Being a Part of Earth Frequency

A few months ago I had the unreal experience of going to Earth Frequency, a music festival held in Ipswich, Queensland, around February each year. I say ‘music’ festival, but really this doesn’t sum it up at all. Yes, there is music, mostly alternative, but there’s much more to the festival than just that.

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My Camp

Before even entering the main festival grounds the campsites themselves can be an adventure. Some people arrive with just their tent, but for most this is a well prepared and thought out process. People bring trailers and vans full of stuff to personalise their camps. Proper sofas, tarps, fairy lights, bikes. Some people even go to the lengths of creating their own bars complete with dance floor and dj booth. When I stumbled upon one of these I had to look twice to work out if it was part of the festival site or not.

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Once out of the camp area I walked around the beautiful, lush, green festival site where I came across art installations and galleries, a village full of food and clothes stalls. I sat in on healing, soul and body workshops, listening to people talk and sharing ideas. I very quickly felt I was a part of the Earth Frequency community.

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When darkness fell the site was transformed into a psychedelic wonder land. I immersed myself in the music, exploring the 3 different stages, taking in the décor and theme of each stage and feeling the energy of everyone dancing together.

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As I said, Earth Frequency isn’t just about the music, but it is a big part. With both international and local artists, there were all types of genres being played from techno, to psytrance, to hip hop, to stuff I don’t even know how to categorise.

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To be honest the only artist I knew beforehand was a guy called Dub FX, an unbelievable beat boxer/singer. He creates music by looping sounds and beats made by his own voice, building the song right up and then singing over the top of it. Most of the music carries strong messages too. It was amazing finally getting to see him perform live.

But not knowing any of the artists has it’s perks. Rather than rushing around trying to stick to a pre-made timetable, I was able to just go between the stages depending on my mood, and only purposefully went to see a few artists I liked the sound of.

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The main stage was probably the most impressive. And in between music acts the crowds would come in close to watch intermission entertainment. Dancers would move in extravagant costumes to ambient, atmospheric music, sometimes dancing with fire.

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On the Saturday evening an opening ceremony was held by the original aboriginal landowners. They welcomed us to their land, asked us to respect and look after it, and then put on a show of aboriginal song and dance.

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On the final day a big closing ceremony was held. Everyone came together and sat in a semi circle around the stage. There were words from the aboriginal landowners and then dancers came on for one last final act.

As they danced to slow ambient music a girl spoke about the idea of the festival, the culture it promotes. The importance of respecting and looking after the earth. Most people sat or lay back with their eyes closed, breathing in and out, just listening to her words.

Afterwards a feast was prepared. I couldn’t believe it! Everyone lined up to grab a plate and then walked alongside a long table piled up with food, it looked like a magical edible garden. Chicken, pork, beef, potatoes, vegetables, pineapple. So much food and even better it tasted amazing.

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Me, Chris and our friend Miko

Earth Frequency is definitely a festival I’ll always remember. It’s a place where anyone can go and fully be themselves. You can leave your real life behind for a few days, and just immerse yourself in the Earth Frequency culture. There’s so much to learn, so many ideas being shared, it might just change your outlook on life.

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Pelicans

If there’s one thing I love about Australia it’s the wild life, it’s just so diverse and it’s everywhere, I feel like I see something new every week. And my favourite animal this week is the pelican.

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These birds are pretty massive, they almost look like some kind of modern day pterodactyl! I love it the way they stand side on to you, just staring at you through their big unblinking eye… although it is a bit weird.

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The first time I saw a pelican in Australia was while working on the farm in Blighty, NSW. Being about 4 hours away from the coast I was a bit confused! But apparently they turn up every year, around the start of winter, when the irrigation channels get drained and there’s lots of fish to be had.

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Now, travelling up the East Coast they’re almost as common as seagulls, although much less annoying. You’ll see them on the beaches or hanging around the inlets, patiently waiting for the fishermen to get back, as they know they’ll get some fish scraps.

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Pictures by Chris

 

How to Speak like an Australian… or should I say Aussie

If there’s one thing that characterises the way Australians speak, more than anything, I’d say it would have to be their use of abbreviations. Australians, or should I say Aussies, love shortening as many words as possible and it seems anything goes.

I first became aware of this while working with Aussies at a dairy farm. ‘Arvo’ would be used instead of ‘afternoon’, ‘preg’ testing instead of ‘pregnancy’ testing, and a calf born ‘premature’ would be called the ‘preemie’.

Once you become aware of it you start to hear these abbreviations everywhere, especially if you watch TV or listen to the radio. ‘Musicians’ are referred to as ‘musos’, ‘jelly’ is the word used for ‘jealous’, and I’ve even heard journalists call ‘politicians’ ‘pollys’!

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Time To Start Writing

Me and Chris

Me and Chris

22 months ago I decided to leave home in Northern Ireland and go travelling to New Zealand.  I’ve never really known what it is I wanted to do with my life career wise, all I know is I’ve always had a desire to travel and see what else is out there.  I’m not one of the many Irish who leave home, looking to move to the other side of the world and expecting the grass to be greener.  For me it’s all about seeing different places, experiencing different cultures, and at this point, I still expect I’ll be home some day.

Since arriving in New Zealand I’ve done so much.  I’ve waitressed in a busy Auckland restaurant, tried my hand at orchard work, and spent two ski seasons as a snow bum.  When I wasn’t working my boyfriend, Chris, and I were travelling around the country freedom camping in our car.  It was our goal when we arrived to see as much of New Zealand as possible and in a bit of depth.  I didn’t want to be one of these people who work in Auckland for ten months and then book onto a tour bus and rush around the country in six weeks.  And I’m pretty sure we’ve achieved this, maybe even overdone it a little!

My only regret the whole time I’ve been here is that, other than the odd Facebook status here and there, I haven’t written down any of my experiences.  When you’re travelling the weeks very quickly run into one another and before you know it, half a year’s gone by and, other than hundreds of unorganised photos, you don’t have much to remember it by.  So I thought I’d give blogging a go, to share my experiences and remind myself of what I’ve done.

Vicki Larkin