Harvest 2012 @ The Botanic Gardens, Brisbane, 18.11.2012: Part 1

Harvest 2012 @ Botanic Gardens, Sunday 18 November 2012

Another festival where nothing was notated for future reference, largely because a few days after the festival I headed off on holiday for 2 months and had too much to do before leaving.  I didn’t even get around to putting together a quick round-up of the day’s events.

I did try to use my mobile to track my movements during the day but as with other recent festivals, the battery didn’t last very long and had died by mid afternoon, capturing less than half of the day’s activities.

View 18/11/2012 11:26am in a larger map

Total distance: 6.64 km (4.1 mi)
Total time: 4:32:31
Moving time: 3:17:33
Average speed: 1.46 km/h (0.9 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 2.02 km/h (1.3 mi/h)
Max speed: 16.60 km/h (10.3 mi/h)
Average pace: 41.03 min/km (66.0 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 29.74 min/km (47.9 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 3.62 min/km (5.8 min/mi)
Max elevation: 104 m (342 ft)
Min elevation: 20 m (67 ft)
Elevation gain: 276 m (906 ft)
Max grade: 28 %
Min grade: -30 %

Harvest 2012 was an interesting experience, however, in it being the first festival I’ve ever been to that’s been evacuated due to the weather and that’s the one residing memory from the day.  All those wet years at Glastonbury (1997, 1998 and 2005) and all those wet years at Reading (pretty much every year) pretty much paled into insignificance compared to the early evening storm that passed over the Brisbane CBD on Sunday 18 November.

I first saw the announcement that the festival site was being evacuated on Twitter on another photographer’s phone while we were in the Le Boudoir tent.  Nothing seemed to be happening though: the performance on the stage was still going on, there was no announcement from the stage, no one was moving, and everything was carrying on as normal.  Heading out of the tent, more action that something was happening was obvious.  The nearer I got to the main exit, the heavier the rain became and the closer the lightning got, literally on a metre-by-metre basis. Despite the oncoming storm, it was surprising to see so many people who considered the best place to ride out a massive thunder storm was under one of the big trees in the Botanic Gardens or who were trying to seek shelter in one of the tents.

By the time I’d got out of the Botanic Gardens and was looking to cross the road, the hail had started.  With so many people seeking shelter under the awnings of the hotel on the corner of George Street, I walked past looking for the next available shelter but realised that there was nothing on that side of the street. Crossing George Street was the most terrifying part; the hail was coming down so hard it was a complete whiteout and with visibility down to only a few metres, being hit by a car was the biggest worry.  Sanctuary was found in the entrance to one of the residential apartment buildings.  Either some kind resident had noticed the situation and had taken pity on the group of refugees on their doorstep or someone hadn’t closed the door properly, but on closer inspection, the swipe card entry was ajar and everyone could get out of the elements and inside the building.  It wasn’t much, just a dark corridor leading to the lift and the ground floor flats, but it was better than being outside on the rain-swept entrance.

Having brought my laptop with me, I was able to pass the time by getting started on downloading photos, renaming them and starting to edit.  I’m not sure how long I was there, I don’t think it was too long, maybe 40 minutes, I think it was less than an hour.  The rain and hail had stopped, so it was just a case of walking back down the road, flashing my wristband at the entrance gate, heading down to the main stage and waiting for Beck to start his storm-delayed set.

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