The Parachute Diaries: Saturday Morning: 30 second burn time

The one thing about boiling hot, cloudless days that lead into cloudless nights is that they result in very cold overnight temperatures as all the heat in the ground gets sucked up into the air and vanishes off into space.

Trying to sleep overnight in my tent was a challenging experience. I had deliberately left my winter sleeping bag in my car because it is way too hot, but my summer sleeping bag has the opposite issue. In the end I slept in my sleeping bag liner, summer sleeping bag, and in the middle of the night I put on a hoodie, well tried to, I got one arm in, and then fell asleep, I woke up in the morning very entangled in clothes.

I woke up on the dot of sunrise. 6am, but managed to snooze until 8am when the morning sound check was done on the Mainstage and the heat inside the tent got too much to bear.

I had a quick breakfast and then went off to the Mainstage for worship at the morning meeting with other mates from church. After the worship I headed back to take a shower.

The mainstage during the morning meeting
The mainstage during the morning meeting

Mark de Jong, CEO Parachute Music speaking at the morning meeting
Mark de Jong, CEO Parachute Music speaking at the morning meeting

The crowd at the Morning Meeting
The crowd at the Morning Meeting

Another view of the mainstage
Another view of the mainstage
The mainstage as seen from my tent
The mainstage as seen from my tent

My cunning plan was to avoid the shower queues first thing in the morning and grab one when most people were listening to the morning message at the Mainstage. My idea fell apart when I discovered that I was one of many who had this plan and ended up in a queue for over half an hour for a shower.

To make matters worse the Hallensteins slogan of ‘It’s good to be a guy’ has the opposite meaning at Parachute. In terms of showers it means there are 3 times as many female showers as there are male showers. So while the girls had no queue the men were having a great time burning in the sun while waiting for their six minutes of watery solace.

After that epic adventure I spent the rest of the morning chilling with mates at my tent.

The Parachute Diaries: Friday Night: Moshpit Mayhem

Okay one annoying thing about Friday at Parachute is that you have to arrive early to score a good camping spot, but for the rest of the day there is not that much to do, and it is always blindly hot with little shade. This year the first band took the stage at 5pm which is even worse than the 4pm that it was a few years ago. It would be nice to have some chill out music starting at 1pm or something like that, and they could so do it, the rest of the weekend is so packed that you miss other bands due to clashes.

Anyway, the first band that I saw perform was Late 80s Mercedes on the Mainstage at 8.10pm. Late 80s are a great Ska/Jazz covers band and are always a lot of fun. For the last few years they have played the Mainstage after packing out the Palladium beyond capacity for a few years prior to that. It was a little disappointing that there was no front of house sound for Late 80s because about two minutes into their set they blew out a speaker or something. Luckily there was enough noise coming off the Foldbacks on the stage and people shouting lyrics that you could still rock out to them.

Mumsdollar followed Late 80s and knowing the Moshpits would be nuts I stayed a little back in the crowd. The circle pits that formed were worse then I was expecting, and it wasn’t that fun holding people up who were being pushed back by them. Also Mumsdollar were not as good as other times I have seen them, it was a good performance, but only an average one, nothing to write home about.

Following Mumsdollar was Rapture Ruckus, as the moshpit emptied out between the two bands I snuck forward to around 5 rows from the front. Rapture Ruckus as always was great. With fireworks both opening and ending his show. I got completely crushed in the moshpit from the crush of people behind me (but that was nothing compared to Kutless the next night).

When Rapture Ruckus finished I quickly moved to the Palladium where Family Force Five were playing their first gig for the weekend. All I can say is there is something not quite right about a bunch of ripped males, wearing black mesh singlets and bright white pants playing songs that sound like they could belong in the 80s. Overall they were a great fun bad, but not exactly my taste.

Photo from Parachute Music
Photo from Parachute Music

At midnight I headed back to my tent and made a hot chocolate before heading to bed a little before 1am

The Parachute Diaries: Friday Afternoon: Exploration

Okay once I was set up for the weekend I decided to go exploring around the complex and see what had changed, and what had remained the same from the last time I was here.

The top end of the site, the white tent to the left is the Debut Stage
The top end of the site, the white tent to the left is the Debut Stage
The middle of the site, large tent on left: Massive Stage, middle tent: Manna Store, large right tent: Soul Cravings Cafe, Large building: Palladium and Deluxe Stages, Red Tent: Chaos Paintball, Little White Tents: Stalls in the Village
The middle of the site, large tent on left: Massive Stage, middle tent: Manna Store, large right tent: Soul Cravings Cafe, Large building: Palladium and Deluxe Stages, Red Tent: Chaos Paintball, Little White Tents: Stalls in the Village
South End of the Site, White tent in middle: Global Missions tent, mainstage in background, and beyond that Artists Area (Off Limits to normal people)
South End of the Site, White tent in middle: Global Missions tent, mainstage in background, and beyond that Arists Area (Off Limits to normal people)
The new Mainstage, it was massive compared to the old one, mostly in height, but also in width and depth, also the stands have moved a long way back, the stands used to be in front of the Fonterra sign.
The new Mainstage, it was massive compared to the old one, mostly in height, but also in width and depth, also the stands have moved a long way back, the stands used to be in front of the Fonterra sign.
The Family First Camping Area, Submliminal advertising for the Family First Political Party or just smart naming rights?
The Family First Camping Area, Submliminal advertising for the Family First Political Party or just smart naming rights?
More Family Camping Area
More Family Camping Area
The Debut Stage, in a slightly different location to last time, they took it out of the tractor pull area and placed it above it.
The Debut Stage, in a slightly different location to last time, they took it out of the tractor pull area and placed it above it.

p1080706

Inside the Debut Stage
Inside the Debut Stage
The Massive Stage, back after an absence of a few years
The Massive Stage, back after an absence of a few years
The Amusement Rides in Action.
The Amusement Rides in Action.
View from about half the way down the Soul Cravings Cafe, it was huge, just huge.
View from about half the way down the Soul Cravings Cafe, it was huge, just huge.
The Crowds in the entrance to the Village looking towards the food stalls, the clothing and missions stalls are off to the left out of sight
The Crowds in the entrance to the Village looking towards the food stalls, the clothing and missions stalls are off to the left out of sight
The new mainstage
The new mainstage

p1080719

p1080720

p1080721

Looking across the mainstage crowd at the village
Looking across the mainstage crowd at the village

p1080723

The Parachute Diaries: Friday Daytime: Arrival

1

Okay I left Auckland at 7.50am to head to Parachute Music Festival at Mystery Creek Events Centre in Hamilton, 160km away. My GPS was very optimistic in predicting a travel time of only 1 hour 40 minutes, I knew it would take the better part of two hours.

2

It took me nearly 45 minutes to get across the harbour bridge, whereas in good traffic the run would only take 20 minutes. So in less than an hour I was already the better part of 30 minutes behind my GPS’s predicted time.

At a stand still on the northern motorway heading into Auckland
At a stand still on the northern motorway heading into Auckland

Traffic heading south was heavy and to make matters worse I hit fog near Huntly, which was odd given how nice a day it was, and this wasn’t just a little fog, this was down to 100m visibility and lights on drop the speed to 80kmh fog.

Just south of Huntly I have a little shortcut around the west of Hamilton that I normally take to get to Parachute but because of the fog, and my car not running as nicely as I would like it to I decided to play it safe and stay on the state highways.

Another bypass for getting around Hamilton is to take State Highway 1B through Gordonton, I have never taken this road before, but it is the recommended route for Parachute traffic. One Line: Do it once, never do it again. The so called State Highway was country roads worse than those that I would have travelled on going my route, and to make matters worse I was about the 10th car in a queue behind a milk tanker for the entire 40km or so detour, with many more cars behind me by the end of it. Being stuck behind a milk tanker for so long is not fun, and it just slows you down.

In the end I arrived at Mystery Creek at 10.25am, 2 hours 35 minutes driving, so much for that 1 hour 40 that was predicted I was almost a full hour late.

4

I arrived at Parachute with enough time to still get a good park, grab my tent and head for the queues waiting for entry at 11am when the gates opened. During this time I was desperately trying to get a hold of some of my friends from church who were working as crew to find out where they were tenting. I finally found out 5 minutes before the gates opened.

I ended up with an awesome camping spot, located behind the mainstage, central enough to get to everything easily but not as noisy as our spots other years around the debut stage and the village.

My Tent is behind the Peugoet Marquee
My Tent is behind the Peugoet Marquee

6

Once I had set up my tent (which took over an hour, the elastic in one of my poles broke on a brand new tent, and I had to restring it in the hot sun, grrr) and made two more trips to my car to haul in food and gear (btw the queues for gate sales were large even at 12pm, when the gate sale tickets didn’t go on sale until 1pm) I went off to the Manna Store to investigate the specials, and ended up standing in a hot queue for over one hour to buy Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel at a great price.

Queue for Gate Sales
Queue for Gate Sales
More of the Gate Sale Queue, it just keeps on going.
More of the Gate Sale Queue, it just keeps on going.

After that I decided to go exploring as this was my first time at Parachute in two years because I missed last year due to work… (next blog post to follow).

Yes Man

I finally saw Yes Man on Saturday night.

Well worth seeing. I would give it 4/5. It wasn’t perfect and some parts went to far, while others were just glossed over a little, the majority of the humour was great although it did go a bit far in places.

Rhys Darby was fantastic, and im not sure how many people would have got the line towards the end about the dance contest. If you didn’t check out this old clip of his and maybe you will pick it up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxO94S6tMLM

Overall, despite being a comedy it is one of those movies that make you think a little bit about how you are approaching life. See it, see it! Just say yes! Yes Man! Yes Man! Yes Man!