Words and photos by Claudia Long | @ClaudiaLongSays
New Years is the most disappointing of all holidays. There, I said it.
You know it, I know it, your Nan definitely knows it because she’s seen many a New Years eve in her time. Just don’t ask about 1969/70…
Everyone always has big plans but somehow, at some point, somewhere they end up with someone crying with their high heels off, you getting caught in a crowd the size of a small nation, in the emergency room or – if you’re really screwed – all of the above.
HOWEVER, this does not have to be the way. You do not have to be caught in a crowd at Federation Square, or at a house party listening to someone tell you about how 2018 is when their startup is ‘really gonna take off you know’ while contemplating whether you’ll attempt to bone the dude doing a commerce degree. So long as he doesn’t keep telling you about that bloody startup venture.
Instead, you could spend New Year’s listening to excellent music with your mates in one of the prettiest places in Australia.
Ladies, gentlemen, non-binary friends I present to you: Falls Festival in Marion Bay. Yes, it is over the other side of the Bass Strait. Yes, you may have to fly or get on a bloody big boat. But, trust us, it’s worth it…
It’s less crowded
Marion Bay rarely sells out, unlike the more popular sites at Lorne and Byron Bay. This means four very good things:
- The lines will be shorter for the toilets and showers
- You have a better chance at getting to the front if you’re a tall bloke or pushy shortarse with big dreams of seeing your favourite band from the best spot in the crowd
- The statistical likelihood of you being pissed or spewed on by someone who’s having a really great New Year’s is slightly reduced and this can only be a good thing
- If you haven’t gotten your act together there’s still time to nab yourself a ticket
If you can forgive that absolutely over-hashed Castle joke, it really is worth going to Marion Bay for the vibe of the thing view alone. All of the Falls Festival sites are pretty of course, that’s typically what you get for going to locations like Byron Bay and Lorne after all. But, you can see all the way down to the area’s namesake from the main stage, so you get a side of sea views with the afternoon shows while the sun sets. It’s picturesque as, do yourself a favour and go for a swim in the arvo too (see no. 4). The site itself is surrounded by lovely Tasmanian forest and hills, so if you’re an early riser (hello, my fellow brethren) and need to get up when the sun fills your tent despite the headache you earned the night before then you’ll sometimes see the fog lifting over hills or can head down to the beach if it’s open. And you gotta admit, that’s a pretty sweet set-up.
That spiral potato thing
I know these are at every festival. I know you have already eaten one. But, there are Picasso’s in every major art gallery art gallery and you’re not about to not go gawk at one of those because they’re everywhere. I managed to basically live off these things for three days in a row once in Marion Bay, which may or may not have resulted in diabetes and a severe chicken salt addiction for someone who was “vegetarian” at the time. I’m still around to tell the tale, but can confirm to you here and now that this is not a good way to live your life. Learn from my mistakes, enjoy the potato spiral, dare I say worship at the temple of the potato spiral, the only god in this world that is not a false idol. But let it be only once a day, twice if you’re really despo and feeling festy because despite what you saw on Instagram before you rocked up you sure as shit will be.
Remember that view we mentioned earlier? Yeah, turns out you can swim in that too. And it is preeeeety nice. There’s lifeguards to keep you safe (you may need them after you float away from eating too many of those potato spirals) and plenty of beach to walk along if you’d prefer not to head into the water. And, in case you needed even more convincing, there are lovely views around the bay too so you can go and rest off the night before on your beach towel taking in that damn fine scenery.
Unlike all the other Falls Festival locations, there are still tickets left at Marion Bay! So get in quick and grab one here: