Feelgood Festival

January 1, 2006

Luna Park towers
Detail of one of the Towers.
The bright colours give a warm and friendly atmosphere to the park.
We saw the “Feelgood Festival” advertised and thought it would be a great opportunity to see a lot of the local talent we have been hearing about whilst we we’ve been here.
Tsarina & Zelda, I’ve already posted the cds we bought! Have a look-see, your ears will thank you for it.

The event was held at Luna Park – which is a bit of a theme park sat on the harbour edge opposite the bridge and the Opera House. It has some great views. But the funny thing is it looks like a cross between Blackpool Pier and what Coney Island in the States looks like.

The tickets allowed free unlimited access on the rides and we figured it would be a nice way to spend New Year’s Day. And we weren’t wrong!

As it turned out, the day was full of a lot of firsts. Starting with the fact that it was 41 degrees for most of the day. Can you believe that? New Year’s Day and we are breaking a serious sweat with everyone in shorts and t-shirts. I have never seen so many pairs of flip-flops gathered in one place!


Luna Park entry gate
Detail of the entrance gate.
An interesting thing to greet you as you head into the park.

We saw Ash Grunwald play. He is something of a one man band and has a natural talent at engaging the audience whilst he plays. And I finally got to hear “The Dolphin Song” played live and it made me feel good. And Jeff Lang just blew us away. That man can play a mean blues guitar!

Plus the organizers had outdone themselves because the 2 venues had air conditioning set at a lovely cool temperature; which allowed us to sit comfortably and enjoy the music and somehow, it felt like there was a cool breeze blowing throughout. Which made a refreshing contrast to being outside where it was so hot that your feet burned.

After saturating ourselves in quality live music for 5 hours, we decided to check out the rides. We went on the Ferris wheel – Auburn’s first time. And I discovered that I have a tendency to change my mind when the rides start moving: but it gave us some wonderful views of the harbour and I managed to take some stunning photos whilst clinging tightly to the bars.


Luna Park Ferris Wheel
View from the Ferris Wheel.
I was able to stop freaking out long enough to take this pic.

And then we fasted ourselves to try out the “Wild Mouse” ride – a mini roller coaster contraption.

Basically, they sit you in what looks like a miniature bumper car that runs along a track and fits one person at a time – unless you happen to be a stick insect and have an equally thin friend to share the car with you.

It starts easily enough: with a long, slow climb and then it goes hurtling round the corner giving you an uninterrupted view of the harbour way beneath you (The harbour water is made up of sea water and therefore blue rather than the kebab-poo colour of the Thames – I AM GONNA DIE!!!!).

Then it whips you around the corner fast enough and savagely enough to give you quality whiplash.

I am very scared at this point as I am technically in the double-handed superman flying pose – horizontally across the car.

I am dragged round yet another corner only to be faced with a large sign saying “Sit Back”: and my senses are in full agreement that this would be the best and safest thing for me to do, but due to the angle of the rails and the speed the ride throws the toy car I am sitting in, this is an impossibility.

I can feel my buttocks frantically scrabbling around beneath me in a desperate bid to relocate the plastic seat and as the car whips round another corner, I am made fully aware that the only thing holding me in the vague vicinity of the car is the seatbelt (one of those soft, material ones like you have in a standard car).

And though I am grateful for the job that it’s doing (OH DEAR GOD… I’M GONNA DIE!!!), part of me notes that it is doing this by squashing my oesophagus to my brain stem!, and balances the pros and cons of plummeting to a horrible and unprecedented death in the warm waters of Sydney Harbour as opposed to being strangled to death by the only life support that I have at this moment in time.

But all these thoughts are rudely and forcibly ejected from my mind when the track simply drops out from underneath me.

To say that I shit my pants is an understatement! My SOUL shit its pants!! And any future children that I may actually bear will suffer from an inexplicably loose bowel reflex at the mere photo of a rollercoaster.

Dear Lord, I was so scared that I couldn’t even pray! Every muscle in my body just froze instantaneously in horror. The only good bit about this new development was that because I was now falling straight downwards, the wind rush had swept the seatbelt away from my throat and strapped it to my forehead!

The moment this happened, my body decided it couldn’t let me die without commentating on the unfairness of the situation – and so I screamed. Loud. Hard. And unashamedly. The scream just built up until it became words. Which I remember clearly as being: “I am a wimp! I’ve changed my mind! Let me off!!”

It’s amazing how concise one’s thoughts can be at times…

When we got off the ride, we just held onto each other for a while and threw half sentences at each other trying to convey our personal horrors. Oh… and we were shaking like you wouldn’t believe.


Luna Park rides
Some of the many rides that you can enjoy.

To recover, we headed straight for the refreshment stand where I tried my first Slush Puppie (raspberry; that stuff is nasty) and a big bag of candy floss – my blood sugar had been fully sweated out along the ride.

Then it was back to more good music. Ozomatli brought the party to the house with their blend of Latin sounds, hip-hop and rock – which they did so skillfully and joyously that I now have to get an album.

Considering that it was 7pm by the time that they hit the stage; and the fact that their audience consisted of several hundred people who were working through their New Year’s Eve hangovers by drinking their way through it, they had everyone up and dancing and feeling all kinds of good. And nobody minded that they went 20 minutes over their time.

And we finally got to see The Beautiful Girls play – it’s hard to describe how good these people are so you’re just gonna have to listen to the albums we’re bringing home to share in the joy.

Finally headed home around 10pm; with heads full of music and the warm air caressing our wearied limbs (It’d finally dropped to a more manageable 26 degrees). Way to kick off the New Year… 🙂

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AUTHOR: I am might war. I have a love of music, the written word, travel, Anime, polar bears, people and “sticking and colouring”.

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