Once upon a time…electronic music festivals didn’t happen in the bush. There was no such thing. Yes Broadford and Sunbury had a moment in the Rock star sun, and Falls would plunder the beer swilling faithful with more rock over the rolling hills. But there was no festival industry. Hard to conceive of now, with billowing clouds of dust rising up across Victoria; the signature of outdoor party mayhem and the stomp of dancing feet.
Why even point this out? Because, dear reader; now that there is such a thing as a “Festival Circuit”, and a vibrant outdoor party industry, it’s possible, given the funds, a bit of local knowledge and a modicum of passion, to enter the scene from stage right, declare thyself Mercutio at the feast and thumb thy nose at you sir: “You Sir” being the party consuming public. Yes, yes, this is to be expected, even welcomed, for choice is good, is it not?
But this is not us. This is:
Hello; our name is earthcore and we’re not Mercutio, and in fact we don’t even have a Shakespearian reference. We entered the story somewhere just after “Once upon a time”. And this is the story of what we did, and how we came to be doing it. Still…
Take a team of party goers, who for one reason or another are passionate about the social undercurrent sweeping through the ranks of underground Melbourne. A heaving warehouse party culture, in full flight and fancy; reclaiming the industrial waste and turning it into paradise. Just for a night. The hue and cry is that of: “Let’s get out of it man.” And it’s a cry of desperation, in response to growing up in the great suburban drama.
Call us fucking crazy and in many respects we are. But we went with “Let’s get out of it man!” And took to the Australian bush. Countless hours across myriad miles, searching for the real response to stifling city saturation.
And in that we offered a different choice. A party experience outside of confined walls. Beyond the artefacts and artifice, and if we’re particularly poetic we’d say it was an armistice, a brief pause for all of us, to get out of “it”, the city, for real.
For the punters it would begin with the drive, the dyslexic directions on late printed flyers, the inevitable getting lost, stalling on quiet dirt roads, windows wound down, straining to hear a telltale…folklore now…But that was how it began. The tale of earthcore and how the hills came to echo with the pound of music.
Our first parties were attended by a scant few. It was new black polished chrome and it came over the summer like liquid night, crazy new sound, delivered by fringe dwellers that never portended to make money. We did it to explore and host aspects of a culture that we valued, and in that we lay down some fierce roots. As it turned out those roots embedded deep into the ramping up of Australian party culture.
It took 10 years (???) for something to happen that we didn’t really see coming; but when it did, it came on like an avalanche: that impossible moment when that thing you do, have loved and breathed life into; even though it nearly killed you, repeatedly, suddenly crosses the threshold of critical mass. When enough people are so enthusiastic about the thing, their energy and momentum breaks across the shoreline and becomes the new groundswell.
4000 people became 8000 people and the whole country sat up and paid attention. What the hell? earthcore: 8000 people. earthcore: 18,000 people. Laws changed, government agencies became involved. The social experiment and underground oddity woke up a dozing public and for better or worse paved the way for what we aptly refer to as the Outdoor party industry.
Now 25 years on. earthcore is waving at you across the forest floor. 25 years is a long time; time enough for those seeded roots to delve so deep that even the various saga’s, sweeping epics and an enforced legal layoff couldn’t wash us away. So here we are. The weeping willow, still standing, amidst the erosion on the bank.
Welcome to or welcome back. You figure it out