Boogie: Music Festival or Cult?
They tell us Boogie is a music festival but it’s really a cult. The Head Dude is the dude with the mic. Luckily for we cult members, they share the mic round to a few, signifying a Leadership Battle that mirrors the current Australian Liberal Party. Politics sit outside the Boogie code of acceptable conduct, with exemptions extending to current recycling practices, worm farms, long drop toilets, developments in solar panels, and tasty vegan treats.
The Boogie Cult mantra is Let’s get loose together. Like all cults, you have to hand over all your money at the silver bus. There, they convert it into the cult’s own currency, the Boogie Buck. The Boogie buck will buy you all your worldly desires within the cult’s secluded Tallarook compound, the Boogie buck won’t work anywhere else in life though.
Cults like Boogie are a threat to the dominant world religious orders. One outrageous reveller attempted to win favour with the Leaders (hence securing himself a middle management position within the organisation) by invoking the Lee Strasberg Method Acting skills, he had recently picked up in the Big Apple and playing Jesus. He had gone to some trouble with his costume. Dramatic Costuming and flamboyant fashion gestures are central to the Boogie dogma, sequins and fluorescent lycra enjoying a revered position within the Camp Living Quarters and at the Stage of Worship.
When the sun settles beyond the hills each Boogie day, the Fire Worship begins. Carefully regulated by a brave CFA Crew, cult members are free to explore the charms of the flame and other pagan rituals. On the Full Blood Moon the Witches rose together (briefly seizing power from a tired and boozed leadership contingent), enticing revellers with heaving bosoms and earnest/erstwhile impromptu campfire renditions of Stevie Nicks from the seminal Fleetwood Mac album Rumours.
Onstage, the star performers were Broads, a seductive duo of virtuistic, harmonised simplicity: 2 women, 2 guitars, 2 voices and the sublime result, a pair of soaring angels descending down to us from the heavens awakening our party weary spirits. Pearls performed a strong set of 70’s inspired music, proving women in catsuits always lay down the best beats for their band members to build on.
The Drunk Mums returned to Boogie with their crazed fan contingent of girl/women, each of whom nurture frighteningly real baby dolls to their bosoms. The baby is occasionally thrust skyward, re-entering the moshpit in a downward spiral of mayhem. We love the Drunk Mums. They’re Wayne’s World, Punk Rock and Ronnie Wood, all rolled into one good fun vibe and including a Bez-like member who plays tambourine and amps punters the hell up.
I saw committed Cult Member Beau McCafferty at Boogie again this year. Beau is the instigator of the industry standard Buddy System that works so well at Boogie, that many of us take it for granted. The rules of the Buddy System are deceptively simple: if you are getting yourself a cup or can of the Kool Aid, you must also get your buddy a cup/can of the Kool Aide. Are you high? You must also get your buddy high. Beau did also mention handcuffs, but just how a couple of buddies choose to atone for their sins in Dance Camp, should stay in Dance Camp.
Daybreak sees the operators of the coffee machine take an opportunistic grab at power. Their worshippers take the form of the long winding, greedy queue of the snake. If a cult member attempts to cut into this queue formation, their lives may indeed be threatened. The group’s insatiable addiction to the uplifting potential of the caffeine hit, has a strong hint of menace. Here we witness the murderous potential of the proletariat over their slave masters.
Once the caffeine fix has been sated, the throng partake of a viscous, bloodlike liquid that they stir with a celery stalk and thirstily call Mary. Cult members can be seen juggling rounds of the Blood of Mary, forcing fellow worshippers to partake in the substance, which is known to calm the agitated belly, whilst simultaneously uplifting the tired spirits.
The real, undisputed High priest of Boogie is the ever-elusive Bruzzy. It’s Bruzzy’s farm. Bruzzy overlooks his cult from high up within the secured exclusivity of Cult Headquarters, above the Clubhouse, with the private balcony. Few have access to the High Priest Bruzzy. Those who do sit quietly, attentatively at his feet, hanging onto his every word: ‘Let’s get Loose Together’ he murmurs softly, enigmatically. And we do. We have no choice in the matter.