Peats Ridge 2012 – The Review


It is certainly is a sight to behold, seeing a hundred sets of genitals and tits bouncing around like pairs of crazy frogs at an after dark, out-door disco in the middle of Glenworth Valley. Even more fun when you’re one of the people involved. (Dear spectators – you missed out!)

As a brit-chick, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this Aussie 3 day New Year extravaganza, but Peats Ridge delivered in so many more ways than I had hoped. Yes there was a solid line up of 200 acts across 10 stages, but it was the little quirky things, the strange things and the photos of things that can’t go on facebook that really brought this festival together, making it one of my most memorable to date.

Public nudity is a favourite pastime of mine, so indulging in this somewhat cheeky hobby at the Naked Disco with some fellow flap flashers and willy wangers was really rather special. I even overlooked the shitty DJ; nakedness makes up for a lot of short-comings. Cough.

As well as hot water showers, there is so much s  p  a  c  e in the camping grounds.  No sleeping with your tent so close to someone else you can hear (and smell) their booze coma farts. Our BMX’s  made those early morning trips to the portaloos slightly more bearable.

Far from just a music festival, if you managed to shake off the night before in time for some sunshine fun, you could immerse yourself in day time activities as spiritual as Tai Chi, or as sexual as S&M lectures. Eating Sustainably talk or Worm Farming anyone? No thanks, I’m off to laughter yoga me!  Yes, seriously, I did laughter yoga.

And I liked it.

And it wasn’t remotely wanky. It was actually hilarious and bloody good fun. The tent was over-flowing with eager chucklers, and the atmosphere was electric. A bunch of random silliness addicts giggling at imaginary credit card statements, shouting Aloha – HAHAHAAAA and throwing their hands in the air with glee hollering, YAYYYY. Good for the soul. As well as the lack of serotonin that a jolly good camping festi can induce.

Bizarre day-time activities aside, there was a lot of dub going down; all varieties of. Roots and reggae are rife at Peats. Probably as I spent most of time in the Dub Shack; one of the smaller outdoor arenas with just enough shade to dodge in and out of the 30 degree sun with each thud of bass.

Taking this theme to main stage, New Zealand’s The Black Seeds were the shining stars of the festival and could easily have a taken late slot on NYE. They brought such energy, passion and spirit to the stage, they even won over my minimal-techno-only mate. Just.

Other stand out acts were Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings who clearly live to perform as they never ever drop their game; Unknown Mortal Orchestra who had the stage presence of a much older act; Gaudi, a pair of bass addicts who are a few accents short of a world collection, and a band I’d never heard of called Benjalu who stepped up when another act pulled a no-show.

But wait, I’ve missed out the most insane bit! The Night Odditorium. A place where anything, and I really do mean anything goes.  Giant penis’ and vaginas strolling around, occasionally copulating with each other.  Burlesque acts hurling shit into the audience. A crooked phone box where all numbers get through to God; who just happens to be a right gobby BITCH! Freaky sexual deviants thrashing out rock music. A crazy ‘Exhibitionist’ room – more addictive than nicotine – where one goes to watch oneself…you really must go next year to see this for yourself!

So did anything disappoint? Only two little things. One – the only place to buy ice was right at the back of the festival – no one wants to go on a half hour mission just to make sure their site is fully chilled. Two – Krafty Kuts, who I have loved since I was about 18 (a looooong time ago) was utter ball bags.  Crappy Cuts.  A friend put it perfectly when she said the set sounded like ‘something you’d hear at a wedding’. Oh dear.

If you love music, you like unusual entertainment and you have an open mind, do not miss out on Peats Ridge when new years rolls round again. It’s quite possibly the best way I have ever, ever concluded a set of 12 months.

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