It has filled my heart to read recently that Gumball Music Festival is still kicking it and up to its usual tricks. It’s not very often that a festival unique as this maintains its authenticity.
The Gumball Festival is held over a 3 day weekend in late April in Belford in the Hunter Valley. My First Gumball was April 27th-29th 2012 and although this festival was young and starting out it had high future prospects even then as it focused intensively on the love and appreciation of music. This was assisted by the limited markets which provided a greater opportunity to focus on raw music culture within a naturalistic and tranquil environment. This emphasised the beauty of the art form and less on the commercialisation of the music industry.
Upon arrival, the festival had an immediate feel of positive vibes and a laid back attitude. This was supported throughout the festival by the staff who were incredibly helpful and friendly and the festival-goers who expelled love, peace and friendliness. The general feel of the festival was optimistic as all festival-goers were chilled, relaxed and unique. There was a diversity of ages making it family-friendly in a safe environment. There was no need for concern of safety for yourself and/or your belongings as all participants were welcoming and relaxed.
For a young festival, the event had some phenomenal entertainment with Friday night seeing the likes of the Joe Kings and The Bakery who both were spectacular acts, creating an atmosphere of fun, excitement and setting up the great vibes of the festival. The line up for Saturday was nothing but fantastic with a special mention to The Delta Rigs and Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes for providing great and unique entertainment.
The event enabled festival-goers to camp within close proximity to the stages which was an awesome opportunity as it meant you did not have to carry around bags enabling you to dance free and thoroughly immerse yourself within the cheerful culture. The incorporation of workshops was great as they gave people the opportunity to explore inner peace, interests and emphasise talents through creative avenues. Workshops included yoga, hula hooping, juggling and healing.
The festival organisers encouraging BYO should be applauded as this again makes the festival more personal, relaxed and less commercialised. This also eliminated the wasted participants which are given at commercialised festivals.
Overall Australia needs more boutique festivals like Gumball to be supported. It was the first music event of its kind where dogs, police and alcohol legislation didn’t control the venue and the crowd were completely content and fully immersed within the musical culture. It is safe to say that the Gumball Festival certainly provides music with the way nature intended it.
What’s your favourite boutique festival? What festival would you like to see revitalised?