Hello! I'm tired and dusty and just a little bit crusty but it's all for a good cause, romping the streets of Woodford in search of fun.
Someone I met yesterday said that they'd never been to a festival where there was so much time between gigs. My reaction was a doubletake -- WHAT? Turns out he was focusing only on the music, on the (make rabbit-ears here) big gigs (stop making rabbit-ears with your fingers now).
But that's the whole point! This isn't a MUSIC festival! It's more of an alternate culture festival. And I don't mean that in a feral sense, not anymore. Ferals are waaay outnumbered by the plebs who just want a fun time in a meaningful way (except tonight, when the whole place becomes inundated by drug-fueled fun-timers from Brisbane and the normal festival-goers bunker into their venue of choice to avoid the New Year street scenes). No, this is a festival where the main problem is finding the time to do everything! Aside from the music, there are spoken-word venues, comedy clubs, visual art classes, street performers who don't ask you for money, film festivals, excellent food stalls, clothing stals to browse, and a fully-functional children's festival (unlike the one at the National Folk Festival). How you could be bored here is beyond me!
OK, highlights from the last couple of days:
Me & Mr Brown. Yes, the combination of Bob Brown and transvestite comedian Dolly Putin was pretty damn good, apart from Bob looking extremely nervous and wooden. Dolly made up for it with slick, pacey jokes and a few Kath & Kim references. Totally Gourdeous were fabulous as usual and won my heart yet again by playing a Baterz song (Polesitter, for those of you who care).
Mehow. A very odd magician with dark patter between and during tricks. Finishes by trying to cut his arm off unsuccesfully, which freaks out the kiddies.
The Breakfast Show. This has taken a very political bent this year, with guests Kerry O'Brien a few days ago (I forgot to mention the great discussion about accusations that the ABC is hostage to Australian university graduates, and Kerry pointing out that he'd never been to university. He was kicked out of his Christian Bros school six weeks before the end of his Senior, and was allowed to return to do his exams only), Peter Garrett yesterday (stay tuned for the Youtube clip) and today we had Sandy McCutcheon and George Negus. All good fun, with Martin Pearson and John Thompson not only being very funny, but very astute interviewers.
Tarnished. This was a women's cabaret/circus act featuring four women who included Tiger Lil from the Happy Sideshow days. (Space Cowboy is also at the Festival, bending spoons etc.) This was a great show, with a lot to say about female sexuality and constructions of feminity, and I wish I could write more about it now. That'll have to wait, unfortunately.
Time up. Only two more days to go, and then back to the jungle of the outside world. Sometimes this place feels like civilisation. More photos at flickr! (use yesterday's link, no time now, sorry!)