Letting Go in Mornington

Letting Go in Mornington:

Let Go Fest-  Saturday 4 February, Mornington Racecourse

It’s official- I’m starting to feel old….er when I go to music festivals. I must admit, it had been a while since I’d attended a music festival prior to heading along to Let Go Fest earlier this month.  My annual pilgrimage to Big Day Out came to an abrupt halt in 2014 with the shock announcement that the festival was to be no more, and since then, I’ve been at a bit of a loose end, festival-wise. Whilst there’s still a plethora of choices of mega-headline music festivals to attend in Australia, it’s the smaller boutique events that have sprouted up recently that have captured my interest.

It’s easy to get turned off the larger EDM-based music festivals as you reach an age where salt and pepper is more about your hair colour than something you put on your dinner. Understandably so, when the mere mention of certain festivals invokes images of steroid-laden shirtless lads, drunken obnoxious yoofs, and duck-faced self-obsessed Kardashian clones……. Yeah, nah!

Thankfully, Let Go Fest proved to be the true antithesis of that type of festival.

Let Go Fest- Photo credit: Jayden Ostwald

Pitched as a “music and lifestyle event”, festival organisers obviously put a lot of effort into creating a holistic festival experience rather than a mere music line-up. With plenty of free activities-from reptile and animal petting to Ferris wheel rides, glitter adornment and chalk walls; and free gear- show bags on entrance, fairy-floss, popcorn, watermelon, balloons- this certainly didn’t feel like any music festival I’d experienced before.

Even better- the festival location was Mornington racecourse- pretty much my own back yard! There were even free buses to and from the event for those metropolitan-dwelling punters, and we enjoyed a spirited, post-fest singalong to Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart on our return bus journey.

Then there was the music… The predominantly Australian line-up included headliners, Rufus and Hayden James and featured a diverse range of musical genres across 6 stages. I caught the following artists during the course of the day- Mosquito Coast, Sunshine, Running Touch, Set Mo, Remi, Hayden James and Rufus.

The unrelenting heat and fierce sun forced many festival-goers to seek shelter wherever they could find it- in strange little corners of the grounds, beneath shady trees and under umbrellas generously dotted around the festival by organisers. As the sun went down, the punters emerged from the shadows, like glittery nocturnal creatures, ready to consume some seriously delicious laid-back beats. Hayden James and Rufus certainly didn’t disappoint in this regard, both delivering killer sets that finally got the overwhelmingly sedate crowd animated.

One of my favourite experiences of the day was the silent disco (AKA The Switch), with a trio of DJs spinning non-stop crowd-pleasers across multiple frequencies throughout the day.

As I floated through the endless sea of gorgeous, tanned twenty-somethings, I couldn’t help but feel at times as though I was one of the festival’s attractions….. “Look Bella! There’s an over 40-year old!! Tick that one off the Bucket List!” But on the whole, I found the youthful crowd to be well-behaved, considerate and friendly. I was actually surprised that there were so few Gen Xers in attendance. The laidback vibe of the festival certainly lent itself to an older audience, in my opinion. However, with the festival still being in its infancy (this was only its second year running), perhaps it’s a Field of Dreams type scenario for mature-age revellers….. if you build it, they will come (eventually)! Regardless of age, I thoroughly encourage you all to check out Let Go Fest next year.

Let Go Fest- Photo credit: Jayden Ostwald

Let Go Fest- Photo credit: Jayden Ostwald

Let Go Fest- Photo credit: Jayden Ostwald

Photo credits: Jayden Ostwald

4 Comments on “Letting Go in Mornington

  1. Nessy, come up and stay with us for the Big Pineapple music festival in may. It’s meant to be awesome. Chilled and wide range of ages.
    Ps – I still think we should organise our own festival for OC’s (aka us now)

    • Hey Suse- The Big Pineapple Festival is one that I’ve often thought about going to- let’s put it on the agenda in the next year! x

  2. Always happy when one of your posts pops up :-). I think Mornington is too far from me on the coast near Bundaberg QLD but I found the description of the venue organisation vaguely similar to the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival back in the day when it was at at the rugby ground site in Byron Bay. I was a loyal participant for quite a few years. It was the group vibe as well as the music that drew me.

    • Hi Penelope- always happy to receive a comment from you too! Like so many of the successful festivals, the Blues and Roots has now grown into somewhat of a behemoth. Similar recollections for me with the Malaney Folk Festival which we used to attend every year when I was growing up.