Mar 10, 2008

Playground Weekender Festival

Last year I attended the very first Playground Weekender Festival. I could only go for one day, the Sunday, but I really enjoyed myself, so a return trip was planned this year. Again, various other committments meant I could only attend for one day, but I found myself having a pleasant and enjoyable day again. This time I went on the Saturday and luckily the weather turned good, after a torrential downpour on the Friday night. This left the venue soggy and muddy in various spots, but apart from that the conditions were fine. For those of you that haven't attended this festival, it is in a lovely part of the world. Set on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, 15 minutes from Wisemans Ferry, the organisers use the Del Rio Resort as their base. So plenty of people use the cabins to stay in, or just camp on the grounds. The location, although spectacular, would seem to be the only detriment to this festival making a bigger impact. For most people, I would assume it would take a major committment to attend, as the location is not exactly an easy place to get to. This seemed to contribute to the seemingly small attendance. Also this year, the music lineup seemed more skewed to the party crowd, with a heavier emphasis on dance music. This is not exactly my cup of tea, but I found enough during the day to keep myself occupied. I watched sets by I Heart Hiroshima and Josh Pyke. But the definite highlight was a set by our returning heroes Dappled Cities Fly.

I hadn't seen Dappled Cities Fly for a while. Certainly not since their return from an extended tour of the USA. Armed with a new drummer, they have not changed much otherwise. Which is a good thing. They are as effervescent, charming and exciting as ever before. Despite playing before a sparse crowd, they attacked their set with gusto. Creating their trademark melodies, they certainly entertained me. The set was a balance between songs from "Granddance" and some newer songs woven into the day. All of the new stuff sounded exciting, which augurs well for a new record. Although it seems like it won't be out until 2009. Of their already recorded tunes I really enjoyed "Holy Chord" and "Vision Bell". Older classics like "Cream" and Peach" were not played, having me believe that perhaps their older repertoire has been retired for now. Once again this band proved that they are up with the best this country has to offer.


  • At March 11, 2008 , Anonymous Maria said...

    I think coming for one day is the best thing you can do at the Playground Weekender which is why you had such a great experience.

    Angus and I attempted to go on the Friday night, and got caught in the storm whilst waiting for the ferry, which meant everything was soaked right through and we had to turn around and go home. We tried again the next morning, but didn't arrive there till the afternoon which meant we just missed Dappled. We had Media passes to take photos but they were pretty much wasted because we missed everyone we really wanted to see, and although I got photos of all the people in the evening, K&D were very boring and hard to take photographs of.

    I think it's a really badly organised festival. I know they're just trying to get people to stick around till the end, but it doesn't seem to be working... most people left on Sunday morning, which means I can imagine a very pissed off Ian Brown coming out on stage and finding no one standing there to watch him. Most people have to work on Mondays, so sticking around till 11pm, only to queue for a ferry for an hour, and THEN drive back home on a dangerous road for an hour and a half is a ridiculous ask.

  • At March 11, 2008 , Blogger Wayne said...

    Maria, I think you make some very good points. Our short stay was in beautiful weather and even though the music wasn't great (DCF excepted), the setting and sunshine made up for it. I would agree that getting there and back is an ordeal, especially on a Sunday night. We saw The Dears last year on the Sunday night and nearly everyone had left.


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