Back You are here: Home Reviews Festival Review: Red Deer Music & Arts Festival

Festival Review: Red Deer Music & Arts Festival

Red Deer Festival

Red Deer Music and Arts Festival, located on the Bella Vista Deer Farm, is a gorgeous one-day camping festival featuring some of Australia’s biggest names in independent and trendy music.

Standout acts included Dave Di Marco, Nova & The Experience, The Daschunds, The Kite String Tangle and, of course, Kingswood and The Grates.

The Grates

The Grates, Photo: Aimee Catt

Bella Vista forms a natural amphitheatre as the main paddock where the festival was held slopes gently down to where the two stages and VIP bar were located. There was little delay between the bands and the cultural events brought some flavour today, breaking up the music with crowd participation. 

Red Deer Festival

Photo: Aimee Catt

From a logistical standpoint, the festival was incredibly well run—even the BYO aspect; inception by musicians, for musicians and music lovers. They achieved that goal, and to hit it out of the park for four years running, the Red Deer team need to be congratulated. The crowd ran about capacity, but there’s no real way to tell because by the time it got dark and everyone had arrived, the festival was a seething mass of Bacchanalian energy. 

Kitschy and homely, the festival was not sinister at all—there were none of your typical festival-head munters, running around screaming, or standing about with arms folded, quietly trying to figure out what stage they’re at. Punters in general were respectful of the basic rules of the festival, no glass within the festival grounds, dump ciggie butts in the bin or in empties, and don’t go fence jumping in to the neighbours’ property.

Red Deer Festival

Photo: Aimee Catt

Red Deer Festival

Photo: Aimee Catt

This new VIP bar trend that’s happening at festivals all over the country—and around the world—is great. I’m a big fan. Paying premium for better access to stages and booze is totally worth it for some festivals, it’s a luxury that if you can afford it, for bands that you love, I’d highly recommend. The VIP bar at Red Deer had side of stage views for the Ed Hope stage, so you could see your favourite bands up close and personal while enjoying a frosty beverage.

Nova & The Experience, an indie-pop band from Sydney, were the first big rile up act of the day, with a brother/sister duo fronting vocals with a high-energy performance reminiscent of The Polyphonic Spree. The day continued on, getting rootsier as the afternoon went on with Bobby Alu and Lyrical. The Kite String Tangle, channelling Flume, must have given some punters Splendour flashbacks, because he went off—a truly talented electronic artist—and vocalist.

Bobby Alu

Bobby Alu, Photo: Aimee Catt

Kingswood

Kingswood, Photo: Aimee Catt

The Lyrical

Lyrical, Photo: Aimee Catt

Just prior to Kingswood playing, the Red Deer Directors got on stage to make a speech, thanking everyone for coming and encouraging further support. They spoke of their goals for the future, and it was uplifting, indicative of cultural change, and truly motivating, to hear them speak so passionately about their endeavour. 

Kingswood rocked out on stage and melted minds left, right and centre; then The Grates came on and Patience, with her great crowd rapport, had everyone dancing well into the wee hours. It was a slow amble around back to the campsites after this, where mostly everyone passed out. There were a few dotted parties full of exhausted people, still trying to drink and party, but at the end of the day it was all said and done. 

The Grates

The Grates, Photo: Aimee Catt

The Grates

The Grates, Photo: Aimee Catt

A welcome site for sore eyes was coffee and food provided by the food stalls the morning after. Some punters made a quick escape and by 10am the campsites were mostly empty, and dotted around the place were couches left over from the previous day’s festivities. Punters were encouraged to bring their own seating, but by the time everyone had departed, the grounds looked like the elephant graveyard from The Lion King, but for couches and camp chairs. The previous evening seating had been such a commodity: I witnessed a fellow camping by us jog towards his van, carrying a two-seater over his head that he had pilfered from the festival grounds. He plonked it down and looked about furtively to see if anyone was going to say anything. All’s fair at 2am.

Red Deer is truly one of the best Queensland festivals I’ve ever attended, and I’d urge you to do the same. You can check out some of the features from this year’s Red Deer on their website, and wait eagerly for next year’s—it’s sure to only get bigger and better.

Red Deer Festival

The Grates, Photo: Aimee Catt

Related Articles

Our Community

  • Facebook
  • instagram
  • Twitter
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Google+

Contact Us

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.