Sunday, March 26, 2023

Esoteric a sellout success

Recent stories

Seven years in the making and interrupted by a Covid cancellation, Donald’s 2023 Esoteric festival, “Wild Wastelands”, proved to be a sell-out, with a gathering of 7,500 paying patrons converging on the site, just north of Donald for the five day event.

Local promoter, Sam Goldsmith, has invested heavily in the continued development of the location, spending months upgrading infrastructure for this year’s event.

He must be delighted with the public response for the sixth annual festival, which attracted a record crowd, drawn from all parts of Australia and beyond.

And an ambulance officer, one of the many emergency services personnel working on site, praised the quality of the triage facilities, describing them as the best he’d had to work in at festivals he had attended.

Representatives from the Dja Dja Wurrung traditional owners of the land on which the festival was located, performed a smoking ceremony to welcome participants, sharing traditional song and dance with an audience that has become something of an Esoteric festival family.

Many of those present have been to numerous previous events, and judging by the significant increase in numbers, there were many first timers, a very encouraging indicator for an event which continues to grow in popularity.

Spokesperson, Bec Phillips, shared details of the Dja Dja Wurrung culture, and explained the significance of the location.

She urged those attending to “look out for each other and be good to each other, have fun, and to dance with this earth”.

From the official opening on Saturday morning, through to the closing ceremony on Monday, including a spectacular fireworks display late in the evening, perfect autumn weather enabled those present to enjoy the doof doof music, energetic dancing and the warm and friendly atmosphere Esoteric created.

Those involved in the festival’s organisation, from the land owners to those responsible for co-ordinating the entertainment and many add on services required to support such a large number of festival goers, have witnessed Esoteric grow quickly and they understand how important it is to make sure Esoteric is here for generations to come.

Now that the hard part of building the venue is complete, they can now focus on this incredible festival and provide all Esotericans with a wonderland full of enchantment and mystical energies.

“Wild Wastelands”, this year’s theme, is reflected in the official promotional description of “a location that has been transformed from an under developed plantation and dryland farming paddock, into an environment safe for everyone, free from negative energy that’s filled with love, smiles, jaw-dropping visuals, art, forest lighting, décor, food and market stalls, lifestyle workshops, exciting secret areas and most importantly bigger and badder banging tunes in the thumping temples of stomping feet cutting-edge acts.

With the incredible support from the Buloke Shire, the Donald community, emergency services and the doof community, those behind the festival are pumped more than ever to evolve Esoteric to the next phase of being the ultimate psychedelic underground bush doof experience.

Financial benefit

Anyone doubting the benefits the Esoteric Festival’s drawing power has to offer Donald and surrounding towns, only needed to view the constant stream of patrons passing through town from Wednesday, with the traffic flow increasing to a peak period on Friday.

A record crowd of 7,500, plus up to 3,000 staff and crew members ensured Esoteric Wild Wastelands was the biggest social event ever staged within the local community.

Hundreds and thousands of tents, caravans and other modes of camping transformed a vacant paddock, leading up to the entertainment area among the tree plantation, into a small but bustling and vibrant city for the duration of the festival.

Among locals to benefit from the on-site experience were organisations which provided volunteers to staff the Lions Club’s popular barbecue, and Skye Abbott’s coffee van.

More pictures in the issue.

The Buloke Times 15 March 2023

This article appeared in The Buloke Times, 15 March 2023.


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