The transition from ‘2016: The worst year in history’ to ‘The promised land of 2017’ was a blur. I like, realised things at Meredith and then abandoned every last one of those epiphanies at Freedom Time. I’m pro ‘New year, New me’ and all that but spending New Year’s Day at a festival was inevitably going to lead to a lot of broken promises (to myself). Classic self-sabotage moves really, I brought in the new year just as I had predicted: sweaty and broken. Not again! After a week of existentialism, I’ve finally been able to rationalise and feel okay about the New Year’s resolutions that I broke at Freedom Time. Here’s a few of them:
“In 2017 I will step outside of my comfort zone”
Nah. I’m never leaving Zone 1 on New Year’s Day again. The Coburg location of the festival meant that the post-pre-drinks commute was quick enough to ensure I was still loose by the time I arrived and also meant that I could get my sloppy ass back to the bottle-o and to kick ons before I completely faded and lost all interest. I feel this geographical appreciation was shared amongst most of the festival demographic who appeared to spend most of their time in the inner-northern Melbourne suburbs. The crowd was definitely one of the best dressed festival crowds I’ve encountered. I spent the day wearing a pair of of oversized bluelight golf ball-finding glasses I got on sale at a discount Dad store in the suburbs so yes, I am more than qualified to make such an assessment.
“In 2017 I will have more chill”
I hadn’t been to the Coburg Velodrome before, but a number of my friends had attended the Freedom Time event there to see Floating Points back in December 2015. The reports were that the space was dope but there wasn’t enough shade. I can confirm that there were tents and marquees put up to counteract this claim but in the most predictably unpredictable Melbourne fashion, an impromptu storm fucked shit up mid-festival. At no fault of Freedom Time, the rain dragged down the vibe a little with people (me) scrambling under whatever shield they could find from the rain to protect their curated outfits and freshly blow dried hair (also me). Fortunately, the rain subsided relatively quickly and the vibe was reinstated. The frizz lingered on however, much to my dismay. I eventually managed to disregard the state of my hair and have heaps of fun so in a way I’ve actually fulfilled this resolution. BRB defaulting back to no chill.
“In 2017 I will live my best life”
There is no possible way to live your best life when you are waiting in line for a portaloo. Which I did endlessly. What’s up with arriving at a festival and instantly feeling like all you need to do in life is pee? There was a delicious smell of fried chicken wafting over from the food trucks every time I waited in that line which left me feeling hungry, confused, and a bit grossed out. Portaloos plus fried chicken are two things I never want to associate with one another. I would definitely recommend separating those two smells. I would also definitely recommend eating the fried chicken (at the food trucks, not at the portaloos).
“In 2017 I will Uber everywhere”
Despite my promise to boycott cabs in 2017, I pro-actively booked and then rode in a maxi taxi to Freedom Time. An Uber wasn’t about to happen with a group of nine. Which is a great segway to preach to Uber that we need desperately need Uber XL in Australia. Please help! Admittedly, I broke this resolution twice by catching a maxi taxi home too. But one more time – how good is a short trip from Coburg back to your Fitzroy/Collingwood/Northcote/Thornbury/Brunswick home? Thanks Coburg Velodrome! You’re the real MVP.
“In 2017 I won’t subscribe to hype”
It’s rare to see a festival sell out in its first year. While Freedom Time had run events previously, this was their first New Year’s Day event and given the competition it was great to see it at full capacity. I was there purely because of the hype. Freedom Time kept things minimal but tight. There were a select few internationals on the bill (Hi Theo Parrish and Nick The Record) but it was the local lineup that really made it pop. Shout out to Wax’o Paradiso, Harvey Sutherland and Bermuda and Prequel for always knowing how to party. The festival was easy to access, the drinks were reasonably priced and the amenities were sufficient. There was a strong sense of community present but also the resonating assurance that you could sit on the hill and not be bothered by any weirdos. Given the fact that Freedom Time *basically* occurred in 2016, you can comfortably write off any mistakes you make as the ‘old you’. So if you want to chase the dragon and party-hop on NYE and then go straight to the function rest assured that Freedom Time is a fun and convenient way to spend your New Year’s Day struggling, recovering and ignoring your responsibilities one last time with everyone you know and everyone you think you know from Instagram.