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HARDWARE UNIVERSE 2002 @ KRYAL CASTLE(all ages event) - 16.2.2002

Author: Will @ Tranzfusion
Tuesday, 19 February 2002
The kinda lego-looking Kryal Castle is this huge castle/playground just outside Ballarat that was absolute heaven for about a million off-chops kids and the young at heart at the last Hardware Universe rave.

I rocked up at about 11 or so only to find out that my able-bodied assistant didn't have any money for his ticket. I paid for him, which meant no performance enhancing substances for myself, which kinda put a downer on things. I thought maybe I could go to Ballarat to get some cash out at an ATM, but as I was trying to leave the field that served as a parking lot, my car fell into a ditch. It stayed there for the rest of the night until the CFA pulled me out with their fire-engine in the morning, which was pretty cool.

The main arena was outside in a kind of amphitheater with the DJ set-up bookended by four projection screens displaying all sorts of psychedelic trippery. Unfortunately, the music really didn't reach critical mass and left some people aching for something with a bit more bite. The secondary rooms were caining, but they were pretty small and too hot.

There was also plenty of merchandise to be had in the festival-like stores. Plus, if you felt like it, a burger, hot-dog or sausage roll from the canteen. There were swings and round-a-bouts, and fire everywhere, which was lucky 'cause it was fucking cold. The whole setup was very professional, and any parents who sent their kids along could rest assured they would be well provided for. I just wish there had been an ATM around.

I spent most of the night in the Tekstep room, which was one of the licensed areas. The locals, plus a couple of guys from Adelaide, provided quality support to the Usual Suspects, a UK duo who played a crankin' back-to-back set. All the crowd-pleasing tracks got played on a decent sound system, with a couple of tunes getting several runs. MC Pab, who supervises pretty much every Tekstep, was his usual competent self.

Drum and bass has to be increasing in popularity, if the reaction at the essentially techno and trance-based Kryal is anything to go by. There was a queue to get into the Tekstep room for much of the night, and it wasn't just because it was licensed - they stopped serving alcohol pretty early in the piece.

There was way too much going on to see even a fraction of the music on offer and few would have gone home disappointed.
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