Rainbow Serpent Festival
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|Rainbow Serpent Festival|
The Market Stage at Rainbow Serpent 2013
|Genre||Electronic music, art and lifestyle|
|Dates||Australia Day long weekend|
|Years active||1997– present|
Rainbow Serpent Festival is a 4-day annual open-air electronic music, art, and lifestyle festival that takes place during the Australia Day long weekend, around 26 January, in Lexton, Victoria, 160 kilometers west of Melbourne, Australia. The festival is mainly known for psychedelic trance, minimal techno, and chill-out music on its main stage, but it features other genres of electronic music and non-electronic music on the smaller stages. The festival also has many art installations, workshops, and other attractions. The festival has expanded from a solely music event to an event that places an emphasis on sustainability, well-being, performance and art. It includes market stalls, healing arts and multi-cultural foods. Approximately 12,000 people attend the festival each year.
Many people dress up in colourful costumes, often featuring glitter and beads. Some of the days have themes; in 2016, these themes included different colour parties and a Safari day.
Festival organizers have been criticized for the amount of drugs and sexual assault at the event and, in 2016, the future of the festival was questioned. However, fans have defended the festival in response to critical reports.
The festival has a social services space called "The Nest" to address instances of sexual assault and harassment. Victims are given access counselling and support services and medical resources.
The Main Stage focuses on harder music such as Psytrance. Usually, the stage begins with an ambient act and progressively increases in energy throughout the night. The Main Stage runs for 20 hours, starting at 8:00 pm Saturday night, and finishes 4:00 pm Sunday afternoon.
The Market Stage plays a large variety of music ranging from ambient music, glitch hop, and tech house to psytrance. The Market Stage is the longest running stage at the festival, starting on the Friday night, and finishing early on Monday evening, it runs for about 72 hours continuously with no breaks except for one hour for the Main Stage opening ceremony. Many of the headliner acts actually play on the Market Stage, rather than on the Main Stage depending on their music style. The Monday afternoon on the Market Stage is widely regarded as one of the highlights of the festival, much like Saturday night on the Main Stage.
The Sunset Stage plays a variety of music throughout the festival, however, it closes for the 24-hour duration of the Main Stage opening. The Sunset Stage has more acts and genres than the Market Stage and the Main Stage provide.
The Chillout Stage runs throughout the festival.
The Playground Stage, introduced to the festival in 2009, focuses on live performance music. The genres covered include dub, reggae, hip-hop, funk, folk, Balkan, electro-swing, cumbia and jazz. It also showcases non-musical performers ranging from magicians to comedians, mimes, and fire twirlers.
2014 - The Orb
2015 - Pretty Lights
2017 - Hallucinogen
Incidents of death and crime at the festival
In 2012, Daniel Buccianti, a 34-year-old man, died due to a heroin overdose. According to Victoria Police the death was not suspicious. That same year, a 25-year-old man suffered a cardiac arrest, also due to a drug overdose. He was hospitalised, but survived.
In 2014, a man was charged with 210 counts of 'upskirting', and there were numerous other assaults and drug offences, along with ten people being hospitalised many for reasons related to drugs.
In 2015, a sexual assault was reported to have occurred at the festival, as well as 45 arrests for drug offences and an assault on police.
In 2017, a 22-year-old man died during the festival after drinking Amyl nitrite. Police also reported two sexual assaults, and a number of assaults, including one assault on police, and drug offences.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rainbow Serpent Festival.|
- Greive, Jennifer (2 January 2012). "World's artists getting into Rainbow Serpent Spirit". Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Rainbow Serpent Festival's future questioned after 40 drug drivers caught". ABC Online. 28 January 2016.
- Francis, Hannah (8 February 2017). "Police want to cut length of Rainbow Serpent Festival following death of 22-year-old". Brisbane Times.
- Cowie, Tom (31 January 2017). "Police slam extremely high risk behaviour at Rainbow Serpent music festival after death". The Age.
- Wrigley, Brendan (28 January 2016). "Rainbow Serpent Festival defended by punters". Sydney Morning Herald.
- Francis, Hannah (20 December 2016). "Rainbow Serpent festival tackles sexual assault". Sydney Morning Herald.
- Choahan, Neelima (31 January 2012). "'Everything is very odd here': Daniel dials mum as music festival turns to tragedy". Sydney Morning Herald.
- IRVING, KARA; AFFLICK, RACHEL (28 January 2014). "Man charged with upskirting after Rainbow Serpent". The Courier.
- Williams, Tom (28 January 2015). "Rainbow Serpent Festival Ends With Drug And Assault Charges - Music Feeds". Music Feeds.
- McVeigh, Sarah (31 January 2017). "Man who died at Rainbow Serpent drank amyl nitrite 'poppers', sources say". ABC Online.
- Wrigley, Brendan (29 January 2017). "Rainbow Serpent Music and Arts Festival 2017 reveller dies". Sydney Morning Herald.