Earth Station – Friday Night

Posted: October 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

When an event is run for the first time you always expect a few things to crop up and sure enough they did, but before going into some suggestions for improvements, let me start by saying I enjoyed the first night of the event.

Having lived and grew up in Belair, the event was literally being held in “my backyard”. I had asked a few days earlier on the Earth station facebook page whether the shuttle bus was going to run internally to the park off Sheok Road and was advised that the shuttle bus was going to be only going through the main Upper Sturt rd entrance. Imagine my surprise when I turned up at the train station bus pickup area to find they were going through the Sheok road entrance. The buses running through were City of Mitcham Mini buses which had very small capacity ( about 20 people ) so it took over 45 mins to get on a bus despite being near the front of the ever growing line. We got to the event and headed straight to the Karka stage getting there just as the opening speeches were being made.

I caught the start of the first performance by Frank Yamma and David Bridie and then headed down to hear some of Stephen Pekars talk.  My Family decided to join the Bat workshop run by Simon who was surprised at the sheer number of people joining him, but said it was amazing that so many other people thought bats were cool.  I myself had a bit of a look around the site and then headed to the Keynote by Roy Neel. I was quite surprised to see only a handful of people at his keynote address. I think most people had left the Karka stage and either gone off to try and find bats or were getting some food. I think the organisers should have had Roy on a stage straight after one of the performances so that the crowd were already there.

A quick listen to the start of the talk by Mike Sandiford and then back to the Karka stage for Vika and Linda Bull, who put on a great performance which had many of the kids in attendance down the front dancing.

The main act of the evening and indeed the only act on the main stage was the Kronos Quartet accompanied by the Adelaide Chamber singers who were positioned down in front of the stage area. They would have been praying it wasnt going to rain because if it did they would have all been drenched. One can only assume that the organisers hadn’t checked the Freight Train Schedule as 5 mins into the performance the Adelaide – Melbourne Freight train came screeching around the hill to the North of the stage and drowned out much of the subtle music for the 3-4 minutes it took to pass. I got used to the humming/droning of the generators behind the stage area, but there were 2 people a few metres back to me that just talked throughout the performance despite a few glares from myself and other around us. These two were not kids, nor young adults, they were middle-aged and should have known better.  They even increased their talking volume when the music and singing on stage got louder. Really if you want to talk to each other at such a performance PLEASE move to the back or side of the stage area.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Kronos quartet and before you know it the night was over. I was a bit concerned about the bus trip back to the station as the line was quite long, but thankfully they had much bigger buses acting as shuttles on the return trip and we were back on the road again to the station after only a 10 minute wait.

There is room for improvement and hopefully the organisers will have a Debrief and take on board some suggestions from those attending to make the festival bigger and better next year. Two more hours and I’m back there again. Memory cards have been formatted and batteries charged up.  Check the gallery tommorow and there should be at least a selection of images from the Saturday session.

You can find the Full Gallery of images up HERE

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