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Rainbow Serpent - Making the connection

Author: michelle pirovich
Monday, 20 January 2003
500 workers and volunteers, 3 days, 10 international acts, 40 local artists, 20 performers, 1 Sacred Geometrist and countless areas for camping, eating, chilling and dancing. I am of course referring to the Rainbow Serpent Festival, taking place over this long weekend.

After its humble and extremely wet beginnings in 1998, the Rainbow Serpent Festival has become one of Melbourne's premier cultural events. Internationally recognised RSF is an alternative event that celebrates music and life; for many it is a chance to delve deep into their spiritual side, for others it's simply the perfect opportunity to escape the grind of daily life.

Frank Venuto and the Green Ant crew are about to embark on their sixth festival and despite a hectic schedule Frank took some time out to discuss the magic of Rainbow Serpent.

This year will see Rainbow Serpent entering its 6th year, what do you attribute its success to-

I believe that Rainbow Serpent Festival is a unique event on the Melbourne and even Australian party calendar. Right from its small beginnings we have put the event together in a very community minded way with lots of involvement from everyone we know and others who have approached us to help along the way. We have a heavy focus on art and creativity and maintain an international standard of production and entertainment in all aspects of the event. Of course the crowd that we have attracted contribute a positive and holistic vibe also making the event incredibly memorable and special for all.

What does the festival have on offer this year- Is there anything different from past events-

As usual we have a strong line-up of some of the worlds leading trance producers and DJs plus a huge line-up of Australia's favorites. There is plenty of space and facilities provided for camping, a bigger than ever market precinct, loads of decor artists and installations, a very extensive workshop and healing area, children's area and outdoor cinema. The site has been arranged slightly differently to past years with a heavier focus on art, performance and the workshops area.

What is that you would like people to get out of the Rainbow Serpent experience-

We try to create a space where people can get away from the usual weekly routine of modern society. It's a time to get together with lots of other like minded people, feeling that tribal bond, dancing outdoors and amongst nature. It's a way to recharge and hopefully take back home with you a more positive outlook and approach to what it's all about. 'Make the connection'

At a time when the world is in real turmoil do you feel that Rainbow Serpent will mean a lot more to people this time around-

I think it has the potential to really make people think about the way we live and some of the choices we make in life. It's pretty obvious that human nature is a major cause of many of ours and the worlds problems, and the opportunity to be open to the alternative attitudes and lifestyles that can be experienced and shared at an event like Rainbow Serpent can be really rewarding and hopefully help to make real positive changes in peoples lives.

I'm sure a lot of people think that organising an event is just getting together some toilet facilities and a few artists, what else is actually involved-

I agree that many people must think that, however it really is a major operation, taking many months of planning to put together. From liaising with authorities and organisations such as council, cfa, community groups, ambulance and first aid, immigration and police to overseeing a national and international marketing campaign. Dealing with travel agents, booking agents, and artists all around the world. Putting together logistics and facilities to ensure the safety and well being of patrons and trying to manage budgets that tend to go wildly out of control. As the event has grown we have created nearly a dozen key co-ordinator roles which hel
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