Island Vibe Festival 2014

Friday 31st October – Island Vibe


Bronwen’s parents’ had booked a car ferry to Stradbroke Island for nine o’clock, and Bronwen and I had planned to drive from here to the ferry and meet them there. However, after the car leaked coolant while shopping at Indooroopilly last night we’d arranged to get a lift from Bronwen’s parents rather than drive my car. Then, at six o’clock in the morning—just three hours after I’d gone to bed—I got a phone call from Bronwen’s Dad to say that they’d had a last minute change of plans because a friend was very ill and they were going to go see him, but that they weren’t able to change the ferry booking as all the rest were booked out, so they drove two cars over here, left the one they wanted to take to the island here, and drove the other one back to their place.

Bronwen and I quickly packed, and already running a little late and with no time to spare, rushed out to her parents’ car—only to find it wouldn’t start. This is a bit unusual because it’s quite a new car and hasn’t had any problems before, but no matter what Bronwen did, it would turn over but not actually start. After ringing both her Dad and Mum and not being able to figure it out (despite both asking if we were using the right key… which seemed a silly question at the time—and in retrospect I’d also asked Bronwen if she’d meant to leave a set of keys inside when we left, so we should probably have figured it out sooner), we discovered that in her haste Bronwen had used a non-coded spare key, instead of the coded key. After getting the right key from inside, somewhat unsurprisingly, the car started. This was all very stressful and made us late.

We rushed very slowly (because Bronwen isn’t a fast driver) to Cleveland, getting to the ferry ten minutes before it left.

The ferry journey was uneventful. I had an iced coffee to try to wake up. Once we arrived on the island we drove to Bronwen’s parents’ shed, had a quick lunch, and then Bronwen had to walk down to the Island Vibe Festival to begin her four hour shift as an Ops Assistant.


As I wasn’t starting work at the festival until four o’clock I had a short snooze before walking slowly along the beach to the festival. My job was to go around with a clipboard asking people questions about where they were from and how they’d got to the festival for four hours to help calculate the carbon footprint of the festival. I was working with Cerise— a girl from Byron who had applied to be a volunteer with the sustainability department, and got lucky and been assigned this role. I’d been specially offered this position due to applying late and Bronwen getting a position first, but the rest of the sustainability volunteers had, I suspect, volunteered without realising that “sustainability” was just the cool name chosen for “rubbish”, and their job was to, quite literally, wade through rubbish and sort it into piles. They collected various kinds of rubbish bins and poured them out onto a tarp and sorted them into recyclables, compost, etc. They were very envious of Cerise and I, who had a much nicer job and got to wander around the festival (and even down to the beach, where we went to survey people when it got too hot in the festival).

Bronwen, meanwhile, had turned up to her Ops Assistant position only to be immediately reassigned to ticketing, which based on the number of angry complaints I got from patrons standing in line when I went out to survey them, wasn’t going well. Apparently being an artist or having bought a VIP ticket meant you had to queue for significantly longer than the people who had normal tickets.


Bronwen and I stayed at the festival until late (it had a finish time of 11:15 PM for noise reasons), sneaking back to the shed in the wee hours of the morning to get some sleep and try not to wake up Bronwen’s parents’, who had arrived sometime during the afternoon.

The shed we stayed in on Stradbroke IslandThe Island Vibe Festival programThe ocean surrounding Stradbroke IslandHome Beach, Stradbroke IslandSome of the many food stalls at Island Vibe FestivalThe main stage area at Island Vibe FestivalBetween the main stage and the Bamboo Bass stage at Island Vibe FestivalThe Festival Shop was small and cute after working in the Woodford Festival ShopA large and quite cool turtleMany small turtles busy hatching from coconutsThe “Silent Disco”: People wear headphones and three DJs play different music. The headphones light up in red, green or blue depending on which DJ you are listening to.Main Stage, Island Vibe FestivalCerise with her clipboard, hard at work during the opening ceremonyCerise with her clipboard, hard at work at the Bamboo Bass stageOne of the face painting girls posing for a photoCerise hard at work getting her face paintedCerise with her clipboard again but now with a painted face, hard at work as usualMain Stage at Island Vibe FestivalScary guardians at the Bamboo Bass stageThe path to the beach at night

Saturday 1st November


I was working from three to seven today, so had a lazy morning going for a swim, having breakfast back at the shed, and enjoying the island life. Bronwen was back doing her Ops Assistant role today, which apparently mostly involved sitting around and waiting.


It was very hot, and the festival was quite still—despite there being quite strong winds on the beach. The trees between the beach and the festival managed to stop an amazing amount of wind.


Bronwen and I again stayed late at the festival, which again finished at 11:15.

Hey! Nude kats! Be aware… police may fine you! And they did indeed try – Cerise had to hide in the water while police stood near her clothes waiting for her to get outCompost in the Sustainability DepartmentThe Dance Circle at Island Vibe FestivalThe path to the beachThe beach at Island Vibe FestivalIsland Vibe screen printingOne of the four elementsOne of the four elementsOne of the four elementsOne of the four elementsNed fully reggae at Island Vibe FestivalStreet performers at Island Vibe FestivalStreet performers at Island Vibe FestivalStreet performers at Island Vibe FestivalStreet performers at Island Vibe FestivalSorting rubbish at the Sustainability DepartmentDJ and violin on the Bamboo Bass stage (Schwarr & Elle Shimada)Crowds at Island Vibe Festival

Sunday 2nd November


Bronwen’s shift started at eleven, and mine at twelve, so we headed down to the festival earlier than yesterday, and spent the whole day there. Bronwen did traffic duties today—the police had decided that all the parked cars were at risk of running someone over, so someone had to stop anyone new from parking. As soon as Bronwen’s shift was finished, everyone parked there again, so it seemed quite pointless. It was a little cooler today, which was nice as I was working in the hottest part of the day.


The festival finished earlier today, at 9:15, so we got back to the shed not too late—which was fortunate as we had to get up at 4:30 to get the ferry back to the mainland in time to get to work.

The festival was quite delightful—a very chilled out atmosphere, and small enough that wandering around it didn’t result in most of my body breaking like at Woodford.

Cliffs and the beach on Stradbroke IslandSand painting at Island Vibe FestivalSand painting at Island Vibe FestivalSand painting at Island Vibe FestivalWhat was left of the sand painting after the ocean intervenedA drumming circle at Island Vibe FestivalThe Dance Circle at Island Vibe FestivalBetween the Main Stage and Bamboo Bass Stage at Island Vibe FestivalBamboo Bass Stage at Island Vibe FestivalBamboo Bass Stage, Island Vibe FestivalSome of the stalls at Island Vibe FestivalMore stalls at Island Vibe FestivalThe Quandamooka Embassy at Island Vibe FestivalVolunteers relaxing on the beachOne of the reasons the festival didn’t blow away in the windIsland Vibe tickets were quite expensiveNed working hard on the beachCerise working hard in the forestCerise, clipboard in hand, hard at workStreet performers at Island Vibe FestivalThe festival shop came to you at Island Vibe Festival, and it had attitude!A child gets a good view at the Main StageThe Sustainability DepartmentA street performer glittersArchie Roach at Island Vibe FestivalThe Eco Space KoalaBronwen, unable to find any chairs, improvisesBronwen learns to flyThe bogan way of bringing alcohol into an alcohol free eventThe crazy people arriveMany pirates were to be found at Island Vibe FestivalThe path to the beach at Island Vibe FestivalOne of the many tree projections at Island Vibe FestivalMain stage at Island Vibe FestivalThe closing act crowd surfs at Island Vibe Festival (Hugo & Treats)Morgyn (festival founder) says thank you to the crowd and closes the festival