If you’ve been there already then fellow Rainbower, I share the love <3 This was my experience..
Five sun drenched days of bohemian escapades set against a backdrop of rolling hills and pulsating pystrance at the unforgettable Rainbow Serpent festival in Lexton, Australia.
After a reasonably long journey and managing to squeeze our tent into a very cosy camp space we were relieved and super excited to kick back with some beers and let the festival vibes soak in.
Most people arrived on Thursday like us, so anticipation for the weekend ahead was palpable and spirits were high. The striking beauty of our surroundings was the first thing I noticed, immediately mesmerised by the sight of rolling hills lit up in the shimmering sunlight.
Before the night began I was a sensible girl and went on a food mission. Here I had the open burrito which was fresh and full of flavour.
There are food stalls everywhere at Rainbow offering a range of veggie and vegan eats and several juice/ smoothie bars alongside the more conventional options. I had the best pizzas here- I recommend going to the pizza stall serving pizzas fresh out the oven which they churn out all day. You just pick whichever takes your fancy. They use very simple ingredients but are so light and delicious! A must!
As darkness settled over the festival on the first night we ventured out from our campsite to explore the various stages and attractions. The highlight for me was discovering the colourful carpets which reminded me of a dream I had a long time ago- *I was running through the dewy grass at night towards the trippy lights of a musical wonderland in the distance.* Rainbow had to be destiny!
Most of the music starts on Friday and as we were staying next to Market stage which opens on Friday and has DJs playing non stop through till Monday night we decided to have a relatively low key one on Thursday to prepare for the music marathon ahead.
The next morning we woke up to a cloudless sky and an increasingly hot tent(!) so Cam and I went exploring with some ciders to keep us company.
The whole weekend was set to be a scorcher so seeking some moments in the shade was pretty essential.
Our camp was full of fun loving, open-minded people and everyone was on the good side of crazy so I felt completely at home.
I only took a daytime shot of these big swings but I had such fun jumping on the swings as night fell. The darkness, aided by a distinct lack of sobriety, made me feel like a bird soaring through the starry night sky as I reconnected with the simple joys of being a child again. Definitely found my happy place!
As the sunset descended upon the festival on Friday evening the beginning act was revving up the crowd over at Market stage and I was hastily getting glittered up. There was a mass exodus towards the stage and I made sure I did my fancy dress super quick so as not to miss the action!
The smoky rampant vibes of pure debauchery were well under way as we arrived. We boogied hard and I soon found myself back at camp with everyone where the madness was just beginning. Also a pill I’d taken was just kicking in….
Blissful moments on the hammock led to some surreal brain moments back down on earth so I dragged Cam to the hillside with me.
It was relieving to feel the cooling breeze as the sun slowly dipped below the horizon and gave way to the twinkling lights of the festival grounds. That state of tranquillity eased the sense of insanity down below and soon I was ready to embrace it all again.
On our way back down into the pandemonium we bumped into a friend, and soon found a few more super high earthlings wandering in our direction.
It was the morning after the trippy night before, and we found ourselves poised as spectators of an experimental dance session going on while we ate our breakfast, feeling somewhat lethargic.
It was very relaxing to watch, but definitely too early to participate.
A few beers into the day, I was heading to the pool party with this dude. It was so hot and sticky, the cooling water was definitely calling me.
When we returned I went for a wander around on my own and my attention was captured by the undulating sounds of psytrance at market stage so I found myself drifting there once again. Getting lost in the music I looked up and spotted these guys trying to have a boogie while balancing precariously on the branch of a tree!
Soon it was time to head back to camp to begin preparations for the night ahead.
A friend’s idea, we all donned our pre-made stick figure costumes for a long night of dressed up antics.
After a lil’ boogie at market stage with everyone, we were drawn like Pagans to the setting sun so we meandered our way up the golden hill with our mate Paul to enjoy a chilled out moment of serenity.
Safely on top of the world, the view was incredible as ever and we happily nestled into a spot on the grass. We had such a laugh up here, sharing thoughts and general moments of idiocy aided by copious amounts of booze and nang induced highs. Lying on a grassy hilltop admiring the sun soaked sky after hitting a nang really is one of my favourite feelings.
Another night of raving passed too quickly and it was somehow already Sunday, our last full day. I made sure to wander round and take photographs of anything which caught my eye to save as happy memories till next year.
The lotus temple was often packed out with yoga classes and meditation sessions.
Rainbow is full of workshops, talks, galleries and other alternative things to do which does’t involve getting messed up and raving to pystrance. (Although I could spend days doing the latter.) The festival is all about opening your mind to the universe- challenging your perspective and channelling an inner state of bliss. When you let everything go it’s not hard to reach your destination.
That evening we had a bigger tribe of sun worshippers making the pilgrimage up the hill to watch mother nature do it’s thing for the final time.
Our last night of Rainbow was now upon us and it was well and truly time to party.
Don’t ask what I was doing with the tape as I’m not sure either!
The next day was Monday, or ‘Mad Monday’ as people call it. I was gutted we couldn’t stay for this but I’m really hoping next year will be the one! Monday is the last day of the festival so everyone gathers up all their last traces of booze and supplies, and all the energy they can muster up for one final descent into madness.
One of the biggest bush doof’s in Australia, and a huge one if you’re into psytrance, if you long to escape to a place where your spirit can be free and people co-exist together in wonderful harmony away from the traps of modern society, then don’t let yourself miss the unique, utterly mesmerising experience that is Rainbow Serpent Festival.