Grand installations, whizzing carnival rides and stilt walkers make the Pleasure Garden’s theme of ‘Welcome to Wonderland’ very wonderful indeed. Set in St. Kilda’s Catina Gardens, The Pleasure Garden is the way to celebrate the start of summer in Melbourne
With Port Phillip Bay sitting in the background, ‘a land or place full of wonderful things’ was created in the gardens, along with a great line-up. The festival is neatly organised into four distinct stage areas; Conservatory Stage, Aurora Stage, Beach Party, House Party and Bass Station; each providing its own genre of music. Clearly the experienced team behind the festival knows how to arrange spaces.
Simply walking into The Garden was exciting with much happening in front of your eyes. There were decorated stages, art and spaces to sit and chill in. Amongst these were giant flamingos, little lounge settings that looked like they just hopped out of someone’s living room and roving performers. The roving performers really added to the atmosphere. People watching is a feature as you enjoy the fantastic costumes they have created. For example giant snail slides by with a human creature perched in a saddle on it’s back. Another beautifully adorned woman and her bubble lamp float by. This festival has worked hard to encourage diversity and inclusivity and hence it is a family friendly event to allow parents to attend.
With so much to see, we thought we’d give you our festival highlights!
Confidence Man – Some highly coordinated dance moves and catchy electronica for the mid-afternoon warm up slot. These guys got the crowd jumping and moving, although we were less coordinated. High energy and lots of fun, this was exactly what the crowd needed to get ready for the evening.
Skillz – Spending 15 years on club and festival circuits means A. Skillz is a real treat to witness! As the temperature dropped (hello sea breezes!), we kept warm with a huge mix of 80’s, funk, drum and bass and electro. With something for everyone, no one was left wanting.
Stickybuds – At twilight, Stickybuds pumped out his tell-tale glitchy and funky beats. Back for a second year, the crowd knew what they wanted and Stickybuds did not disappoint providing reggae, dub step and funk laden tunes.
Mad Professor –This pioneering dub producer and engineer lived up to his reputation as the guy to get a party started and keep it going. We listened to a fantastic set showcasing a long history of dub and reggae. I happened to listen to his 1982 Peel Session earlier in the week. If you haven’t heard it, do some extra study with the Professor and check it out.
With its breadth of music, art and food, The Pleasure garden pleases everyone who wants to have fun in the sun, relax and enjoy music! We love the festival’s principles encouraging diversity, inclusivity and participation! See you all next year!