A few weeks ago I brought in the New Year at Peats Ridge festival in Glenworth Valley. I was there as a guest photographer for Tripping Kitties shooting for in the mix It was my first summer camping festival and it made me miss Splendour's cold chill. It was the sweltering early days of the heatwave to come and the early morning tent-sauna wake-ups sent us searching for the valley's shady spots.
Even with the heat I think it was one of the best festivals I've ever been to, which is why I was so sad to learn that it might have been the last year. I went along with a media pass and everyone I knew there had also been given a free ticket to use their skills as photographer, body painter, music reviewer, musician, friend of musician, friend of photographer... and even though I love the sentiment (that we can all contribute) I can't imagine it helped their cause much. I do hope someone comes in to save this amazing festival - it just had such a lovely atmosphere with adults and kids alike being so super friendly. And it's nice to find a mainstream festival with such a focus on sustainability and the visual arts.
The line-up was just as good with so many great Australian and international acts. Some of my favourites were Winter People, The Herd, Tijuana Cartel (had no idea how good these guys were!), Fanny Lumsden, The Black Seeds, Belle and the Bone People (always good), The Falls, Little Bastard, Tigertown, Deep Sea Arcade, The Medics, Battleships and a surprise open mic set by Busy Kingdom.
There was an impromptu dancing line to Clairy Browne and the Banging Rackettes, where a few hundred of us stood at the back mimicking the soulful moves of her back-up singers.
Sharon Jones had us dancing like crazy and questioning why she wasn't picked to bring in the new year. That was until John Butler Trio got up there. I had no idea how much of an amazing performer he is. He just understood the vibe of the crowd and absolutely let loose for an hour and a half - turing his 3 minute hits into songs that seemed to go on forever... in a good way.
I really do hope that Peats Ridge will live to see another year. It was just an unbelievably happy and unassuming festival. And as someone who always gets out of Sydney over NYE I couldn't have asked for a better couple of days.
Check out the full gallery at in the mix and a story I shot for MTV. Here's some of my favourites... xx