Thursday, October 25, 2012

the ladies on the hill at gotr

Last weekend I did something so fabulous that I may have used up all the world's awesomes. Along with three friends we packed up my car and drove to Dungog for Gentlemen of the Road. Mumford and Sons were curating a series of festivals around the world - and Dungog was Australia's. Handy, as it's only just over an hour's drive {well, if you know where you're going, note: just because they're hipsters in a Kombi doesn't mean they're going to Dungog...}

We chose the VIP camping option - which was a great move. Inside the grounds of Dungog Showground, where the event was hosted, we arrived to fully set up tents - complete with stretcher beds, matresses and a lamp. Awesome.

We arrived on the friday night where DJs were playing sets with 50s vinyl. Did you know that all the cool kids are now totally down with 50s dance moves? You do now - it's officially a thing. It was excellent and we danced, air-guitared {well, some of us did - some just doubled-over laughing with the joy of it all} and sang the loudest version of Bohemian Rhapsody with 500 others before stumbling off to bed.

We showered and found breakfast under the showground. Awesome egg and bacon rolls were had. We found a table under massive gumtrees on the hill and chatted away. After a while we thought, 'hang on a minute...' We had a table, in shade, on the hill, in direct line of site to the stage - why move? So we didn't. From 9.30am we sat at that table and chatted - and desperately tried to get data to tweet {well, that was me...} Thank goodness we did because.

Mumford and Sons came on stage at about 11.30 and did three complete songs in the soundcheck. We had our own private concert {well, us and all the workers in the bars and food vans}. It was genius. It was also the scene of yet another hilarious run in between my friends J and A who seemed to get pulled up by security for breathing wrong. Nothing negative - just suitably hilarious and yet-another fab story to add to our memories. Oh, see that orange and white thing on table? Solar phone charger - or, as we called it, solar phone sucker as it actually SUCKED charge from my phone.

Here's a bit of a time-lapse photography - I took shots of the ground every hour. We saw brilliant bands and artists play: Husky, Sarah Blasko, Willy Mason, Matt Corby, Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros - and then, piece de resistance - Mumford and Sons.

Yes, this would be Mumford totally going off. What music, what an atmosphere - what an experience. I'm still on a high from it all. I came home and bought every artist's album that I didn't already own and have had them on continual rotation. I want to live my life like a Mumford Song, slow, beautiful - then fast, joyous and passionate.

After a blistering set, Mumford left the stage and when they came back for an encore to the crowd's chants of Babel, Babel, Babel, they actually told us they'd be performing their new song Babel, for the first time ever! And it. Went. Off. If it's possibly for 12 000 people to explode from ecstasy I'm pretty sure we did. Then, all the other artists joined the band on stage for a Fleetwood Mac number. As you do. Joy.

I loved the branding of the event too - there was such a sense of occasion. Here we are leaving, sated on great music and with memories that'll sustain me in my very old age.

The next morning we packed up, left our tent and started the drive back to Newy, but not before stopping at this rather fabulous Cottage Cafe in Clarence Town. It was filled with nana-chic, including these gorgeous flowers on a vintage cloth. I'm sure they were overwhelmed with the hipster influx - but man, they did an awesome egg and bacon roll.

We dubbed ourselves The Ladies on the Hill at Gentlemen of the Road - and what a hill. I also managed to meet the gorgeous Victoria who reads my blog {Hi, V, wasn't it just magnificent!} My friends and I also bonded in an extraordinary way - don't you love it when you experience something one-of-a-kind with friends? The next day we were all a little teary and emotional - and still keep tweeting each other with reminders of the weekend.

Sometimes I wonder if I do too much, go out too often, do too much... and then I think, nah - it's awesome.

ps: sorry, no flowers for friday tomorrow - I'll be in Kiama for an awesome wedding. We're leaving in an hour for four days of festivities {high tea, croquet, lunches, dinners, wedding - house on a cliff overlooking the ocean - I know, tough life...} I'll be instagramming - find me there and follow me. x


  1. That table was such a score! Sounds like the weekend had such a nice vibe to it. And now Kiama - you do gad about.

  2. Certainly was an awesome gig...We(the family all highly charged mumfamily of four)only had to drive for 5,1/2 hours from Mudgee for this rare occasion.Excellently staged, and managed throughout."Top hats off" to Mumford and all the organisers for this truely memorable event.All the people we, met flew or drove from Melbourne.....and the after party celebrations @ the other campsite made it needless to drift off into slumber...We really had the best time and we are still reliving it everyday...


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