Earthcore (Mt Dissapointment)
Author: Lindy Tan
Sunday, 1 January 1995Date: 28th and 29th of November 1998
Attractions/Facilities: Headliner of the night was tribally-influenced local outfit Ping, the act who had every Melbourne record company manager jostling for a peep at their early gigs at Revolver. Playing in the main "Rumpy Pumpy" arena, Ping was also joined by DJ Toupee, Kilroy, Nick Taylor from Byron Bay, even Jayson Digby. The TranceAnt Sound System catered for those more goa-inclined, and the Turbo Disco Inferno area rocked with hard house and techno sounds. Other attractions: fire-twirlers, stalls, good shishkobobs, roving freaks. The forest loomed over party shenanigans in all its glistening loveliness.
Crowd: Not too many naked people this time. In addition to a few dogs and very small children, there was a rather good mix of party-goers. The turnout was large - nearly 7000 tickets were sold, reportedly. Earthcore just gets more and more popular.
The Score: It was a journey. A trek. A pilgrimage, even. To me it was well worth it. The 2 hours spent cramped in a hot car with other impatient persons came to an end with a flashing light and low-profile red arrow pointing down a long dusty driveway, lines of cars disappearing down its path and into the trees. The wait was strangely longer to get in than usual, and we eventually realised why - the ticket collectors were popping the boots! No cheap-skates were getting in for free this time, my dear.
One of the biggest rushes I ever get at Earthcore (purely natural of course) is on the driveway, when I first spy the vast glow of lights rising through the bush and hear the thump thump of techno music.... this time it was the psychedelic, ancestral soundscapes of Ping. God that electric violinist positively seeps charisma with every stroke she plays. The silky-smooth sounds of the strings, and the inter-mingling of percussion and organ collided and soared up to the tree-framed heavens above, as jacket-clad and beanie-topped party-goers bounced up and down to prevent their appendages becoming frozen solid in the icy temperatures. The real freaks were the ones jigging around in skimpy singlet tops and nothing else. Brrrr.... The vibe was a bit low at the start ("This is Deadcore," someone said) but after 9pm, the action definitely kicked in. Funky electro, drum n' bass and psy trance drove Earthcoreans to the floor with excited faces and prancing limbs. In fact, it was hard to pinpoint which arenas catered to which music style; every arena played a mish-mash of things. Especially revered was the 70's style coloured disco floor in the Turbo Disco Inferno (it'll bring the John Travolta out of the dullest sod) and the two hidden dance-floors that were only discovered if you wandered far enough. At around midnight a group of tribal drummers took over musical proceedings in the main arena, much to the bemusement of the crowd who could only stand motionless. "Come on!" yelled a man to a sea of open-mouthed faces, prancing in front of them with a laser gun. "Dance! This is a live performance." But good though it was, the ravers were still not used to it. Back in the TranceAnt Sound System arena, people rocked to sounds fit for head-banging (death metal goa I would call it).
As the sky changed from black to an ominous grey, the temperature remained at freezing point while light rain misted the faces of the crowd, dancing to keep warm.. Total shame about the weather, which was one of the few bad points about this party but couldn't be helped. The other bad point was the shitful - in a literal sense - toilets (you were better off using a bush). Earthcore has changed over the years. No longer appealing to just ravers and hippies, it now appeals to all sorts, and whether this is a good or bad thing is prone to argument. Nevertheless, Earthcore always succeeds in coming up with three imperative things: the most friendly party people in< Tags