Commonwealth Park’s Stage 88 was the venue today for one of the first paid festivals in a long time in this town. Kerces and I went to assuage her strange addiction to the Cat Empire who were headlining the day.
The concert was using the new moshtix system which seems to be having some teething problems. We came up on the line to get in and walked, and walked, and walked, and eventually found the end of it. Here’s what it looked like from about halfway.
And here’s a video of the way the line looped around Regatta Point (bonus points for whoever can spot me in the line and tell me what colour t-shirt i’m wearing).
According to scuttlebutt in the park there had been trouble getting the moshtix, a credit card used to store your ticket, to talk to their machines and actually prove that people had paid to come in. There remains something to be said for a bit of paper.
[A moshcard, last four digits obscured]
After about 45 minutes we had finally advanced to the point where we were allowed to queue in a cage before having our tix swiped, our bags inspected, our ID verified, and an appropriate tag wrapped around our wrists to enable us to buy alcohol.
Many people gave up and went home when they saw the line, despite having paid over $35 a ticket.
Once we had made it inside however things were actually extremely pleasant.
While there were lengthy queues for the better food, and an enourmous line for the ice cream, that’s normal for festivals, and you could see the stage and hear well from the lines so no real harm done.
A little surprisingly there was never a major line for beer. Partly this was probably because of the youth of the crowd, and partly I suspect because the Cat Empire fans aren’t the boozers you might expect at a different band’s show.
The organisation inside was in striking contrast to the huge delays getting inside.
A very good natured crowd sprawled out on the grass, enjoyed the music on a glorious summer afternoon, and had a grand old time listening to the support acts Blue King Brown and Tortured Soul.
Despite the vigorous bag searching, however, the youth of Canberra are not to be deterred from their booze smuggling. A group in front of us had managed to get a couple of goonbags inside and got themselves stunningly pissed to the point one of them had to be carried out by late afternoon which brought security down on them like a tonne of bricks leading to all sorts of entertaining shenanigans. They finally got booted out while Cat Empire were playing their encore.
With apologies for the blurring caused by the low light here’s a shot of the crowd very happy crowd all up and dancing to Cat Empire as the show came to an end.
As far as I can tell the event was a great success. I hope we get a few more shows like this in future, one can only assume the technology will work better with repeated use.