The Elements crew have consulted and, two weeks post-event, we’re pretty sure we’re starting to feel like something resembling humans again. So much goes into creating a festival, with the intensity growing exponentially as the event draws near. You become more and more entangled in planning, building, curating, managing and then packing down and cleaning up that you don’t realise until it’s over – and you have a moment to catch your breath – just how much you’ve taken on.
But, looking through all the wonderful pictures and moments you’ve all captured and shared here, we are glowing with happiness and certainty that all the hard work was worth it. We are stoked to be able to confirm we will be back next year, taking with us the lessons we learned from Elements 2017 and teaming them up with next-level, inventive concepts to make sure each year will be your new favourite.
Back when Elements was merely a glimmer in our unicorns’ eyes, we knew we didn’t want to put on just another party. We wanted to build something that would enable every attendee to have a unique and positive experience. While the aim is to have fun, we also want to be a collaborative, growing part of the doof community, allowing people to explore possibilities, feel a sense of freedom, engage with one another and connect with nature. We would love Elements to be a place where new ideas are generated and new connections made; a launchpad for people to look at the world with fresh eyes.
Coming in with this intention firmly set in our minds has had an incredible impact on the people we’ve attracted to work with us and attend the event. Our journey has been rich with incredible humans and we would love to share a little taste of it with you.
Our story starts with the Southern Downs Regional Council who welcomed us into the region and trusted us to provide a safe and positive event that would benefit not just our patrons but the local area. We found this same sense of trust and accommodation with Neil and Carolyn Turner, and their family and staff at 4x4 Springs, who not only provided the beautiful site but also kept the toilets and showers cleaned and maintained to an incredible level. Neil spent a day trucking in dirt for us and doing earthworks to ensure the build would be easier and the dancefloor level. The 4x4 Springs crew chipped in above and beyond to help us get everything perfect.
If you ever get the chance to watch a festival grow from the ground up, it is a stunning thing to behold. Noel from Prouwl Productions helped us breathe life into the stage design, taking it from concept into tangible reality. And then our build crew took to the perfectly prepared land, working day and night, from start to finish, through all sorts of challenges and adversity, to construct every element of Elements, enjoy it for the weekend, and then deconstruct it all with us when the last of our patrons had gone home. This was the hardest working build crew we’ve ever seen in the decades we’ve collectively been working at doofs and festivals. Our thanks go to Andy and Harry from Fulcrum stage designs, Danny, Danny, Jack, James, Chris and Tich. And a little troop of volunteers who put in a solid effort, making themselves honorary build crew members: Eva, Shelley, Amanda, Jess, Tim, Kris and Kyle.
With the bones of the festival firmly in place, the Décor crews swooped in to fill out the flesh, giving Elements shape and personality. We’re pretty sure you all had at least one moment of mouth-open staring at the glorious, swirling dodecahedron above the Thunder Dome. Rickos and his crew from Dynamic Space were absolute champs, coming in early to get the installation safely in place and then chipping in and working for three days to help us with the build.
Glow Garden magicians, Carrie and Josh, swept gracefully into site and conjured a beautiful space by the Thunder Dome for people to laze beneath giant glowing flowers. Delving further into the festival grounds, the Co-Creators (Troy, Travis and Jordan) and Mr Crystal Face got busy creating stunning aerosol art. Tatiana from Magellan Space concocted a unique array of glowing mushrooms by the main stage. And Ads from Treeluminatii made every night feel like a swim through a colourful coral reef with his vibrant tree lighting. This legend also put in mammoth extra effort to help us during pack down (when we’re not afraid to admit we were all feeling a bit delicate).
The Anti Gravity crew rounded out the vibes on the Cyclops Zone with their sweet shades. And the Noesis crew had a hand in so many facets of the festival, helping with décor, build and stage managing (you guys are awesome). Justin Cosmo and Off Tap Productions made the trip up from Canberra with the tents, structures and equipment without which we couldn’t have functioned. Deep Space, ESF records and the Third Eye crew all pitched in with hard work and support. As did Earth Frequency Festival and Mushroom Valley/Happy Daze. We are so thankful to be able to work together with other festivals to build a collaborative, supportive community.
With our tiny universe created, it was over to the technical crews to get the show on the road. And the work they did was phenomenal. Damo from Soundstorm Pro blew our collective mind holes (in a good way). Paul Hill at Saturday Enterprises and Mick at Gold Coast Lasers lit up the Cyclops Zone in style every night. Tamlin at Club Sandwich installed and co-ordinated our video production and Nick Moose, with GNS, lit up the Thunder Dome’s spinning dodecahedron, making it even more twistedly awesome each night.
Everyone involved in creating and delivering the opening show generously donated their time and talents to build something that would bring everyone together and have us feeling the same connected, uplifting vibe for the rest of the weekend. And, from that moment on, what we built became a playground filled with musicians, VJs, visual artists and performers whose lives are dedicated to envisioning mad, weird, beautiful, colourful, dark, twisted and ridiculous creations for us to enjoy. We know how much hard work, dedication and sacrifice goes into your art and we are humbly thankful to you for sharing it with us.
Our dedicated staff, management and volunteers kept everything flowing smoothly(ish). And Nat from Mushroom Valley/Happy Daze made the arduous task of running the gate seem like a sleepwalk in the park. Jess took wonderful care of all our volunteers and Julia, by some kind of wizardy, did the work of five people, running the art gallery and helping the crew. Also, big thanks to Katina for herding all our cats (international / interstate artists) to and from the festival and tucking them in to bed each night.
We had so many skilled photographers cruising the fields and snapping some amazing shots (have a scroll through as they upload their albums and feel free to tag yourself and your mates). Noli from Byron Bay film production captured all our highlights and we’re excited to see what he comes up with.
We were stoked to hear from a few of our patrons that they got on really well with the security crew. We felt the same vibes and are so happy to have found a friendly, lovely team who came with the intention of caring for everyone, not policing us. The medics were exemplary as always and, thankfully, didn’t have a lot of work on their hands.
Which brings us to the final addition, the lifeforce of the festival: the crowd. The whole crew was blown away with how awesome everyone was. People from all over the country made the journey up to Queensland to join us and we are so thankful you put your trust in us. While you guys were giving us good reviews of the security and medics, they were giving us equally solid feedback about you. They had a breezy weekend because the crowd was so onto it. You took care of yourselves and each other and had respect for the land we were fortunate enough to be able to spend time in.
With such a stellar crew supporting us, it feels like we built the right vibe which, in turn, attracted the right people. And we are beyond stoked with this. We are proud, thankful and happy that this is the kind of community we have around us. Almost everyone cleaned up after themselves, partying with the carefreeness of kids but the responsibility of adults (and, if we keep doing the right thing, we’ll win over the stragglers).
All of you made the journey so worth it. Every challenge and setback is just a lesson for next time. And we won’t be losing any momentum in the year that stretches between now and Elements Festival 2018. We’ll be keeping up the flow with all sorts of innovative day parties and events. Keep an eye on the Elements page to make sure you’re up with the latest.
Thank you again! We love you!! <3