Jungle Love Festival @ Lake Moogerah, 22nd November
I didn’t know what I was getting myself into as I made my way through the dusty little roads that separated what are literally the hordes of cows, which make up the lovely little town of Aratula, finally slipping onto the bank of Lake Moogerah. Jungle Love Festival sort of crept it’s way into my ears through a few friends who only sort of barely knew what it was themselves – ‘the line up is pretty interesting, the location is beautiful and I’m pretty sure it’s BYO’. I arrive at the campsite in what has got to be the most blistering heat we’ve had all year. The dust clouds form and part around my car while half human/half pupil tie-dyed creatures scamper across the driveway as I try to find a park.
…A handful of palm trees tied together with hammocks sit atop the small hill, which looks onto the colourful stage.
The campsite sits barely a metre from the lip of the beautiful Lake Moogerah, which itself is surrounded in a necklace of rock and bush scattered mountains. To the left are the festival grounds, a handful of palm trees tied together with hammocks sit atop the small hill, which looks onto the colourful stage. Even more colourful are the people; there’s a strong ‘free the nipple’ vibe, more men in dresses than there are women, somebody must be doing free septum piercings and it’s amazing how many people are looking for some dude called Sid.
Desmond Cheese is a fan favourite; the audience members brave enough to face the midday sun titter and tatter to some warped hip-hop beats while drinking murky liquids out of dusty water bottles. Not too long after, Boss Moxi come on stage, their sound is a fairly distinct one; The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly-esque dashed into a bubbling pot of grunge and funk. These guys do well and the crowd responds incredibly, against all odds that our skin may just melt off our bones at any given moment. With barely enough energy in me to join a group of really stoned hula-hoopers, I retreat to the shade of a palm tree and start snoozing in a hammock.
I can’t help but think how easy it is to fall in love with DeVita…
I only wake up in time for the second half of WAAX’s set, fortunately the sun has realised it partied way too hard at a shindig it was only sorta invited to. WAAX are pretty mental; the punk vibes that lead singer, Marie DeVita, spews into the crowd feel nice against the soothing backdrop of Lake Moogerah’s mirroring water. It’s still fairly humid but the guitarist doesn’t seem to mind as he gulps rum from the bottle mid-set. I can’t help but think how easy it is to fall in love with DeVita as she attempts to expel whatever demonic force has locked itself onto her.
The Furrs are next and I’ve found a place to sit and watch from atop the small hill standing over the stage’s centre, but I can’t really concentrate as my eyes are overwhelmed with the level of coolness that is being showcased; these guys look as if they’ve slipped through a portal that opened in the back of a 70s country band’s van. I spend some more time in the lake and before I know it I’m listening to a line-up of spoken word artists, all of whom make me realise I’ve been missing out on an excellent form of performance entertainment.
I make my way down with what seems to be 80% of the campsite to the opening of Moses Gunn Collective’s set. They remind me of The Doors and that’s pretty cool. They sound like psychedelic rock done well and this mixed with the mood of the crowd and the setting of the sun behind the stage makes for an afternoon that is both relaxing and exciting.
I drove into Jungle Love festival not really knowing what to expect and left knowing exactly where I want to be this time next year.
Forming part of the comfortable and wholesome crowd, I dance and act like a fool to Dubmarine. Dubmarine’s set finishes in a sweaty and giggling crowd watching on, eyes wide as the band ‘summons the spirits of the land’ to dance to a rhythmic, pulsating tune. The male lead is painted in neon tribal paint, while the female lead is dressed like she just made it out of her crashed spaceship alive, whatever style these guys are going for the audience laps it up.
Between leaving the main stage and dozing off in the back of my car I managed to view and participate in drunken yoga, a 4-5 hour improvised dub set, and late night nude swimming. I drove into Jungle Love festival not really knowing what to expect and left knowing exactly where I want to be this time next year. If you get the chance get into it, make some new friends and play the bloody bongo drum.