We then watched The Meredith Gift, which is when people volunteer to race around the amphitheatre in the nude. It seemed like the whole of the festival came down to witness some bare bums.
Closing out the festival was local Melbourne band Drug Sweat, who I’d seen before... but not while sober. They had a very monotonous, electronic punk/rock sound which would’ve been right at home had they played Friday night. Packed full of energy, they didn't seem to care they were playing to probably the smallest crowd of the whole festival. Defs a band to watch. 2 shoes to them.
We then left, got waved through the breath testing by the cops (I blew 0.0 when exiting, don’t worry) and got some snakatas to snack on while driving home. Meredith will certainly become an annual event, even though I had pink eye by the time I got home.
Briggs came after, and while not a huge fan of rap, the supporting female vocalist had the best female voice of the whole festival. It was great to hear from to the of the Amphitheatre. Mid-arvo was also the perfect time to take a trip on the anxiously fast ferris wheel, The Meredith Eye. It was amazing to see campsites, amphitheatre, horizon and wind farms all at once.
Another band I was eager to see was The Peep Tempel. I’ve had ‘Carol’ on repeat ever since this guy named Trevor started popping up in Aussie bands' songs. Problem 4 is that the wine seal was breaking, so I heard ‘Carol’ from the toilet. Not the greatest feeling ever. The rest of the set was great however. Rock aint dead.
Their reverb-drenched sound was lovely in the hottest day of the festival. Iced coffees and Zooper Doopers came out to play and were thoroughly enjoyed. I cannot think of something Auntie Meredith hadn’t already thought of doing/providing. ‘I feel like an icy-pole.. oh look! Zooper Doopers!’. How was the performance? Well, like the perfect curry - Totally Mild but full of flavour.
A view of the amphitheater from the ferris wheel
were excited to smash out this rather quiet bar shift and continue on the tinnie train during Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Problem 2: We read our work timetable wrong and instead of working 8pm-12, worked 8pm-3am. Catchya later Goat, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and fun times. Oh well. The Meredith Sky Show had confetti which looked cool from behind the bar. Once we were finally finished, we managed to catch the last act/band/person of the day, Lucy Cliche, DJ dance tunes over some intense laser activity. I got lost going back to the tent and my navigator girlfriend had to find and save me.
Problem 3: Meredith gets damn cold at night. Thin summer sleeping bags don’t cut it, and Meredith beanies sold out too quick.
A community radio mainstay, Jess Ribiero, was another purveyor of musician artistry I was meaning to listen to. Having heard the name a lot, expectations were high. They took no toll on Jess Ribiero, who came across as being a seasoned performer as if she’d done it for 20 years. ‘If You Were A Kelpie’ has become one of my favourite songs of this year, and now I think Jess Ribiero has become one of my favourite artists of this year. With an air of Courtney Barnett, Jen Cloher and Adalita around her, girl-fronted indie pop rock is fast becoming my go to sound when looking for something to drink tea to.
Looking back, Sunday, the day for little drinking and getting the fuck out before gates closed at 4:30pm, was the day I remember the most from. Totally Mild had a seriously chilled out vibe, perfect for a Sunday.
By the end of that, navigator girlfriend and I had seriously cooked it. Having finished the wine, we decided to head back to camp to get more. Thats where things get hazy and Saturday night ended at around 10, fully clothed, shoes and all. woopsie.
Sunday was a much more relaxed affair. Awake early from last nights early bed time, Master Khalil Gudaz provided traditional sitar compositions that went perfect with my Bloody Meredith (AKA a bloody mary, really). Another Meredith tradition/vibe is to bring old couches and set them up at the top of the supernatural amphitheatre. I think me and the couch became one during the Master’s performance.
Alrighty, time to pour some shots into cups in exchange for my festival ticket (we got into Meredith by opting to work on the bar). I think we saw another band, but the 5-10 minute sobering walk/wander back to the car + drinking time makes it hazy so there’s no point commenting on it, and the view at Inspiration Point was inspiring me. I think my navigator and I poured around 500 Pink Flamingos each. A Pink Flamingo is a delicious beverage consisting of vodka, grapefruit juice and ice. Semi buzzed, we
So like 12,000 other odd people, I went to Meredith over the weekend. Unlike 12,000 other people, I was working. Driving down, optimism was high as the roads were empty, the beers on ice and I had approx 5-6 hours of party times till we (my wonderful navigator and I, who was still unable to stop me from getting us lost) had to stand behind a bar for 4 hours. Sounds great hey?
It was now time to make the marathon trek back to the car to fill up the water bottles with more wine before heading back to raise a boot to Father John Misty. Meredith tradition is to apparently raise your boot/shoe if you're seriously vibing/loosing your shit to that song. Josh Tillman seriously had the crowd swooning, opening with ‘I Love You Honey Bear’ from the album of the same name. Misty’s set was literally flawless. Playing equal amounts of old and new songs and equal amounts of uptempo and slow songs, like ‘Bored In The USA’, ‘True Affection’, ‘Writing A Novel’ and ‘The Ideal Husband’ were festival highlights. He even jumped into the crowd to partake in a big fat doobie, then raising his own boot to the amass of shoes in the crowd.
Problem 1: The roads were empty because everyone was already at Meredith. We thought we were semi-ahead of the pack, but we were so far behind that the majority of people were already more than a hand-full of tinnies in. Oh well. We camped right on the edge of a main road in South Pines, a right turn off of Highway to Hell. This actually turned out to be beneficial as the car and tent were easy to spot in dizzy morning stumbles (there was only one of those, more later).
We wandered down to the amphitheater to see local Melbourne buzz band Power open the festival. They were as good as the hype. Even though I only knew one song, appropriately named ‘Power’ (I think), I feel as though their record would be a worthy investment.
We lingered and ran out of beer while watching Pearls, straight after the aforementioned band. Pearls are a band I’ve been meaning to see live ever since the release of their album earlier this year. Some songs were a little hard to distinguish from each other, however hearing ‘Big Shot’ was the highlight of that day. In hindsight, Pearls' set gave punters the first glimpse of the sound challenges Meredith’s tin shed style stage would be-gift us.
It was now time to pack up camp, where navigator girlfriend managed to get her hair stuck in the tent zipper (refer to image below), and move the car closer to the ‘Sup. "Fuck yeah! no more walking!" Before moving on however, I would like to give a shoutout to the seriously cooked man who gave us a pool noodle toy to go with the pinecones we were carrying. We also played cricket with a tennis ball and a stick for a couple of minutes. That was a weird five minutes.
After a sleep in, some vegemite and rice cakes for breakfast and a coffee, the fact that we missed last night's bands didn't matter anymore. American psych rock waffle band Moon Duo were one of the bands I was looking forward to seeing. They seriously exceeded expectations with live drums and loops, delay drenched vocals and fuzzed out guitar. Their super trippy visuals made it even more immersive. Wine was going down too well at this point, and navigator girlfriend and I quickly befriended an electric viola player in a velvet jacket who was having a great time feeling the earth vibrate. Earth, Moon (duo), Sun, Wind. Shakras were seriously balanced.