Heading north towards a closing year. The takeaway boulevards, the shallow oppression of urban importance engulfed by the oncoming days. Till the company in the car swung back on itself. Till soon we were scoping the 9th Maleny Folk Festival, an idea that had gathered charm by the country mile.
Mid afternoon found us in a daze of spacious hospitality. Our camp sat four kilometres from a puffing cluster of tepees, tents, cars and bongs which encased the festival site.
Dry cobwebs, disfugured chairs, rotting white goods peeling back into the earth. Suspended stakes of dying steel reminding us of the optimism natural elements sometimes show. The lines of earlier communications and material meaning had rusted, fallen into overgrown grass.
Amid all this, sitting back and listening to the hum of a closing day, wandering over the compound, we punched a few back, fell to night in a strangely gathered way. Our surrounds crept as day drew by.
The final morning of 1994 found us well tarnished. We made our way across the plains to the road piled long with goers our way. The walk to the festival site was an event in itself. Disorientation, a touch of bad luck and a very real weirdness had us being chased off the road by Mad John’s lonely stretch bus service.
Well blunted, happy and bleeding, we finally wandered through the Festival gates. Set adrift with an anonymous spectacle. The immediate size undermind by interrelated values, objects, opinions. Focus became a complication. Loose momentum complemented a well tattered attention span. Each site a welcome view, usually engaging, vaguely familiar, uncontained:
A young boy aged by his hold of the sax blew out steam tunes.
Secret alleys, ones you could discover a day late, with maybe light rain for shade.
A black poet, full of travel, hallowed with crows that have counted all his miles.
Eyes with solitude and pride.
Invisible corridors scratched out by fairies of secret flight.
Soul mates stretched across life times.
Liquor sheds planted with greased celebration.
Calm beauty drifting by, staring you in the face with a spacious grin.