The Gathering Feel Good Festival was launched on Australia Day, 26 January 2017 on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Set at Country Paradise Parklands, a superb venue on lush acreage tucked away in the outskirts of Nerang, there’s no doubt that this festival has set its roots on the Gold Coast for years to come. The Gathering Feel Good Festival is an opportunity to gather with friends, meet new friends, celebrate life, dance, eat, drink and be merry while experiencing the psytrance music of red hot international and Australian talent. Leave your stress at the gate and let all your inhibitions go with psytrance music, psychedelic decor, and mind, body, soul gurus guaranteed to make you feel good.
The event was host to twelve international DJs labelled superstars of their genre. Festival mastermind, Peter Sheill coordinated over 35 Australian producers from interstate and south-east Queensland to showcase four stages and the Mind and Spirit Tipi Village. International headliners included: Suduaya from France, Dick Trevor, Tristan, Killerwatts, Avalon, and Gaudi from the United Kingdom; Ranji from Israel; The Upbeats and Concord Dawn from New Zealand; Dusty Kid from Italy, Perfect Stranger (US), D-Nox & Beckers from Germany.
I had the privilege of interviewing French national, Louis David Roquefere, mastermind behind Suduaya. He began playing the violin from the age of five and by the time he was seven he was writing melodies. His taste of music has evolved over the years. He was playing guitar in a metal band when a trip to Portugal hooked him to psytrance music. His music is influenced by a variety of experiences. One in particular that totally blew his mind was a visit to Sri Lanka around eleven years ago. He was overwhelmed by the country’s spirituality. This experience created a change in his music that caused it to evolve into a type of meditative dance music based on positive vibes. In Louis’ own words:
‘When you play on stage, you have a responsibility in what you’re giving. I believe the music has to be positive and not related to my ego. If it’s related to my ego then I would be sending my shit out to people rather than it being positive. It’s like meditation when I create music. It’s coming to me from the universe, an outside source. It’s not from me and my ego. Sometimes I feel like it’s not coming from me, it’s more channelled through me and I receive this energy so I can give it back through my music. When I get the feedback from the audience, it’s amazing. When I see people’s faces smiling it’s really satisfying. It’s really an amazing job, especially being able to share this in so many countries…it’s crazy.’Louis David Roquefere
I also interviewed Ryan Whare, who had a rhythm going even while he spoke. He’s the mastermind behind Ryanosaurus, which is based on a unique mix of phat baselines and glitchy soundscapes influenced by foreign styles. Ryan’s inspired by multiple influences when he writes but he enjoys putting himself in a trance state when writing psytrance. His career began to take off when he teamed up with Mr Bill on his duo project Electrocado.
To get into complete chill-out mode, I was lured into the Mind and Spirit Tipi Village where I cooled my body off with a refreshing Acai smoothie. Teepees were set up for meditation and mind, body and soul healing. The Sacred Circle Tent offered relaxation and meditation sessions by Christine Crane from Drishti and Tani Beister. Carla Marshall from Kali Anahatta Yoga offered deep sound healing using Japanese harmonic singing rings.
My eye caught the Ayurveda tent where the offer of a head/foot massage for $10/10 mins was impossible to pass up. Ten minutes was so relaxing that I booked another ten minutes for the pure joy of Ayurveda practitioner, Ashmita White’s expertise in getting the busyness out of my mind and dissolving all stress in such a short amount of time. To her credit she went above and beyond with explaining this Indian ancient health care tradition that heals mind and body. Ashmita is based in Fremantle, Western Australia. Her healing centre is called Soular Touch Rasayana.
All up, The Gathering Feel Good Festival was an awesome mix of ultra-talented psychedelic trance music creators, decorations that are a work of art designed to blow your mind, and the opportunity to chill out at the Mind and Spirit Tipi Village set amongst the organic gardens. Whether you’re familiar with psytrance music or not, you’ll find your body responding to the beats and before you know it, you’ll be caught up in a dance trance. It’s definitely contagious. What a great way to spend Australia Day on the Gold Coast. Maybe I’ll see you next year.
This review was also published on WeekendNotes and can be viewed on the following link: www.weekendnotes.com/gathering-feel-good-festival/