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by Sarin

No photos from this year but this one is from the festival last year. Kind of sums up the day really

Newtown Festival 2000
Camperdown Memorial Park
Sun 12th November, 2000

I love the Newtown Festival. Each year you just go and hang out in the park for the day with a shit load of beer, listen to some great bands and see friends you haven't seen since the festival last year.

This year I wasn't in the best shape for it. I was a physical wreck - my body had reached it's limits and was waving a little white flag. I was experiencing pains in places I never knew I had and just making the walk up King St to Camperdown Park was a big ask. This, coupled with the fact that my wallet was in serious need of a cash transfussion, had put me in a mood to rival the gloomy, overcast weather. When I arrived (probably around noon) all I could really do was find a spot to park my arse and settle in for the day.

There seemed to be so much going on that I wanted to check out. There were more market stalls than ever before - my friends kept coming back to were I was seated bearing all manner of cool shit that they had bought from around the place but clothing, especially t-shirts, seemed to be the big scores of the day. Roving freaks, weirdos, and other performing arts type people confused a lot of people (and agrovated a fair few dogs), and there were some good bands playing on the other stages. However, my vantage point was from in front of the main stage so my report is probably somewhat less comprehensive as it could have been.

As far as the bands go, this is what I saw. The day started with The Atlantics. These guys go way back. They played some songs that had reached the top 5 for them back in the 60s and if you like surf music then it doesn't come much better than this. Then I was in for a surprise. The Bird took the stage next. Never heard of 'em, didn't know what to expect. It was basically two guys, one on a pretty kooky looking drum kit, the other on synths (although they were joined on stage by a guy playing tablar for a couple of songs), pumping out some high energy dance music with an eastern flavour that not only got the growing crowd on it's feet but also started to lift my spirits a bit (or was that the onset of intoxication. Whatever). Not my usual poison of choice, but on the day it hit the spot.

Primary were the next to step up. I don't know what it was. Maybe they were forced to get out of bed while it was still daylight, throwing their usual pattern into disaray, who knows. It just seemed like they were holding something back. I've seen them before and have been impressed in the past, but this time it didn't quite gel. Pretty much all of the bands on the day suffered from a dodgie sound mix, maybe it was that. Although, I must admit, I was forced to take my first trek to the toilets during their set and when I returned after a (lengthy queing period) they were sounding much better than when I had left. But they were done by the time I made it back to my spot, so maybe they warmed into it. I guess I'll never know.

By this stage a large group of my friends had amassed in the one spot, many of whom I hadn't seen in ages, so reluctantly I report that I spent more time talking during The Porkers' set than I did listening. I did pay enough attention to notice that all I could hear was drums and brass. The mix had all but dropped the guitar, bass and vocals right out to the point where one of my friends asked me if the microphone was actually on! But it was The Porkers so they were good anyway!

If I paid very little attention during The Porkers then I paid none at all during Friendly. Everybody looked like they were having fun so I guess they were good. I was just too pissed and enjoying myself too much to care by that point.

I've just got to make special mention of the food. I have no idea exactly where it came from as it was actually bought by one of my mates, but I ate some nachos that were fucking brilliant. Not your normal festival food but the real shit. I was suitably impressed.

Although the sky was overcast all day and at one point it started to rain, I still managed to get some nasty sunburn that was destined to make my face peel for a week. It was still a great day, as the Newtown Festival always is. Probably for all the wrong reasons, too.