And sleeping. It’s amazing how one learns to sleep through a constant beat.

Through life and travelling I have had the good luck to meet and share time with a real range of people – a spectrum so broad that my mind should find no space for stereotypes. Yet I still have my assumptions, my preconceived ideas based on everyone I’ve previously met and everything I know. And of course it’s limited.

Stereotypes have some basis and function, maybe to act as a compass to enable us to find ‘our type’ and fellow ‘types’, maybe to guide the un-established personality and set them off in a specific direction. Maybe they offer some tribal comfort? I guess the only real danger is not being able to see beyond them.

At Eclipse 2012, stereotypes loomed large, on an ocular level. If you wanted to see society’s versions of a dreadlocked, grungy hippy, a dancing nymph dressed in floaty tie-dyed skirt, a yogi in lotus meditation, they appeared. If you looked for the sweaty, gurning raver clutching a water bottle and repeating moves in their own little world or sporting Day-Glo, hot panted outfits, they too existed. The Japanese wedding in a fusion flurry of traditional-clubbing kitsch, the self-important eco-speaker, the meticulously costumed regular festival goer, the wise old earth mother. They were all at Eclipse 2012.


Temples (and makeshift church)

But sometimes hippies chewed their faces up. And sometimes pig-tailed raver chicks needed no more than the music to get high.

Stereotypes flipped, were stretched and distorted. Earth mother surprised me with her mushroom journeys. Famous drummer intrigued me with his gentle nature. Dreamy types brought considerate, well-behaved children to basket weaving classes. And the raver sat with a stranger during a bad trip, talking them through some crazy moments until a place of relative calm was reached.


Morning at the Moon Stage

More often than not, the festival was a whole lot more wholesome than one might expect. Good food. Good company. Good support. Good dancing. Beyond good.

Of course the craziness existed. As with many a party, a continuum of personalities coloured and enriched the event. But it’s what most those people did that made the event; they spoke, they performed, they danced, they painted, they played; they – an army of artisans and thought-leaders and revelers – created a beautiful visual and sensual feast of celebration.

If you believe this random mix of humanity, of intention, of consciousness, cannot exist side by side, then Eclipse 2012 was a great example that we can.

Let’s dance.


Chill out and kick back stage


Live creativity


Light, sound and DJs





Filed under art, australia, culture, dancing, drugs, festivals, health, nature, oceania, roadtrip, travel, wow!

What to pack for a festival in the outback


Mid day water spray

Outback or bush, call it what you like, this would be the remotest, driest, hottest festival that I’d ever been to and unlike some travels where spontaneity keeps the magic alive, this needed planning.  At least a little.

Event organisers emailed out a survival guide a few weeks before the start date of 10th November 2012, warning of bugs and beasties and dangerous drop access roads, of shrivel-inducing temperatures and complete communication cut-off.


This wasn’t a festival for pussycats.

Instead it would be a moment for thousands of wiry revellers, eclipse chasers, festival die-hards, musicians, DJs and artisans to unite. A seven day festival of music and workshops, of crafting and consciousness building, of stomping feet, raised hands and banging heads, a seven day festival created around the total solar eclipse visible within Far North Queensland, Australia.

Me and my crew were nearly ready. One final stock up and then we’d start the journey inland from Cairns, away from city structure into a landscape of termite mounds and tracks that led to houses a million miles from anywhere else.

So what did we bring? What might work for you next time the eclipse festival fever grips Australia again in 2028? Or whatever hot and humid festival that might be coming up shortly?


  1. Drinking water. Lots. We each got through about 4 litres a day. Onsite water was not considered safe to drink so we brought what looked like a ridiculous amount and it only just lasted.
  2. Water sprayers/misters. Handheld are fine but the full on backpack, gardening maintenance style were best. And fun. And in demand. Spray and dance and stay safe and hydated.
  3. Sunscreen. Far North Queensland heat and full on rays need a little thought.
  4. Sunglasses. Super bright light. Some hangovers. Sensitivity.
  5. Longlasting snacks. Nuts and other nutritious, energy giving nibbles.
  6. First aid kit with all the basics including antiseptic cream and plasters/bandaids. Obvious.
  7. Ear plugs. The music never stops (apart from during the actual eclipse, so that’s maybe an hour of quiet in a whole week).
  8. Eye mask. Days and nights get a little mixed up and who knows when you want or need some shut-eye?
  9. Tent, sleeping mat and a sleeping bag liner/sheet. Make sure your tent has plenty of ventilation, or do as some people did and only set up the inner tent.


  1. Tarpaulin. A friend lent this to us and it provided an extra layer of amazing sun protection over both tents whilst also marking our tenting territory.
  2. Cool box/Eski. Ice available on site meant cold drinks and a longer life for fresh food. And every Aussie seems to travel with an Eski. Maybe if I was Australian this would be up there as an essential item.
  3. Face/dust mask/scarf of some sort. Dust got everywhere. You learnt to live with the constant dirty taste it in your mouth, of a layer coating your teeth (and everything else).
  4. Alcohol/cigarettes. Both could be bought at the festival but prices were a little inflated and most people came suitably stocked. The same was true for all other poisons.
  5. Baby/wet wipes. Crawling in to bed having wiped off some of the dust layers was more than a luxury.
  6. Electrolytes. We brought a big tub of GatorAid and although I can’t stand the stuff, I needed it to replace all those salts lost through dancing and dehydration. We stuck it in water bottles and brought it along on daytime missions into the festival.


  1. Solar shower. Yep. Although they offered $5 showers on site (outdoor but with privacy), having our own rig meant that once a day I had about five minutes of feeling dust free and clean. It was wonderful.
  2. Cooking gear. The festival didn’t actually allow open flames and the discovery of our cooking gear could have led to us being kicked off site, yet it saved us some money and meant mornings could still start with a percolated coffee. What we soon realised was that there were so many great eating spots serving great quality feeds at decent prices that cooking at camp wasn’t actually quite as desirable as we expected.
  3. Parasol. I carried mine with me everywhere, a plain green thing. Other’s carried theirs everywhere and I realised my idea of a parasol was entirely unoriginal and everyone else’s were much more beautiful and decorative. But functionwise? They all did the job.
  4. Light sabers, wigs and glow masks. And face paints. Even if we transported a broken light saber all the way from New South Wales to Far North Queensland, it still formed part of an essential festival fancy dress kit. Okay, maybe not essential. But adds to the fun.
  5. Fairy lights and decorations to create home. I’m a Cancerian so maybe my want to nest wherever I base myself was realised through these little camp set-up pleasures. Others clearly have this down to an art.
  6. Proper pillow. Some people would scoff but few people complain when they get to lay their head down on a comfy pillow rather than a squished together, hard pile of clothes. I slept beautifully, through doof and human traffic. I’m sure the pillow helped some.
  7. Change of clothes and pillow cases. Clean, dust free stuff saved for near the end would have been amazing. Instead we slept in our own dirt and dust. Ah well.

Anything I’ve forgotten to mention? That I should know about for next time?


Filed under activity & sport, australia, culture, festivals, oceania, travel

Backtracking to Splendour in the Mud 2012

Jack White doing his thing on the main stage

Jack White doing his thing on the main stage

I would never have found myself in amidst soggy Jack White fans at the end of a wet first day at Splendour if it hadn’t been for a surprise reissue ticket tucked inside a couscous box and wrapped elaborately in Happy Birthday wrapping paper.

Have you felt how the town is coming to life?’ asked a woman I was introduced to on the streets of Byron Bay a few days later. ‘You’re not a fan of wintertime Byron then?’ I asked. ‘I don’t like it when it’s dead. I love this because… because I’m not dead!’ she said.

Whilst true locals might bemoan the anonymity of a busy Byron and welcome quieter winter moments where bumping into familiar faces on the streets is much more likely, the fact remains: Splendour in the Grass brings big bucks to the area. And a bit of a buzz.

So, the day arrived, full of sunshine and the promise of a good line-up.

Let's get this festival started

Let’s get this festival started

Buses passed by fast walking ticket holders on the trek out of town, onwards to Belongil fields.  Whilst I waited for a friend, a group of girls sashayed past in a calm confidence of orange hair, high belts and eyeliner. Policemen waited by the entrance, sniffer dogs pulling at their leads.

I’ve been to a fair few festivals back in the UK so had some idea of what to expect. But key differences? Wintertime, for a start (the thought of having a festival in winter in the UK seems… well… wrong). And no grassy verges to crash back on and view the music from afar. And considering Splendour is one of Australia’s biggest festivals? It felt tiny (and I loved it for it).

Similarities? Queues for the bar, twinkly lighting when dusk set in, the somewhat tragic casualty of the curled up person who got too messed up to even make it into the festival.  And artistic décor that reflected time and energy and the eye of the artisan.

Crowds coming and going

Crowds coming and going

Planning the next stage move (and my favourite random festival photo girl)

Planning the next stage move (and my favourite random festival photo girl)

The Tipi Forest stage

The Tipi Forest stage

Night arrives

Night arrives

And the rain. That was similar. Because within ten minutes of getting in amongst it, the dark cloud that had followed us into the grounds enveloped the sky and gave birth, raining and hailing down with such ferocity it drove even the mud dancers into hiding. Momentarily.

A bit of rain and the crowds retreat

A bit of rain and hail and the crowds retreat

$80 wellies/gum boots

$80 wellies/gum boots

The only one in our group to come prepared

The only one in our group to come prepared

Friends helping each other out

Friends helping each other out

Glastonbury, eat your heart out.

Or welly sellers (aka gum boot pimps) eat your heart out (because the crowds flocked to their stalls, parting with silly cash to stylishly protect their tootsies from inevitable sogginess of that wet July day).


Filed under australia, culture, festivals, oceania

Sampling the sounds at sea


Sound check

20th Century American writer, Henry Beston, once said that ‘the three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.

But what about getting away from the beach and actually being out in the outer ocean? Maybe he never had the opportunity to check out the sounds associated with sailing across the vast South Pacific Sea. During my three-week journey from Galapagos to Tahiti I certainly had the time to get familiar with the noises of the middle of nowhere.

Back sometime in the reign of the Romans, poet Virgil uttered that ‘every sound alarms’. Totatlly out of context, I hear him on a literal level, because although this quote is more usually linked to discussions of guilty conscience and such like, sounds – and unknown sounds in particular – seem to put me on high alert.

The creaks and thuds and squeaks of the boom as the wind grabs the mainsail and rattles her about were initially unsettling, but now I tune out, to some extent. Below deck clunks and bashes as waves whack the bottom of the boat are sometimes so strong that they physically jump me in my bed and send a shock through my body. These sounds, in forte, are so linked to motion that their impact is accentuated. I feel each thing that I hear. Their sound is fully imprinted.

Gentler overtones include the flutter and ripple of the sail when the wind blows a different directional gust, whilst the whoosh of water rushing out of the back of the boat gives a sense of momentum and is the constant soundtrack to our voyage. It’s too light a sound to be the baseline but it’s there, always; a practised concerto with a limited melody.

Bursts of laughter and conversation colour the piece and add a choral element, whilst the daily generator eruption provides some guttural oomph. Indoor fans and the random hum of the sumps in action add some sound fuzz and grate and purr to the score.  We need some electronics in there. Let’s make this rich and big and keep it real. This isn’t a fairytale with a twinkly, tinkly track list.

In some respects our boat and time at sea are part of an expressionist orchestral piece, dissonant yet full of life. And we’re not talking vivace here, please, this is a sailing overture created by the universe, our great conductor, our maestro, and the tempo is far more lento than we’d like at times. Lento yet full of awkward dissonance; gentle with some heart tightening explosions.

As I conclude this post, I think back to Beston’s comments and realise that the sounds I’ve experienced out at sea are the result of interactions between humankind and nature, and not just elemental forces working alone. In terms of elemental forces out at sea, the sound of night-time silence has to be the strongest, a loud sound accompanied by a full, sparkling sky.

But no! Of course, that silence isn’t true! I’ve obviously tuned out the gentle water rush as we slice through the sea, onwards to French Polynesia and the upcoming reality of real life. The tricks of sound and of the mind. Who knows any more what is actual or imagined out here. Does it even matter?


Filed under activity & sport, culture, music, nature, pacific, random, sailing, sea

Why you should skip the tourist bar and head straight for a peña instead


Trad play

After a night out in a pretty nondescript club where the only thing unusual was a stabbing on the dance floor, I was more than happy to sample something a little more… more typically Bolivian, I guess.

My friend Max suggested a peña. ‘It’s a place for traditional music’, he said. Did I fancy it? Sure! Of course! Something different, something local. Finally.

Me and a little posse of travellers made our way along a side street in La Paz and down some stairs into the belly of a building where musicians sang and played woodwind and percussion whilst groups of friends clustered around tables, chatting, drinking and welcoming in a Friday night.


Candlelit moodiness and music

Ojo de Agua didn’t fit with Frommer’s comments about peñas tending to be very touristy. We were pretty much the only tourists in there, and it was obvious. So we split up and mixed and merged.

By candlelight I drank te con te, a hot alcoholic drink, and chatted and danced with locals. Pan pipes, accelerating beats and spinning around and around after too many shots of warm, alcoholic tea made me deliciously dizzy.

As the music wound down, we all climbed back up and out of this high ceilinged, lightly populated dance hall and back into the cold, cold chill of La Paz. Early evening fumes had lifted and the streets were surprisingly quiet for a city on the brink of a wild weekend.

The evening finished further away from the centre in a softly lit bar bursting with Bolivians and the smell of cigarette smoke and rising heat from a huddled collective of bodies. People bent in to hear near whispers, orders were murmured at the bar. A man perched on a stool crooned away, finishing songs with a dramatic burst of strummed chords, claps and whoops exploding after the final slap.

I may have missed out on the salt flats eco rave but this low-key night out was a cosy little moment in the great city of La Paz and a lovely little reintroduction to a social drink and dance after far too long on antibiotics.

As the only tourists in both places, it was also a teeny taste of the real La Paz.


Filed under bolivia, culture, dancing, food & drink, music, south america

Attempted murder on the dance floor


Party people in La Paz (photo: Carl Maybry©)

It was gone 03:30am, I was totally sober and one of a few people in the Azul nightclub in La Paz not revved up on alcohol or cocaine. Tiredness was giving me that dazed, drunken effect but I felt pretty damn good that I was still holding up.

I became an artist, decorating friends’ faces with UV paint. In turn, my face was painted in yellows and pinks, covering some of the black stamps from another creative burst earlier in the evening. I chatted and laughed, I swigged water and I danced shamelessly to bad music on the teeny dance floor.

And then I saw it: pools of bright red blood covering the ground by my feet, fainter towards the bar where people had unknowingly stumbled through, streaking and smearing the place in the colour of danger. Splodges of UV paint shone out in between.

And the crowd continued to dance.

I’d somehow missed the disturbance on the dance floor. A stabbing, some local guy told me, two Bolivians. I couldn’t see how someone could have survived that much blood loss. But was it really blood? It was so bright.


Starting to notice the blood

Bar staff eventually started to mop up and the revellers were encouraged to leave. And there again, trails of blood, coagulating on the stairs and on the pavement.

We waited for a taxi. A few of us were hushed in disbelief. People continued to spill out of the club. Some stood in the pools of blood, oblivious. I stopped a few. If they didn’t care about the stabbing, maybe they’d care about their shoes? And would the blood not need to remain as it was for police evidence?

A man came out of the Azul nightclub and started to pour a clear liquid over the blood on the pavement. He scrubbed away with a stiff brush, pushing a watery, bloody mix onto the road. Before long, little remained. No police showed up.

A few days later I discovered that the man had survived. This was the same time that some of the partiers who had been there that night finally realised that someone had actually been stabbed.

Three times, I told them, did you not see all the blood? Too off their heads. But for me, sober, I saw it and I felt it raw and it stuck like something from a movie still. And I wished it were just all a movie or a figment of my imagination but no, this was real life touching on the only certainty of death.

The papers didn’t report it, from what I managed to gather, and the police seemed to ignore it. I discovered that a tourist had also been involved in a minor way.  But that about the main guy? Despite the double stabbing, he got lucky and was recuperating in hospital. Life wasn’t done with him just yet.

People told me that La Paz, like many a city, has a dangerous, crazy side, but to see it up close on my first night? What a reality check.


Filed under bolivia, cities, culture, dancing, health, music, random, south america

What a day to arrive! Vallegrande celebrates

Vallegrande is a town with about 6,000 inhabitants situated 118km from where I’d been staying in Samaipata. I’d taken a two and a half hour bus journey cramped in the aisle amongst sleeping babies and bulky bags. As the only gringa on board, I had stuck out like a sore thumb and had been the centre of attention and the butt of teenage jokes that I couldn’t understand. But I’d arrived, sorted out some lovely accommodation and life was sweet.

I was only spending one day in the town and coincidentally, it was a party weekend. Once I’d dropped my bags in Hotel Plaza Pueblo and eaten some cake with the family who ran the place, I decided to get out there and explore a little.

I wandered down a cobbled street to Plaza Rubén Terrezas where, on the taxi driver’s recommendation, I bought some bread which I nibbled as I ventured over to the main plaza.

Plaza 26 de Enero was heaving with people and stalls, the weekend fiesta to celebrate ‘400 years of the foundation of the city of Montes Claros Jesus and the Knights of Vallegrande’ (now there’s a mouthful) kicking off with toffee apples and drinking and dancing to a live band.


Early evening at the fiesta in the plaza, Vallegrande

A guy started to talk to me as I went looking for a warm drink. ‘You were in the collectivo from Santa Cruz?’ he asked. He looked familiar but not. I wasn’t sure. He bought me a drink, a base shot of Singani topped with hot, frothy milk. Warming and tasty. Perfect for the chilly night air.

You want another?’ he asked having downed his pretty quickly. I decided not. Tipsy, alone and disoriented wouldn’t be the smartest move.


Singani liquor used for cocktails, and alcoholic milk drinks, apparently


One local guy get a refill of the alcoholic milk

Whilst I supped my milky drink, an old woman with twinkling eyes started to talk to me, curious about where I was from. And then she told me how she’d known Che Guavara, how he was a good man, agradable, and that she was glad I was following his journey, his route.

I went to watch the dancing. A young guy started to bounce around in front of me, animated, a little drunk. Someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was one of the lads from the back of the bus, bottle of liqueur in hand. He insisted he was 26.

You must try some’ said Daniel pouring red viscous liquid into a plastic tumbler. I had a small shot. A little sickly, sweet and fruity, it’s what I’d seen a lot of people sipping on around the square.


Arocco, Daniel’s friend, turned up. More shots were dealt and soon the two of them were swigging from the bottle. They rattled away in fast Spanish. I nodded, said yes, said no, told them I didn’t understand. I picked up the odd word but more often than not lost the context of what was being said.

Later, Arocco insisted that he was the great-great-nephew of Che, but unfortunately that was all the information I could glean from his extended, passionate soliloquy. Evidently, he rated the guy (a stark contrast to both boys’ response to the Bolivian president Evo Morales).

I didn’t know what to believe. There seemed to be plenty of people with a connection to Che, real or imagined. I guess it didn’t really matter. The sentiment was loud and clear.

In the plaza the musicians packed up, hefty speakers were bussed away and the crowds started to dissipate. I found my way back through poorly lit streets to Hotel Plaza Pueblo, said goodnight to the family and crashed out in my massive twin room, wondering what other unplanned adventures lay ahead.

In Vallegrande I stayed in Hotel Restaurante “Plaza Pueblo” on Calle Virrey Mendoza no. 132, Vallegrande and paid 70Bs. (£6.35/US$10.20) for solo occupation in a twin room with shared bathroom. Breakfast was included but was basic. The hotel is a short walk from the market, and the main plaza, Plaza 26 de Enero, is only a little further along.

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Filed under bolivia, culture, dancing, festivals, food & drink, south america

Music, magic and the Festival of Lights

Every year, New Plymouth in New Zealand hosts the Festival of Lights for over a month during the summer period where bands play each night and the park is transformed into a magical place full of colour and light. Ferns swish in the breeze, people row on the lake under a rising full moon and kids play in a floodlit playground under the presence and sound of a scary, snoring giant.


Boating on the lake in Pukeura Park, New Plymouth


Scary, sleeping, snoring giant in Pukeura Park, New Plymouth

Together with a couple of friends, I was on my way to see the Brazilian inspired band, Zamba Flam, play with Brazilian guest musicians. Clearly still unable to let go of my ongoing romance with South America, my time in New Zealand coincidentally has often seemed to lead me back to Latin experiences. I’m not complaining. A couple of beers in our rucksacks and some plastic bags to protect our bums from the damp ground, this was a cheap evening of free entertainment with a relaxed, summertime atmosphere.

Along the walk down into the park, the plants and trees along the pathway were coloured with pink and blue and green and yellow lighting. The waterfall went through changes of projected colour sequences, and people posed for photographs and parents chatted to other parents whilst their kids manically bounced around, excitement for being up way past their bedtime. The sweetness of summer holidays.


Lights at Pukeura Park

 The band started their bossa nova rhythms accompanied by the low, silky voice of Alda Rezende. Groups of friends and families gathered around in clusters, clapping politely and chatting quietly in between songs. Couples cuddled in closely and a few uninhibited souls danced and swayed freely to the beat.


Music in Pukeura Park

By 10:00pm it was over, but there was one more thing that I really wanted to see: the glow worms. We walked by fabricated, oversized and UV lit flowers, and then tiptoed our way down a pitch dark pathway, voices to a whisper.

And suddenly I saw the earthy bank twinkling with little lights. Further along it was even denser, these little worms shining out lights so bright that I questioned whether they were in fact real or yet another part of the fictional, fantasy world created by this festival.

Back through the fernery, again drizzled with colour and light and magic, and we headed out of the park and back to normality under the gaze of the man on the moon. A midsummer night’s dream? Yes, it sure felt like it.


A midsummer night's dream?


Filed under culture, dancing, festivals, music, new zealand