Guy J, andhim, Mathew Jonson, D-Nox & Beckers, ANNA, WEHBBA, Adriana Lopez, Eelke Kleijn, and Late Nite Tuff Guy were among the artists that took control of the festival’s vibrant Market Stage hub during its non-stop stretch of pulsating house and techno from 3pm Friday through till 7.30pm Monday.
Without a doubt, this was the place to be each afternoon (we found it hard to tear ourselves away, to be honest). The sun reflecting off the stage’s shimmering multi-coloured panels beneath a canopy of gum trees, the light, refreshing mist falling from sprinklers under a soaring shade structure and a bar slinging delicious mocktails for you to spruce up with BYO booze kept the atmosphere fresh as the music energised all weekend in the dry 30 degree-plus heat.
Meanwhile, the psy-centric Main Stage in the middle of the festival site only launched into operation at 9pm on Saturday, after an opening ceremony from the land’s traditional custodians, running for a hectic 19 hours of fire, lasers and debauchery until 4pm the following afternoon with scene stalwarts Astrix, Simon Posford in Hallucinogen and Shpongle modes, Perfect Stranger and James Monro.
Explore the back blocks beyond the Sunset Stage, which runs on either side of the Main’s explosive and compact stint, and about a dozen theme camps hosted by some of the most dedicated Rainbow-goers is the perfect late-night mission.
There’s also the Chill Stage in The Village for moments of relaxed lounging with mates, The Playground tent, serving up an off-kilter blend of live music and DJ sets, plenty of art installations to discover as you make your way around the festival site and a range of initiatives spreading positive messages about culture, sustainability and harm-minimisation measures, plus heaps more, to experience.
So, until next year, when we celebrate Rainbow’s 21st, here are our top six moments that made us excited to be alive and at the festival’s 20th birthday.