Making my way out through the windy roads of Tuakau and Mangatawhiri then on to the sunny coastal highway the words "Outdoor Event" keep circling in my head.
18 Mar 2004
The weather couldn't have been any better, hot sunny and just lovely. Bring it on baby!!!
As i approached the park i could see the cars parked up for miles, i could already hear the sounds pumping, So after passing through the gates and collecting my wrist band i had the task of hiking off to find a camp spot and set-up my tent, Bit of a mission but all part of the fun.
Ahoy the markets, there was plenty on sample here ranging from roasted coffee to donuts, fresh ¼ watermelons and freshly split coconuts to kebabs. Amongst the markets where workshops, put on over the three days of the event, ranging from Drumming Classes, learning Yoga and learning about dub plates and records. I didn't get to take part in any but had a lot of fun watching the drumming class. 20 odd people playing some wicked instruments for the first time, after about 10 minutes they where playing songs would you believe, they had a massive crowd gathered round, wicked fun there. The B Boys and Gurls were also a happening thing to watch.
The Arts trail, lot of talk prior the event about this, i had no idea what it was going to be like, maybe just some paintings well i was totally wrong there, i was greeted by this car decked out in camo gear, these weird alien like statues in the trees, all painted black and very eye catching. The cool thing about the arts was it was very interactive, another piece got you to spin yarn in the trees, by the time i arrived people had done some amazing things, when night time hit all the coloured lights where turned on and this whole area had a wicked glow, river was also covered in ferry lights, the bridges were all lite up, one bridge even had a mist machine with lights making a rainbow over it.
All this and i hadn't even seen one act or dj, phew!
I could here this loud cracking noise and followed the sound till i got closer and closer then saw this bearded man. My first reaction was "what the hell" but after i few minutes and seeing several people have a turn a thought it was quite cool.... I didn't know cracking a 6ft or 8ft whip was that hard, he even had two going at one stage and once the D>M>Z zone cranked up the tunes he started doing it in time with the music, now that takes some skill.
By now I could hear the music pulsing, like it was calling me, pulling me perhaps, i knew it was time to take a peek.
For me musically Fat Freddy's Drop took the cake. I think probably 99% of the people that went to Splore went to see them, they had everybody grooving away from start till finish on the main stage. I had never seen these guys play before and thought to myself "dont miss them this time" I must say it's the most amazing performance I have ever seen in New Zealand, they way the put horns and trumpets and gitars with loops and samples was truely amazing. on ya guys and encore encore!!!
Hidden amongst the trees was the Oceania Groove area. Playing host to some of New Zealand's biggest House/Pr0g/DnB dj's. I heard word that Philippa and Chris Cox ripped it up on Friday/ early Saturday morning. For me it was Brazil Beat sound system and B-line. Brazil Beat Playing some funky has Latino house grooves and B-line dropping the phatest DnB, im not the biggest DnB fan but after listening to that B-line set i have given it another chance :-)
Before i disappeared off to bed in the early hours of the morning i caught a short film about a dance party in Australia (the Eclipse Festival), most of these films where around 15-20 mins long, I only saw this one but again word was all good, I really enjoyed watching it on the big screen under the stars, it was like everything was safe, close and people just chatted away about all sorts of things it was a just a pity there was no popcorn!
At an event like this you could easily lose yourself, a few days away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, the hassles... just you, a tent, the outdoors, under the stars, my first real outdoor rave/ semi camping experience and it was a good one, next time thou I'll learn to turn the gas down on the burner (nearly burnt my sleeping bag YIKES)
Cheers to the Splore People you guys all need to give yourself a big pat on the back. See you in 2006.