Festival Review: Rabbit Hole

In its inaugural year, Rabbit Hole Festival proved it has the potential to become one of Melbourne’s best weekend getaways for music lovers.

During arguably the busiest time on the calendar, the festival attracted a small yet enthusiastic crowd to the beautiful surrounds of a farm at Merton, approximately 2.5 hours from Melbourne’s CBD.

With an all-Melbourne line-up of live acts and DJs, it was a perfect showcase of our wonderful city’s talent.

The intimacy of Rabbit Hole was the beauty of the three-night party, set amongst rolling hills with the campsite just a quick stroll away.

The Doof Stage was closest to the campsite and pumped crisp sound from the Funktion-One sound system, complemented by an artistic bamboo structure with neon lights at dark.

IMG_0238.JPGThe Doof Stage was the perfect spot for a boogie at Rabbit Hole Festival.

A colourful shade sail at the back completed the stage, whilst providing relief from the sun.

Organisers opened the Doof Stage early at 4pm on Friday, with one half of Groove Empress, Sarah Morgan seizing the opportunity to kick off proceedings with groovy jams.   

A couple of DJs pulled out last minute throughout the three days, but were quickly replaced by selectors busting for the opportunity to weave their magic or grace the stage for a longer set.

It was the raw and unpredictable nature of its debut edition which made Rabbit Hole so special.

The live stage featured some of Melbourne’s best up and coming bands, while the Acoustic Tent provided lesser known acts with the opportunity to make their mark.

Combined with a delicious array of food stalls, art displays and chill out spaces, the small festival had something for everyone.

For fans of a boogie, the Doof Stage was the place to be on Friday night, with two hours of power from the queen of Melbourne, Sunshine.

She mixed her trademark gospel sound with tasty techno delights and was a highlight of the weekend.

Not to be outdone, Alex Cram kept the crowd raving and Lee Roid closed the stage with precision.

With an early finish on Friday night, the Acoustic tent was the perfect place to wind down before retreating to your campsite, with Ben Jansz providing a blissful soundtrack on his didgeridoo alongside Lion’s Eye.

Autosea DJs Paul Lynch, Mitchell Gee and Eskapet graced the Doof Stage on Saturday afternoon, followed by renowned selector Henry Who.

img_0247Renowned Melbourne DJ Henry Who was one of the many talents to hit the Doof Stage at Rabbit Hole Festival.

Luke Vecchio brought his trademark energy to the fore as the sun started to fade and didn’t disappoint, while Andu, Nick Biggins and Nelson provided the late night beats to end the night.

With an early finish on Sunday evening, Melbourne legend Spacey Space was a fitting choice to keep the dance floor moving on sunset.

Although it was a much younger crowd than most festivals, there was a sense that much of the younger generation quickly learnt to party respectfully.

For many it was their first festival experience and with Rabbit Hole obtaining a five-year permit at the picturesque location, the crowd has the opportunity to grow with the festival and be part of something special.  

Organisers promised to create a unique, relaxed and special experience that will have punters coming back year after year, and they certainly delivered.

It will no doubt be very interesting to look back on the journey of this festival in five years’ time.