Since 1991, people have descended upon the Supernatural Amphitheatre and this year saw 12,000 punters fill the grounds with couches and eskies for three sun-drenched days and two music-filled nights at the 23rd Meredith Music Festival.
After a rain soaked set from Warped and Stonefield, things dry up in time for US act Deerhunter to take the stage, followed by a bit of ’90s nostalgia with metal rockers Melvins. Brian Jonestown Massacre prove psychedelic rock doesn’t age and chasing them shortly after are the younger, new romantic-inspired World’s End Press. An attempt to vogue like Mads by lead singer John Parkinson, despite synchronised dancers and a stunning silver jacket, is easily outshone by rapper Le1f, a man who can twerk better than Miley could ever wish to.
Courtney Barnett gets things warmed up on day two and despite a slow and unsteady beginning for Canadian stoner rocker Mac DeMarco, in the end he rocks out hard enough to steal a tradition usually reserved for phenomenal moments at sister festival Golden Plains. As he leaps into the crowd in his signature beige overalls, the shoes go up to tell him the audience has given him the Boot.
With a strict no dickhead policy in place, the police are left to patrol the grounds armed with sunscreen, serving and protecting against those bad UV rays. With no arrests this year, it seems Aunty Meredith is setting the right tone. One word of advice: watch out for those pesky eskies littering the festival, you never know when one might hit you in the shin*.
US hiphop youngster Joey Bada$$ drags in the crowds and sets the pace for Saturday, and after a rock respite from Helmet and Beasts of Bourbon, a somewhat self-indulgent Spiderbait hit the stage, keen to remind everyone just how long they’ve been around. Drowning them out with an hour and a half of soul and sax, Chic (featuring Nile Rodgers) spread the Saturday night dance fever, all while looking pretty damn dapper in white.
One DJ seems to just put his iPod on shuffle, living out that awkward moment when your fave nineties ballot comes on accidently, and becomes perhaps the only DJ to ever follow up the Smiths with Mariah Carey. Cue the godfather of techno, Derrick May, to set things right, proving that hitting 50 isn’t an excuse to stop mixing tracks.
Things slow down on Sunday as the packing up begins, with folksy band Davidson Brothers quelling the energy with their banjos and country tunes.
In light of a not-so-killer line-up, Aunty Meredith still puts on one hell of a show. Making up for the lack of mind-blowing musical moments are the array of activities from the ferris wheel and campsite podcasts, to kaftan parties and kissing booths. An old school movie projector runs at night, a massage tent is open all day and there’s plenty of food from Taco Truck to Banh Mi Boys, so even if you miss an act, there's guaranteed entertainment,
Of course, no Meredith is complete with out a few naughty bits on display, as 60 keen beans drop their daks and sprint to take out first prize in the Gift. Repeat offender Angus Sampson drags the event out for just a little too long and when the last bums cross the line, it’s well and truly home time.
* this reviewer found out the hard way, getting a first hand experience of the first aid tent.