|Penny, Hugh, MWW and Charlie (Geoff's taking the snap)|
The event is held at Rochford Estate, a scenic vineyard in the Yarra Valley just out of Melbourne with the good fortune to have a natural amphitheatre. It's not a late night, is starts about 3pm and wraps up just after nine, so there are often kids there too - we took ours to Rob Thomas. We've been going fairly regularly over the past 7 years and I'm pleased to say the entertainment of the crowd continues to rival what's actually happening on the stage.
A few years back we staked a spot near some young guys who managed to get so hammered and disruptive that over half their party had been handcuffed and deposited into the back of the divvy van before the top billing had even hit the stage. The highlight of their bad behaviour was when one guy smashed an empty wine bottle over his mate's head!! Remarkably, he wasn't knocked out cold but the sound was exactly that of hitting a wooden fence post. And perhaps that wasn't the end of that analogy.
This was all quite ironic given you couldn't bring your alcohol or any glass into the venue for safety reasons. But you could purchase beer in a can and wine by the bottle. Brilliant.
One of that young party of boys was passing a woman of near fifty at about 8pm. Pleeease! As my friend Deb noted, it wasn't that she was old enough to be his mother, it was that she was singularly unattractive, (sorry - highly judgemental but blatantly true.) To add to the drama, she was busy trying to convince her friend to wonder up and grab a piece of the action.
That same night, there was bit of a crush on the path to the car park and pushing and shoving. One couple, trailing their young children, started some verbal back chat with some blokes next to them that climaxed with them getting very fired up and screaming "F$#@ off you c*&^s" Delightful. The only thing scarier was the realisation that one of those alcohol fuelled parents would be driving home.
This time, in an attempt to curb the sozzledness, there were restriction on buying alcohol leading to a queue about a kilometre long and a limit on how much you could buy in a single transaction at various times through the event. I bought a (plastic) bottle of Chardonnay for $34. The Sav Blanc was $31. The prices must be a deterrent but for me, a wine that tastes like paint stripper is the biggest one!
|Our 'neighbours' (not Geoff...in the glasses)|
|Later in the evening|
Regardless of the new rules, the crowd did not fail to disappoint. With shirts off and more ink than a 1950's school room, they sunk booze like it was going to be their last. The lasses in front of us thought it was a brilliant idea to push their boobs together to generate maximum cleavage and then press said cleavages together for the wonderment - and photography - of the blokes in their party.
The line up on Saturday, in order, was Boom Crash Opera, James Reyne, The Angels, The Baby Animals and the Hoodoo Gurus. There was much conjecture amongst our party as to why The Angels weren't top billing. They were fabulous. It's incredible how music can transport you straight back to being 18. Absolutely loved them
And yes, they did do the crowd favourite, Will I Ever See You Face Again, and yes, the audience did respond with the obligatory 'No way, get f...ed, f... off." And yes, plenty of folk had their kids in tow....
Don't be put off. If you love a bit of live music in a beautiful location (the weather on Saturday was perfect), grab a picnic, plenty of water, and open mind and head on out.
On the other side of entertainment, Geoff and I went to Glimpses, a play by a new theatre company called Kin and showing at FortyFive Downstairs. Well worth the time. Loved it!