Event: Strawberry Fields Festival 2019, NSW Australia

Australia is definitely known for its next level festivals, Strawberry Fields being one of them. It’s actually been rated as one of the top 10 festivals worldwide on Resident Advisor and has big names on the line-up every year. Basically, it is one huge party in the middle of the Australian bush with one of the coolest and most fun crowds I’ve ever seen and definitely an unique experience for all festival lovers.

Strawberry Fields is an underground music festival held near the small town Tocumwal in New South Wales, Australia with about 8000 people attending each year. It is a beautiful set-up in the middle of nature with a magical atmosphere and so many trippy, wooden details and lots to discover. The festival not only hosts international DJs and live music acts, but also shows performances and offers workshops. Spread out through the trees and along the river, there are five different stages: The big mainstage Wildlands, next to it the smaller Deep jungle stage, as well as the Resident Advisor stage The Beach, right by the river. The other two stages The Grove and the Tealounge are mainly for live music.

Young Marco closing the Beach stage on Friday.

The festival officially began on Friday afternoon and Young Marco helped getting the party started with his set at the Resident Advisor stage The Beach. As always, he presented a nice selection and played a lot of well known tracks. Some of which might have been played too many times in the recent past. Still, it was the perfect opening for the festival on this very sunny and hot day. The Deep Jungle stage was reserved for more deep house and tech house sounds on Friday and I caught some of The Journey’s excellent, atmospheric set that evening. Meanwhile, Octo Octa and Eris Drew played a banging b2b set at the mainstage Wildlands with a remarkable selection. The party was full on going by then and no matter what stage you went to, you found a dedicated crowd that seemed more than ready for the big weekend. Bebetta was in charge of closing the Deep Jungle stage that night and played an on point tech house set. It was a great ending to the first day and got everyone excited for Saturday. 

The Beach stage on Saturday during the legendary b2b2b2b.

Saturday was certainly the big day with the biggest crowd and amazing vibes. Everyone was super dressed-up. The Beach stage was definitely the place to be that day and in general probably my most favorite stage. Shanti Celeste, Moxie, Peach and Saoirse played a sensational seven hour b2b2b2b set. An absolute premium selection with heavenly transitions! All four ladies were in best form and every track was a banger, without it ever getting boring. It was an incredibly fun set and they had a big, dancing and cheering crowd throughout the whole set. At the very end of their set, they played the 80s track “Smalltown boy” by Bronski Beat which was possibly the most beautiful and emotional moment of the day.

Kornél Kovács at the Deep Jungle stage.

Sadly, I only caught a glimpse of Kornél Kovács’ performance at the Deep Jungle stage that was followed by Roi Perez’ solid, groovy set. Despite the big vibes throughout the day, Saturday night felt a bit disappointing at first. Instead of a DJ set there was live music during prime time at the mainstage and the energy suddenly got a bit flat while the crowd seemed way less hyped than usual. No set could really capture me that night, until Oliver Koletzki finally managed to slowly raise the excitement again at Wildlands. Maragret Dygas kept the nice rave atmosphere up after Koletzki. Still, I had expected more of Saturday night with the day starting off so good and it felt like Friday night had actually been the bigger, better night.

Strawbs on the rainy Sunday.

Sunday was the last day of the festival and already ended in the early evening. Despite the bad weather, it was one big party again. Only the Strawbs crowd could manage to look this good in the rain. The Deep Jungle stage had super chill vibes with a smaller crowd dancing at first. The main stage however was very crowded all day. Leon Vynehall played an energetic, groovy set, so the party was full on going in the afternoon already. He ended his set with some dingy Garage, dub and drum n bass and overall played a variety of genres. Gerd Janson followed with the closing set of the festival and played big, celebratory tunes. It was a grande finale with lots of cheering and big moments, despite the pouring rain.

The big Wildlands stage on Friday.

Overall it is an amazing festival, with the most fun crowd. I’ve rarely ever seen a crowd as cool, sexy, diverse and colourful. Everyone was dressed up for the occasion and it felt like one big party with a great vibe wherever you went. It really reminded me of the Berlin nightlife. It was always a proper rave no matter what stage, time or weather – Aussies really go hard. Also the quality in music was very high throughout the whole festival and it was great to just wander around and explore new music. Generally, it seemed perfectly organised as well and the setting also made it the unique experience that it was.

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