Falls Festival Marion Bay 2015/16

Despite being a native Taswegian, The Falls Festival at Marion Bay Tasmania has mysteriously eluded every single one of my New Years celebrations – until now. This rite of passage holds legendary status among my fellow compadres who have walked the hallowed Marion Bay earth but for some reason I couldn’t quite commit to the three nights camping, I’m not exactly the happiest of campers.

This year all that changed and I decided to wrangle a couple of other Falls virgins for an adventure of a lifetime and prepped for THE camping music festival to end all of them.

After a mild panic attack about what the hell I was doing (I know the Tasmanian sun very well and that stuff is fucking hardcore and not early-morning-tent-friendly at all) we packed up the car and made our way down in the early AM to secure the perfect camping spot and try to dodge some of the infamous traffic lines. But in the early hours of the 29th of December, the highway was already filled with fellow Falls-goers and after missing the turn off we made it there safe and sound, looking on in awe at the stunning view of Marion Bay.

Falls Festival
Day one was the time for settling in and making a piece of paddock our own. It was also time for realising our first mistake: we needed shade. No, not in the tent (that’s where your face sweats off, although it is great if you want to emulate a sauna) outside in the cool cross breeze that sometimes graces you with its presence. We sadly watched on as experienced others erected gazebos and makeshift shade covers. Oh well, lesson learned only an hour in and we were already wiser. We could only thank god for the array of gourmet food on offer, I think I ate better at Falls than I do at home, to help our flagging energy. Did I already mention it gets damn hot?

Day two was the day my friend and I became that much closer with a baby wipe sponge bath. Being the rookie I am, I didn’t realise the shower situation isn’t something to be scared of but get up there early or the line up is. The beach is just a small walk away and you have to visit and join the crowds to cool down and maybe get a bit sunburnt if you’re on the pasty side like me. It’s your standard pristine Tasmanian beach but word of warning, the water down there is like going to Antarctica – bob around a bit and you’ll feel good or maybe just a bit numb. This was the big night for me as designated driver – no one wants a hung over driver, so I went all out and danced my ass off with the help of Elliphant (um, idol much?), Toro Y Moi, Wavves, Foals and Django Django. All of which were amazing performances that took me to another world. After much protesting I was dragged away back to my tent halfway through The Avener by some wise local friends, who have walked this path before.

Day three was when my body felt like I had just completed an intensive boot camp that went non-stop – for a year. Everything hurt and pointed to the fact that I had simply gone too hard on the d-floor. I felt like a king after my warm shower (top tip: don’t forget your deodorant as you’ll be sweating buckets by the time you get back to your tent and the shower will have almost been a waste of time) and went to The Village for some chill time and crafternoon. By now I felt like this was my new way of life, all I needed to worry about was applying some glitter and false lashes in time for Gary Clark Jr. I’m not going to lie, it was a great way to be. The big moment had come (the end of 2015, if you were wondering) and everyone says no one good comes to Tassie and we get the shit end of the stick, generally that’s quite correct but this time Tas won and got to spend NYE with the likes of Rüfüs, Bloc Party, Disclosure and Bag Raiders. Uh yeah, arguably the best lineup out of all the Falls Festivals to countdown and dance into the New Year with.

Falls Festival
After baby wipes, one shower and enviro-friendly toilets (let’s say it: long drops) became my best friends I realised it’s not just the music that makes Falls so magical, it’s the combination of a damn awe-inspiring location, fantastic people (you won’t see any bum bags, gratuitous shirtlessness and fist pumping here), good vibes and so much space for activities. I survived, loved every minute of it and maybe became a happy camper – here’s to a mad 2016!


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