Island Vibe; the one time of year when Minjerribah is inundated with the environmentally conscious, reggae sounds of Jamaica, and we can’t get enough of it. There are however a number of things to keep in mind before attending, and before you get your dreadlocks in a knot (get it? HA) over a camping mob telling you what to do, these are guidelines only (but highly recommended because we are seasoned Island Vibe veterans).
1. First things first; Slip, Slop, Slap.
Sunscreen should be your daily necessity regardless but even more so at Island Vibe. Keep in mind, much like Splendour in the Grass, Blues Fest and other Byron Bayesque 72 hour festivals; Island Vibe is a marathon, not a sprint. You need that precious epidermis to last three, catch that- THREE, whole days under our Straddie rays’ so be wise and sunscreen-ize.
2. Don’t wear WHITE
White clothing has this unusual universal effect to attract all types of non-white substances and particles such as mud, dirt, red wine and in extreme cases, beetroot (even if you aren't in the vicinity of beetroot eaters). Incase you haven’t realised, Island Vibe is held OUTSIDE which makes white the most inappropriate of all choices. Think of Island Vibe as a really messy wedding. White = NO.
3. BYO Loo Paper
It only takes one music festival to remove your novice status and you know you’ve truly learnt your lesson when you start bringing your own loo paper along. Alas, Island Vibe is no different to any other latrinely challenged celebration of music by day three. If you listen to only one piece of my advice let this be it. You can thank me later.
4. Starve Yourself
This one is not about showing off the midriff in a crocheted crop top. This one is all about STORAGE. There is actually SO MUCH amazing food at Island Vibe that you’re gunna wish you haven’t eaten in months, just so you can slowly enjoy the smorgasbord before you. Take it from me, this three-day degustation is not for the faint stomached so unless it’s already Thursday night kick off, put down that chip! Right now! That’s half a chip you can swap for a Dutch Pancake or Quesillda on Saturday #yourewelcome.
You need to come to the terms with the fact that you will have to walk EVERYWHERE. Traffic is the least of your worries this weekend, strict parking rules will apply to every available piece of land in, around and opposite the festival. The Bowls Club will have a limited amount of parking, Allure Resort will tow you unless you have a permit displayed and Chillers has about 3 x 15 minute car spots to its name so unless you’re prepared to pay a hefty towing fee I recommend you walk. Most places will have a courtesy bus however I would call the venues prior as they may not be running all day.
6. It's all ages BUT you must be 18 to get into the booze tent
Island Vibe is running the same set up as the last few years with two designated bar tents. These tents have a heavy security presence so its just easier for everyone if you play by the rules.
This cocktail bar is a strict over 18’s area only and no alcohol is to be taken from this area into the festival. If you are set on having an evening sponsored by Bundy and dancing you can dance a little inside the bar tent or visit the Bowls Club accross the road who will be hosting live music all weekend long and thanks to the pass out rule at Island Vibe, you can come and go as often as you please. (This is also our back up if you forget the loo paper rule)
7. Police are EVERYWHERE
A nice Segway from the above point, by the time you get to Island Vibe, you’ve probably already noticed the amount of police around. Which means, if you are doing anything untoward, I can almost guarantee you will get caught. Keep in mind there are children present all day and a very heavy police presence. So be a dear, and don’t carry on like a complete doughnut head. Ta.
8. Don’t invest in costly footwear
Speaking of the above point, I'd avoid wearing your most prized pair of suede sandles, fresh Birkenstocks or even your swankiest pair of TNs. Shoes are only going to get filthy and/or disposed of so don’t wear any of your favourites. In fact, I would recommend investing in the cheapest ones you can find. That way, when the post-Island-Vibe depression sinks in, you won’t have to mourn the loss of your shoes along with a headache and your dignity.
9. Don’t go swimming at night.
This may be an obvious point however it seems, judging by past years, it still needs to be said. Do not go swimming at night! When I first moved here I was often tempted, after a hot summers night, to go for a dip and noticed that no locals ever wanted to join my evening aquatic expedition. Why? I asked myself. BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT STUPID. Please don’t go anywhere near the water if it is dark or if you have had a few drinks, and especially if your situation falls into both categories.
10. Don't Illegally Camp!
It has to be said that whilst we do our darndest to provide as much accommodation as close to the festival as possible, the overarching success of this festival means that each year, many miss out. That being said, it is not an excuse to 'go bush' and set up wheverever your inebriated self feels obliged. If you haven't been able to book camping at Adder, Cylinder or Home Beach please look into our alternative campgrounds such as Amity or Bradburys and get a crew together to split the taxi or call our new bus service Strad Easy. There's plenty of alternatives to becoming one with the land and landing a hefty fine. Dont be that guy.
So in summary, don’t wear white, pack sunscreen and toilet paper, don’t even think about smuggling alcohol in, wear cheap shoes (or none), don’t bring the car and get ready to eat your body weight in amazing food.
This has been a public service announcement, from a girl who loves white, carries hand sanitizer everywhere and refuses to wee in the bushes. You’re welcome.
DON'T FORGET! If your Post Island Vibe Depression is kicking in sooner than expected, stay around for Island Elements Festival from November 2nd - 4th for three more days of soul searching, yoga and firetwirling!