Local talent received well deserved airtime at this years Earthcore, after financial squabbles between festival organisers, suppliers and artists lead to an astonishing pull out of key international acts in the days leading to the festival.
Setting off for Earthcore this year, ticket holders were well aware of the colossal artist drop-out from the festivals massive line-up. After Coming Soon’s social media outrage, only days before the festival, many international acts soon followed; Electric Universe, Day.Din, Nick Curly, Marc Romboy and Hatzler – just to name a few – with more than 20 major artists following the social media propaganda. Despite this exponential trend of drop outs, some key names stuck by their word for Earthcore this year including Vini Vici, JooF and Raja Ramone.
The decline of Earthcore’s internationally stacked lineup had a silver lining – a golden opportunity for local talent to put their best foot forward. Dinie and Alex of local Melbourne duo, Equilibrium, performed their debut at Earthcore this year. Alex was “massively impressed by the local DJs that really provided the bulk of the roster”. On Equilibrium’s Earthcore experience – “our set was definitely a good selection of our core sound and it was amazing to play it out on a big system” that’s Alex, “to my surprise we had loads of people dancing” and Dinie – a success amidst kaos.
Earthcore’s long history in bringing big international lineups to Australian stages, has given the festival and it’s organisers a sort of ‘get out of jail free card’ over the years. An unmissable series of financial disputes, and various online campaigns working against the festival’s success, left ticket holders wondering whether the festival would go ahead this year. While festival organisers and aggregators bickered over dollars and deals, most festival goers simply got on with it to have a good time “I ignored the negativity and had an amazing time with my crew”, says Dinie of Equilibrium.
The Dreamland Magazine team caught up with Aviram Saharai, one part of duo Vini Vici, after his set on Sunday at the Mainstage. A Psytrance icon, Vini Vici was familiar with the Australian crowds, being his third year playing at Earthcore. Despite the drama surrounding the event Aviram made special note that he will be back next year “Australian crowd(s) (are) super cool and I love the parties here – I’ll be back next year”.
Earthcore’s charred trail of burnt bridges in the months leading to the festival led to copious late changes. Upon entering the event in Elmore, 2 hours North of Melbourne, the festival felt little like a traditional Doof. Minimal natural flora, negligible efforts in the art department and existing bathroom blocks, which though delightfully spacious, felt overtly urbanised – effectively removing the ‘bush’ from the Doof.
Whilst the festival lacked traditional Doof culture and entertainment, such as a well endowed workshops lineup, crowds were still entertained by frequent appearances across the two stages from flamethrowers, dancers and hula hoopers throughout the weekend.
It was live percussion duo, JunkStorm, however, who stole the show, offering campsite intersections round the clock live performances on their homemade, mobile drum cart “it was awesome to play in an environment that is completely suited to the type of music we play”. Made exclusively from repurposed landfill parts, such as yoghurt tubs and hubcaps, JunkStorm aesthetically bears a necessary ecological reminder of the festival footprint.
Earthcore 2017 was an end-game and deal breaker for many artists and attendees this year. The Dreamland team were impressed by the wild, brave punters who took on the heat and uncertainty at this years Earthcore. Moreover, we were inspired by the rise of local talent that stepped up amidst a quickly diminishing International lineup to make this year’s Earthcore a surprising adventure.
Words: Tori Biggs
Photo Credit: Adrien Rossignol