Back to Victoria – Meredith Music Festival 2017

In early December 2017 we set off once again to Victoria, this time for the long-running Meredith Music Festival. After Dragon Dreaming in November, we were confident in our ability to a) sleep in the van with music going 24/7, b) blend in with young festival-goer’s and c) deal with anything the festival could throw at us. What we didn’t count on was Melbourne hipsters and Meredith’s focus on relatively unknown artists. It’s a sad state when the DJ between acts gets the crowd going more than the main acts themselves (or at least that’s how it seemed to us).

We set off down the familiar Hume Highway towards Victoria the day before the festival with no real clear plan beyond getting as close as we could to the site and then having some drinks. We ended up in Seymour, which is at about the mid-way point between Melbourne and the NSW border. Small town, less than 5000 people, and only one pub was open on the Thursday night we arrived. Great night out culminated in drunken stumbling back across the train tracks to the caravan park at around midnight.

Waking up in Seymour

That Friday morning we headed down to Meredith. Google maps again proved it’s inability to distinguish between a Victorian main arterial road and a goat track that makes its way up the side of the mountain, but we got to the festival site safely. Much more organised than Dragon and no sniffer dogs, but they did check for people hiding in the back of the van? We started looking for a campsite at around 2pm, and it initially appeared everything was taken up already. Turns out, Melbourne festival goer’s only like to camp on the edges of designated camp zones, leaving the middle bit completely empty. Not sure why this is, maybe so they can get away earlier? Anyway, we found a route between some tents and found a bunch of space to set up in.

Almost no one around us because no one squished up. (Other Delica in background though)

Rosie’s put together some brief points on her thoughts on the festival and I agree with most of them:

The Good:

  • Meredith Amphitheatre and facilities – beautiful site and you can tell that this has been going on for over 20 years. The natural amphitheatre is a stunning venue and the bars/toilets/showers/facilities are well set up. Getting in and out was also super easy with minimal waiting times (you can tell we are getting old!)
  • Cocktail Bars – even though it was BYO (which is awesome) there was still the option to buy at the bars. The Espresso Martinis were constantly flowing and were quicker than the coffee lines in the morning.
  • The DJ between sets – rocked it with some bangers! I don’t think we have ever heard the crows get disappointed for the break to be over and the main act to come on.
  • Sunsets over Meredith – pictures say it all. They were pretty spectacular!
  • Scott and Casey – awesome road trip/festival buddies (NB: Casey hired a basic camper van and we convoyed together the whole way down)
  • Beer Darts – totally a game, and totally a thing we need to play again. Basically two players stand on either side about 10m apart and throw darts at their opponents can of beer sitting on the ground in front of them. If you hit the can, it explodes, and the other person has to shot gun it. Missing the can results in the can being shook up further and/or moved closer to the opponent, depending on how bored the audience is getting.
  • The steak sandwich at Gundagai Hotel on the way there. It was actually the best steak sandwich any of us had ever had (and maybe ever will have). No pictures as we all scoffed it before we realised the magic that it was… 11/10 recommend.
Natural amphitheater was excellent.

The Bad:

  • The food @ Meredith – I had bad luck with everything that I ordered at the festival. Crappy pad thai that was pretty much just cold rice noodles with some soy; the worst chicken burger I think I have ever had (soggy, unflavoured, barely cooked chicken); Quesadillas that took about 40mins to get and were just extremely average; the driest lamb souvlaki even though it was smothered in sauce. The best thing I had was a roast potato for breaky on the last day, but anything is good with sour cream and cheese
  • The littering – so much litter was left! Really quiet sad and put a further downer on the crowd.
  • Sunburn – so much sunburn…
Free ferris wheel rides were very cool.

The Meh:

  • The acts – a little too no-name for us and didn’t really gel with the genres of music…
  • The crowd – didn’t really click with the crowd either. Having just come from Dragon which has a very different vibe, I think the Melbourne/Falls vibe caught us by surprise.
  • The weather – literally cycled through every season in the period of 30 minutes. From boiling hot (jumpers on!), to pissing down rain (rain coats on!), back to full sun (strip off!), repeat. There was a common chorus form the crowd for consistency. Don’t care if it’s hot; don’t care if it’s cold; just pick a temperature!!
  • The bathrooms – totally love the idea of recycled waste and turning it into compost, but was really glad to get to a place where the toilets weren’t covered in saw dust. It’s worse than sand!
  • Google Maps – as Head navigator/co-passenger, I don’t know what I do, but Google always seems to take us the most random ways… Not a total loss as we were able to check out the Tooborac Brewery and see some pretty lovely country side, but can’t lie – there were some moments of OMG where the heck are we?
This is not a main road Google!
All festivals need beer bongs.

All up, we had fun and are glad we went, but strangely enough I think we fit in with the hippy bush doof crowd more than the yuppie, Melbourne hipster crowd. Never thought I’d say that!

Total trip: 1502km Average fuel: 13L/100km

Never change sweet prince.
Tents prior to Victorian weather ripping down most of the pergolas
Beautiful sunsets, but very angry sun (sunburn)
Glamour shot of Seymour campground
We have no idea who these puppets belonged to, but we got to use them for at least an hour before we gave them to some other randoms. (Puppets get away with anything!)
A lot of effort went into costumes at this festival.
Line up on the way into festival.
Rosie showing off her lovely vest of death
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