All Tomorrow’s Parties – Mt Buller: Thursday

It’s always about the sex, the drugs, the glamour, the romance. It’s never about getting up at 4:15am to get to the airport to get the plane down to Melbourne. The taxi comes at 4:45am and it’s a quiet ride, everyone in a state of still being half-asleep combined with early morning grumpiness. But gradually after some food and coffee and with the onset of daylight everyone begins to wake up, although this is then followed up by more sleep on the plane.

Everything goes better than expected when we get to Melbourne; baggage is first out on the conveyor, car hire is speedily sorted and within no time at all we’re on our way. Stop for a quick unhealthy breakfast at Hungry Jacks and then a mix of ATP-related CDs accompanies us all the way to Mansfield, where we make a final stop for lunch and to pick up last minute food and drink supplies for the weekend.

The road wind its way up the mountain until the first checkpoint, where tickets are exchanged for wristbands and festival programs are dispensed. In theory we are supposed to stop and park at the second checkpoint and get a shuttle bus to the village, but as we are there so early and as I’m only dropping Michael and Annie at their accommodation for the weekend before coming back down the mountain for tonight before returning tomorrow to stay Friday and Saturday nights, I’m waved through. Once your above the treeline and can appreciate the unrestricted views, you really get to see what a spectacular location this is, certainly better than Butlins in Minehead, one of the venues ATP uses in the UK, and a more impressive locality than the Riverstage, where the main Brisbane leg of the Australian ATP is being held.

Although the excitement of the festival has been building over the week, actually seeing the site takes it to a whole new level. And It’s not just the physical location, it’s also the realisation that it’s going to be a 2-day festival without the usual camping ‘experience’; one without tents, mud and portaloos, where you can sleep in a decent bed and pop back to you room at anytime for food, drink, sleep, all the luxuries that you don’t get in a tent at a festival. In addition, having the accommodation inside the venue, a couple minutes walk from the stages means that I don’t have to pack everything and then carry it all around for the day and I can set up my laptop with some degree of safety and download photos and edit as I go in relative comfort. Whilst ATP’s demographic is undoubtedly a more affluent, older and call it musically-elitist, call it musically-refined crowd, and there are probably people who would say that not camping would take away a major part of the vibe of a music festival experience, it just seems a more civilised way of seeing some bands over two days, rather than the endurance test you get living under canvas. And having experienced the rain, mud and general carnage of Glastonbury in 1997, 1998 and 2005 it can’t be a bad thing.

After the exhilaration of the top of the mountain, it’s a reflective and meandering drive back down the mountain to the Merrijig Motor Inn, my home for the night.

I can’t wait to get back up the mountain tomorrow and until the music actually starts. More words and photos over the next few days.

Mt Buller, proudly brought to you by Holden
ATP Mt Buller

Main Stage
ATP Mt Buller Main Stage

2nd Stage
ATP Mt Buller 2nd stage

Ironic billboard. Chris Bailey pictured right…
ATP Mt Buller

The drive up the mountain
ATP Mt Buller

ATP Mt Buller

Festival With A View
ATP Mt Buller

Censored ATP poster in Country Victoria

7 Responses to “All Tomorrow’s Parties – Mt Buller: Thursday”

  1. Andrew Stone says:

    wish i was there! it sounds awesome!

  2. Justin says:

    It was possibly the best festival I’ve been to. A really special weekend with great music. I’m looking even less forward to BDO next weekend and am thinking that I might sell my ticket. If I go it’ll either destroy my faith in festivals after only a week or it’ll just reinforce how good Mt Buller was. Going to Riverstage on Thursday and photographing Fuck Buttons/Dead Meadow/Afrirampo at the Powerhouse on Friday so am looking forward to all that, especially seeing Spiritualized again as they were fantastic over the weekend.

  3. Andrew Stone says:

    BDO – tell me about it! it’s the same bands that have been splashed around average tours for the past two years (except perhaps for cut copy). Facebook friends keep offering tickets for sale and noone seems to go near them. Love the photos of Afrirampo, i checked out there myspace and i’ll definitely be along to the powerhouse this Fri!

    We just back from playing Woodford – Frightened Rabbit and Hey Rosetta! were two bands there i think you’d like.

  4. Justin says:

    It’s not so much the same bands as much as having to endure the BDO crowd. There are enough bands that I would go and see, although I am tempted to sell my ticket to go and see Neil Young + My Morning Jacket at the BEC as they’re two of the main three bands I want to see (with TV On The Radio being the third). The atmosphere at ATP was amazing, really relaxed and friendly. No flags, no drunken shirtless bogans, no fluro, no chucking stuff into the crowd/at the bands etc.

    Saw Frightened Rabbit at Peats Ridge over New Year and they were pretty good. They did slag off Brisbane though…

  5. Andrew Stone says:

    Slaged off Brisbane, ay? well it was either 44 degrees at Woodford, or, like when I saw them, cyclonic rain… so perhaps they had a bad run.

    I was just having the conversation today about festival crowds that sparked from someone asking “do you have to get smashed to enjoy a festival as a punter?”. They responded “well, i have more fun if i’m smashed because it’s easier to endure the bogans in wife beaters grinding up against everyone”.

    Like you said – it depends on the festival, and the crowd it attracts.

  6. Stephen says:

    “It was possibly the best festival I’ve been to. A really special weekend with great music.”

    Stories are making me envious. Going next year even if I need to toss the whole thing on a credit card…

  7. Mike Brown says:

    Nice photos over all three days, but I can’t get enough of that pic of the poorly censored poster. Hilarious.

    Good to see you using Twitter over the weekend too – was trying to contact you but I guess you don’t watch replies.

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