I’d like to start by saying it was an absolute honour to be a part of the first ever Babylon Festival, and I am thoroughly looking forward to returning in some years to see what it has become.
On the whole there were no negatives, but I am English and there is always a BUT. Plus, this is sort of an opinionated review of Babylon, so, here goes…
Fortunately Australia has a lot of space to throw festivals, thus being said, I’m not sure how many tickets were sold and I’m probably completely wrong here but I’m going to take a stab in the dark and guess there was around 5,000 people there, so reasonably small.
When you spread a huge festival over a big plot of land with a small amount of people, the vendors do really bad. After speaking to the owners of the stalls, a lot of them really struggled to sell much. Speaking to one lady she was very upset, it had taken her and her friend 25 hours to set up the stall and she sold hardly anything over the four days. Which isn’t great considering these portable stalls are run by self sustained beings who rely on a good festival set up to feed themselves and move on to the next. I think a simple re-route of the way the market stalls are placed would fix the problem, keep them in circulation so that people naturally wonder through them without knowing so.
Not being able to take alcohol into the festival site was annoying, we was aloud to drink in the camp site but not take any into the arenas. So a simple switch up from beer to spirits solved that issue as one did not need to lug a slab of beer past the security but merely hide a bottle of rum. The only other thing I can think of was the toilets, going back to porterloos was nasty! Compostloos all the way! But I’m sure that’s just down to funding, as Babylon grows, the more money it earns, the more money it can spend out on optional extras such as compostloos.
Now on to the positives!
I don’t really know where to start here, from the minute we got there they had done things I had never seen before such as hand out little finger sized plastic bottles which can be used as ash trays, not exactly environmentally friendly (although they can be recycled) but they were handy as! It means one can smoke freely, not have to worry about pocketing my roach or finding a bin, I can simply pop it in my portable ashtray! The bottle can also be used for others things, if you’re a naughty geeza! This is also a very smart thing to eliminate fires caused by smoking, as Australia is a very dry place, with high heat and baron land it is rather prone to fires.
Just before the entry to the stages there was an amazing 3D painted room which you could walk through, stare at with amazement and use as a great backdrop to a group photo as seen below! (3D Glasses were provided in a box in front of the room)
The Organic Audio Stage was soo cool! It felt as if we were down in the depths of a natural amphitheater, surrounded by psychedelic lighting and people looking down on you it felt very grungy, the perfect environment for some wub wubs as the dub / dnb / glitch kicked in. I managed to catch a dude MC’ing on Sunday morning to some dub and he was slaying it! I wish I stayed longer but my belly was crying for some food.
The Mandala Stage was beautifully laid out in the perfect location with a large forest expanding behind it creating some astonishing light shows. The watering hole next to the stage enabled everyone to stay well hydrated and cool off in the blistering heat. The Mandala parasol certainly looked very pretty and a combination of space, good people and some thundering psytrance kept the dance floor damn sexy!
The Elements Stage, corr da bugga! I didn’t spend much time here I have to admit, maybe about 5 hours over the whole festival, 3 of which was spent cutting shapes to Carl Cox… And what a set that was! I think that set, combined with friends, pure joy and love was the best set I have ever seen, and I’ve seen some pretty amazing people. I would happily pay a lot of money to teleport back to Sunday 8pm – 11pm and do it all again. A friend from work recorded 160,000 steps over the weekend which equates to 75 miles of dancing haha!! And who said working out can’t be fun?! Below you can see the crew in full motion – 3 days in, out of our minds, legs broken, malnourished, dehydrated but not settling for anything less than a good dusty stomp!
The Country Club… Well I hope this is the stage with the beds and stuff, because I did end up there Sunday night, laying down on a bed trying to pick the dust out of my nose, clear my throat and rest up for 20 mins before hitting the Mandala stage up for a good old skank. I couldn’t sit down long as the ambient trance had me getting low and damn sexy with my crocodile. Sunday night I took it upon myself to take the croc for a good dance, considering we are in Australia, people love Crocodiles! So It wasn’t long before the puns were biting, “D’ya wanna stroke my croc?” “Cya later aligataaaaa!” blababa! I wish someone video’d me getting down with my Croc, but instead I can only provide a pic of me and my dance partner. (See below)
The Oasis, umm… Considering I camped about 150m from the Oasis, I feel slightly ashamed to say I never ventured over for a dance. I did go to check it out once, but turned around very quickly and headed for the Mandala Stage! I think my soul was searching for something, not sure what, but something that wasn’t at the Oasis.
Overall the festival was absolutely fucking fantastic! I was very shocked that it was Babylons first festival as the work that had gone into it was incredible. The land was beautiful, the community as always with Australian Doof’s was so moving. Even all of my friends said afterwards about everyone looking after one another, ensuring that people were hydrated, had sun cream, were generally in a good state of mind. I didn’t see one bit of trouble and I think it was the cream of the crop. When you go to big festivals like Rainbow, Earthcore, Maitreya etc there is so many people there that go to simply get fucked, make a mess and dance their tits off. The beauty with smaller festivals is you stand out like a sore thumb if you are that person, because nobody is like that. It’s about coming together, dancing together and enjoying the experience together.
I met a lot of people who I have bumped into at other festivals, and It was really nice to feel a part of the community even being a foreigner, people noticed me and came and had conversations with me visa versa. I bumped into some ladies who I had met in Bali, so to see them on the dance floor was amazing and it continues to amaze me when I bump into people I know around the world, it really is a small bit of a land we live on yet I never seem to get over it.
One of my friends came around two days later in tears, he had never felt so free, never felt so much love and to be part of such a beautiful community, on such beautiful land listening to such beautiful, spiritual music. Thinking about that sends shivers through my whole body, because I can fully understand the happiness, and the only way to deal with those happy emotions is to let is all out! Good on ya mate! Glad you had an amazing time! You know you’re doing it right when you make a 25 year old man cry from joy.
Thanks for reading folks, on to the next one!