Whoever said Australia has some of the best music festivals clearly hasn’t been to Agathering in Darwin. Was the music festival worth the $120 dollars? Nope. But with that said I always try to make the most of it since I’ve already spent the money & the time.
Excited about our arrival into Darwin, we were pumped when Hannah told us about a techno/psy trance music festival happening that weekend at Litchfield National Park. Having just visited Litchfield National Park it was going to be our first festival located at a waterfall. A few days later, Hannah informed us that they had to change the venue of the festival to Royal Darwin Showgrounds.
Obviously not as good of a venue as Litchfield, but it was definitely closer to the CBD which made it easier for us to get to. On the other hand, the venue consisted of two stages, with the second stage looking like a DJ booth at a normal club and the main stage a tad bigger. They had plenty of porta potties, and the building on the grounds had toilets as well. Luckily for us, we brought some toilet paper which was much needed as the toilets often ran out of paper. They only had three showers in the main building which could have been a huge problem if more people attended, but there weren’t that many people there and probably half didn’t shower.
Now understandably it’s a lot of effort to switch venues at such short notice as everything has been planned and outlined for Litchfield. But again at the same time security should have been one of the first things thought of when planning to have a festival at a national park. Honestly, I think security was the last thing they thought of since even at the new location security was kind of a joke. Not checking any bags or cars we could have walked in there with all sorts of things. With such lax security, we told our friends that if they wanted to come they could easily sneak in.
If you spend $120 dollars you expect that with a change in venue, and additional new restrictions it would be effectively communicated to you – at least update the website! The only communication was from their facebook page that barely responded to posts.
With Hannah having dietary restrictions it made eating at the festival extremely difficult for her as there weren’t that many food options. One pizza truck, a burger & chips booth, lemonade stand, a coffee & toastie stand and a churro stand (that closed up early). I’ve seen more food trucks & options at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto when there is a concert on for one night – this was a 3 day festival!!!
Beverages & Drugs
As Litchfield venue was supposed to be BYOB with the change in venue we were told that you cannot bring your own alcohol now but cheap alcohol will be sold. $8 for a cider and $10 for anything else – that doesn’t seem cheap to me! Also, if the music goes on until 5 am you would expect the bar to stay open as well, but it definitely didn’t. I have to say that most people at the festival bought some drinks throughout the day but by night were on drugs. If you were looking for drugs it wasn’t hard to come by as most people selling would approach you. It reminded me of my vacation in Goa, India where people would whisper the drugs they were selling as you walked by.
Music & Atmosphere
With nothing to do until the DJ’s started at midday, you kind of just laid there in the tent to avoid the sun and sweat in the shade. The DJ’s were alright, I wouldn’t say I could pick any which one that was overly spectacular. One of the festival organisers played a set, but it wasn’t something to remember. I always go with the mentality that it’s better to have a good time than a bad one. So with all of the complaints/annoyances listed above, I did have a fun time – mostly because of the people. You only get out what you put in, so fuck it and dance.
Would I attend this music festival in the future? Probably not, I know things are a learning experience especially for it being the first time the festival was run, but I’d rather spend money on another music festival which is better planned.
Total Cost = $140 AUD
- Agathering ticket $120 AUD
- Taxi $21/3 = $7 AUD
- Bus $3 AUD
- Loaded Chips $7 AUD
- Banana Bread $3 AUD