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Why the fuck are people waving their shoes at DJs?!

This new ritual has been seen during sets by Harvey Sutherland, MCDE and Peggy Gou

  • Louis Anderson-Rich
  • 16 August 2017

We all know how truly wondrous a festival can be. They transform quiet patches of land into utopian havens of good music and nice people off their faces, eagerly telling each other they “fucking love you” and suggesting “Trump should just eat one of those pills in the shape of his own head, man”.

Such febrile atmospheres are when primal instincts are unlocked, humans band together and things get a little silly. This year we’ve seen people popping backflips and someone dishing out bites of a loaf of bread to fellow ravers among the masses. In 2017 it feels like the well-coordinated crowd chant of years gone by is a bit tame. The time is ripe for a new gesture of gratitude – one that still embodies the inclusive collectivism of the dancefloor - and the people have delivered.

Enter the humble shoe, specifically one battered, beaten and bearing the marks of many a festival or rave. From Glastonbury to Dekmantel, ravers have been using their trainers like a pagan offering to the deities of good tune selection this summer. If shoes are raised, the DJ is being praised.

The shoe has been a symbolic totem of partying in Australia for sometime now. The ‘Shoey’ is a drinking pastime as Australian as ‘goon of fortune’ or ‘waiting for a mate’. It’s a simple process: take old shoe, pour beer into said shoe, guzzle beer down from shoe while your mates Shane and Gareth cheer you on like a pair of feral possums. Australia has taken the shoey to heart to the point where I wouldn’t be surprised to see the country change its flag to incorporate a shoe and beer like the one from that episode of The Simpsons. Chaos In The CBD did one with vodka at the beginning of the year and even Stormzy did one the other day. Shoes are now regularly thrown on stage for visiting artists to use as a vessel for whatever their choice of tipple.

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