For the old and decrepit among us (or maybe just me), Golden Plains is the gentler, more appealing version of the Meredith Music Festival. With decidedly fewer sprightly young things running around with all their energy, flexible joints and insolent noise, GP is a ‘safe space’ for crochety old women who wash down special brownies with too much wine and pass out in the middle of You Am I while marveling at the tightness of Tim Rogers’ pants.
I mean... at least that’s what I’ve heard.
Meteorologically speaking, we couldn’t have hoped for a better weekend. While there is literally nothing more boring than discussions involving the weather (or dreams, or Miranda Kerr, or the favourable calorie content of a pot of yoghurt), for Golden Plains I’ll make an exception. When you’re camping in country Victoria, sunshine makes all the difference. Would Neko Case have been quite so moving had the sun’s setting rays not been streaking through her fire red hair? I put it to you that she would not. Would the hip swinging, guitar stroking guapos who took us on a Spanish surf safari in Los Coronas been quite so erotic had they been playing in a freezing downpour? The answer to that, sir, is no.
Not even the devil-may-care punk rock of the Cosmic Psychos would have been able to withstand anything less than the perfect sunshine that bestowed its glory on Golden Plains 2014. In rain-lashed gales, John McKeering would have been forced to sacrifice his stubby shorts for tracky daks and everyone would have been the worse off. And while I may still have been swayed by their demands that I ‘have a beer’ at their direction, my enthusiasm for it would have been half hearted at best.
Although a damp evening chill descended over Meredith on Saturday night, it did not take our spirits down with it. This is probably partly due to the excessive consumption of other kinds of spirits, but mostly because due to the rich tones of Charles Bradley rolling out across the ‘Sup to wrap the crowd in a warm blanket of molasses and sexually suggestive imagery. Oh Charles. I’m Lovin’ You too Baby.
The traditional Sunday keynote formed more of a naturist sermon this year, with eminent cartoonist Michael Leunig advising that if people want to commune with the environment, all they need to do is sleep on it. Judging by the couple of used condoms I found on the walk between my van and the composting loos, there was a fair bit of communing going on at GP. Not a lot of sleep, mind, but a fair bit of communing. Nature, eh?
Speaking of nature, we need to have another talk adorning oneself in it. Specifically, STOP WEARING TRADITIONAL PLAINS TRIBE WARBONNETS. It is not ‘fun’ and ‘festive’ to appropriate the deeply spiritual ceremonial garb of a culture that has experienced gross ongoing erasure and racism, attempted genocide and ongoing systemic discrimination just so you can feel like a Chieftan. Golden Plains has a ‘no dickheads’ policy for a reason, and that’s because dickheads ruin the vibe of an otherwise beautiful celebration of music and community. You are not celebrating either by stealing culturally significant markers (imitation ones, no less) just so that you can add some ‘flair’ to your festival experience. You look ridiculous and completely offensive, and you’re being a dickhead. Why are you wearing it? STOP IT.
Hey, have you guys heard of ‘Twitter’? It’s this great new website where you can ‘tweet’ your favourite bands, celebrities and agents of The Man. I learned about it on Sunday night via a live infomercial presented by Publicly Incorporated, the anti-establishment political artists formerly known as ‘Public Enemy’. Apparently you can use it for all sorts of great things, such as checking out their new album and ‘tweeting’ Flavor Flav to ask for advice on the best ‘Twitter’ platform to use and whether or not paying for sponsored Facebook posts pays off in the long run. Anyway, it sounds pretty great and I was really excited to learn all about it. There was a pretty cool soundtrack as well, but it was unfortunately sporadic and I couldn’t SoundCloud it because the reception in the ‘Sup is pants. I guess I can just ‘tweet’ Flavor Flav though (@FlavorFlav) and ask him though just in case he knows. Technology is the best!
And that was Golden Plains 2014. It was hot, it was delicious and it was golden.