Glitter, Mud Wrestling and Rocking Out: Falls Recap 2016

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Ah, the annual new years pilgrimage to Marion Bay is done and dusted for another year! (And how good are showers?!) Read on to relive all the glittery, muddy, fun and eclectic highlights from the Falls Music & Arts Festival 2016.

The fashion on the field
This year’s must haves were gumboots (practical and fashionable), ponchos and anything with a watermelon pattern. For the super hip, overalls were all the rage (but with no t-shirts underneath). The bling bling came out with a vengeance, with gold and glittery everything sparkling across the paddocks (saw some DIY bejewelled Blundstones that were very fancy). Young kids and hip babies on hips rocked junior ear muffs in the most adorable way (they looked like they were preparing to use heavy machinery). On New Years Eve, happy people wrapped in lights lit up the night like human Christmas trees.
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The wild emotional rollercoaster of trying to dress weather appropriate
Tasmanian weather… What a rush, aye! It’s muggy and drizzly. Then it’s direct burning sunlight. Ooh, what a pretty flash of lightning! Quick, raincoats on (plastic ponchos aren’t gonna cut this one), it’s pouring and dark as the night! Never mind, it’s blown over. Now the sun’s back with its hot mate, blue sky! I wonder what the weather will do next hour?
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Being happy as a pig in…
You haven’t lived until you’ve been spear tackled by a stranger from behind and covered in mud (hey, if you dance with danger and step into the mud pit you are going to get dirty). The impromptu mud wrestling pit had everything, from surprise backflips to excited dudes in raincoats running and jumping across it like a slippery slide. Praise the gumboot lord (no wonder everywhere sold out). At least mud is good for the skin, right? Day spas seem to make a mint with their fancy mud massages… We’ll just keep telling ourselves that. Wait, yes… I think it DID make us more beautiful!
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The food (no one likes a hangry mate)
Chips on a stick. Chips in a cone. Chips in a bucket. Chips. Potatoes. Your classic festival food plus so much more! There was such a huge variety of food and drink, with something for everyone (gluten free, vegetarian, vegan… all covered). Whatever you had a craving for, you could probably find. From burgers, dumplings, curries, nachos and pizza, to fresh juice and smoothies, to tea and coffee, the list goes on. Also, go the Tassie wine!
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Making friends with strangers in the mosh pit
Did you know that it’s socially acceptable to politely ask a stranger if you can sit on their shoulders in the mosh pit? Just make Mum proud and use your manners. Also, going into the mosh pit dry and clean and coming out drenched from the hose and beautifully adorned with face glitter (thank you sweet glitter angel, whoever you are) is a sign that you have had a most excellent time. Special shout out to the happy man spreading joy and giving out free hugs in the giant green glowing love heart (a bit Mr Burns abducted by aliens, love your style). A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.
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There’s so much room for activities
There was so much to explore around the festival grounds, with art and craft stalls to browse and all kinds of games to get involved in. At one of the most popular stalls, festival goers entered as plain-skinned caterpillars and emerged as glamorous, glitter-covered butterflies. Some thrill-seekers braved the flying fox, while others stayed on the ground and became human Fussball players. The Village was an awesome little hub of activity, with games such as badminton and giant battleships, as well as arty installations, shops and entertainment from street artists. There was even a beauty salon for anyone who wanted to treat themselves to a haircut or get their nails done.
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Wicked band banter and interaction with the crowd
As well as pumping out rockin’ tunes, all of the bands playing at Falls looked like they were having an absolute blast. There was some solid band/crowd banter happening, which really got the crowd going! Trying to touch The Jezabels’ singer Hayley Mary as she very trustingly surfed the crowd (while continuing to sing flawlessly) was a definite highlight. Throughout the festival various artists threw back several expensive-looking hats to the crowd on account of sun safety. Violent Soho successfully crusaded for the release of two giant inflatable beachballs that were being held by stage-front security (we can only assume on charges of having too much fun).
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Welcoming 2017 with a ‘shoey’
Violent Soho must have amazing immune systems. In the last few moments of 2016, they had a special request. In classic Aussie style, they politely asked for some shoes to be thrown in from the crowd. Several moshers were extremely happy to oblige, and threw their shoes at the stage. The band members then picked a winning (extremely muddy) shoe each, poured a froffy in, then sculled it (along with shoe scum, toe sweat and a little bit of their dignity). And then it was 2017! Happy new year! STRAYA!
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Related posts:
Falls Music & Arts Festival
Five Awesome Summer Activities for Kids in the Tasman Region

Words and images:
Isabel Galloway

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