The tent is filled with the toxins arising from the inhabitants; people from all different wavelengths of society have gathered in this rhapsodic time to experience the ephemeral yet euphoric feeling that live music has the power to produce. This is no example of anecdoche – where bodies are conversing, but nobody is listening. From the voices on the stage, to the voices in the crowd, from sender to receiver – everyone has their ears attuned.
There is nothing quite as extraordinary as being in the presence of live music. Raw, vulnerable, natural music. I have never deemed myself a ‘lucky’ person when it comes to winning – radio tickets, school prizes, etc. If luck in life were a game, I am the opponent to people who have been granted and struck with the streak of great fortune for having their name called out. And yet on Australia Day, January the 26th, I found myself at Laneway Festival, Brisbane.
I once heard this word called rubatosis; the unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat. I never quite knew how you could simultaneously listen to your own body both internally and externally, and still feel entirely connected to everything that surrounds you. I never knew just how it was possible for the bass and beat of rhythms and sounds to travel all the way under your skin and into your chest; almost as if your heart and the music grab each others hands and fist pump together in beating unison. But here I was squished amongst the mass of moving bodies, just a young woman balancing a small camera in her hand whilst trying to catch her breath from the unexpected notion of rubatosis.
In a sea of strangers – some in the state of ecstasy or some actually on ecstasy – you are all connected and bound together. There is an immense pride in the music you listen to; we are all advocators for the musicians that stand on that stage, pouring their souls out for the world to hear. And yet as I look around I see nothing but authenticity and individuality. Festivals are a time to express the style that you know you would probably get judged for on the streets of Brisbane. To put it quite simply no one actually gives a fuck about you, each other, or themselves when in attendance at music festivals. Fortunately it creates quite the occasion to simply just be, without judgement or reservation. You make friends with the girl next to you who’s vomiting up that chicken burrito, or maybe the guy in front who does the exact same unworldly dance movements as you!
Every artist creates a different vibe within the tent grounds. Was it Tash Sultana’s electric guitar that plunged deep into the core of your chest, Glass Animals’ stage presence that refused to let your eyes close, or perhaps NAO’s soft yet powerful voice that made every hair on your body stand up and listen? For me it was all of these and more. And yet, there was still one that stood out from the crowd. For the first time ever I heard Gang Of Youth’s perform live and whilst their set was everything I could have ever imagined, it was a small moment after which made my heart burst. In the slip of sunlight, I watched the backstage and managed to see David Le’aupepe (the lead singer) race off the stage and run outside. Here he stopped for what could have been an hour or a second, and he simply put his hands up and stood silent and watchful, looking above with his hands raised up. That right there was the want and need for life. It was the thing we as humans all try to achieve from the day we are born. It was something that made me fall in love with music as if it was the first time again.
When I wasn’t dancing by myself, groping Erryn with 100 grateful hugs, telling my life story to two random (yet extremely friendly and kind) girls, I was trying my hand at being a true creative. With passes that allowed us to view the artists so close that I could draw the fine lines in their face, I began creating content for not only this blog but for my personal YouTube channel too. Nothing has ever felt more empowering than being on my creative grind and 100% knowing that I love what I do. If you peered from the crowd and looked at me you would know I didn’t have the biggest camera, I didn’t have 3 different lenses, hell – most of the time my footage was out of focus – but you would have seen a grin on my face that stretched from ear to ear. I fell into bed that night with my ears still ringing, my heart still beating, and my skin still hot and sticky.
Although I can never recreate the exact feelings from that day, or try to explain to you the atmosphere of that night, I can try show you. Down below you can come to Laneway Festival and see it through my eyes. Enjoy. X