Queensland’s favourite outdoor extravaganza is on our doorstep, with Earth Frequency Festival returning to Ivory’s Rock in South-East Queensland from February 17-20.
Packing the best line-up in the event’s 12-year history, this year’s expanded line-up includes the biggest serve of techno, house and progressive ever at Earth Frequency, including a massive session on the Subterran Stage on Sunday hosted by us here at Open Records. We’re super proud to be on board with this epic event and look forward to celebrating our own milestone – 10 years of the label – with our home state crowd!
Following our wildly successful Open Records Guide To Rainbow Serpent Festival 2017, we are proud to present the same for Earth Frequency Festival to help guide you through the weekend and ensure you’re on the right dancefloors at the right times. We accept no responsibility for lack of sleep, sunburn or ear damage, so make sure you make all available protections available and prepare yourself for a Queensland festival in a summer of record-breaking temperatures.
The good thing is, Ivory’s Rock does provide a lot of modern convenience to ensure your stay will be a breeze. The amazing venue, located less than an hour’s drive from Brisbane’s CBD, features better toilets and showers than most of you have at home, plus loads of space to camp and heaps of shade among the trees. Be prepared for a bit of walking, though, as the event area is quite large.
For this guide, we’re mostly focusing on techno, progressive, house, and four-to-the-floor beats, but there is definitely a whole lot more happening outside that spectrum so we’ve slipped in a few more eclectic choices, too.
Launched in 2014, The Subterran Stage is the home of the festival’s progressive, psytrance, techno and house culture. Tucked away in the cosy forest corner, it will be rocking across the whole event and where you’ll be spending most of your time if you’re following this guide. Friday’s action boasts a great mix of local heroes and international talent, including Tranceducer (4pm), Tummy Talk (6pm), Rico Mazzer (7.30pm), Arya (9pm) and Azrin (10.30pm).
If you want something a bit different, head over to the Main Stage for turntable wizard JFB (9pm), the funked-out guitar grooves of Marvel Years (10pm) and the weird and wonderful Spoonbill Ensemble (11pm). Mote (6pm) is definitely worth checking on The Sancturary, too.
The Sanctuary is the only stage that has music after midnight, so if you’re still up from Friday you’ll probably be here. Senor Tasty Taste (12am) is always good, as is UltraSloth (1.30am) and Major Bubsy (3am). Maybe time to get some sleep? You’ll probably need it, as the crew from Happy Daze festival takes over the Subterran in the morning and the Main Stage kicks into top gear for its big night.
Fans of all things psychedelic will be in their element, with a world-class line-up including Oxytokin (8am), Fraktal Faerie (9.15am), Timeframe (10.30am), Ajita (11.45am), Triforce (1pm) and Smilk (2.30pm and one of the best of the festival for sure!), before the official welcoming ceremony at 4pm. DefWill (2pm) and APRO (3.30pm) are also worth the trip the The Sanctuary, while Hugo & Treats (3pm) will no doubt bring the house down in the Earth Pod.
The Welcoming Ceremony on the Main Stage (4pm) is a must-attend part of the festival. What started as a small, landcare based doof more than a decade ago has grown into one of the country’s most respected festivals. It’s no more evident than at the ceremony, with a fantastic indigenous program melded with amazing music from across the globe.
From here, the choice is yours. We highly recommend you check out the Main Stage with acts like Aussie hip-hop heroes The Herd (8.30pm), the lyrical-looping and comedic genius of UK headliner Beardyman (9.30pm … seriously don’t miss this), and our bass-funk brother and EFF favourite Opiuo (11pm).
If you prefer it a bit more psychedelic, head back to the Subterran for Psymon (6pm), Smiggle (7.30pm), Terrafractyl (9pm) and Skwid (10.30pm), or get your drum and bass on in the Earth Pod with Afrogalactic (7pm) and Altruism (8.30pm). Nikki Sig (10.30pm) is also a ninja, we expect good things in The Sanctuary.
Sunday is Open Records’ day to shine, as we host the full day of tunes on the Subterran Stage from start-finish. It’s almost irresponsible for us to mention anything else, though inevitably there a few things (including more Open talent!) on other stages during the day, so we’ll cover it all and let you decide. Our session features some handpicked acts from our core roster, alongside a selection of talent from across Australia and around the globe.
LISTEN: Open Records presents Sunday on the Subterran
Local hero Cinii (8am) kicks things off with some deep, dub techno grooves, before Open label boss Jesse Kuch (9.15am) and legendary DJ Eegor (10.30am) take the Subterran on a morning progression session. Fresh from the success of his release of his single Melt, Canberra’s Doppel (12pm) then takes over with his trademark intricate, groovy sound and wicked live show, before one of our original artists, French master D-Sens (1.30pm).
Dragonfruit musical director Jay Berry (3pm) then brings a little taste of Brisbane’s booming club culture to the bush, before fellow local Ben Jamin (4.30pm). AU Underground founder Dylan Griffin then takes over in what is sure to be one of the best sets of the whole session, before Brazilian superstar Alex Stein (7.30pm) brings his rocking party brand of techno to usher in the night.
Melbourne lord Dean Benson (9pm) should need no introduction to techno fans and knowing his love for this event, we think what he’ll deliver will be pretty special. We are then proud to welcome US innovator Treavor Moontribe (10.30pm) to close both the stage and the Open Records session. Big thanks in advance for rocking out with us for our 10 year anniversary!
The Main Stage will of course be rocking the whole day as well, and while we don’t recommend leaving the Open session for extended periods unless you want to suffer serious techno FOMO, there are some reasons to venture out. Our good friend Sensient (10.30am) has been known to bring the goods, Ace Ventura (noon) will no doubt slam it, and we definitely think the iconic Marcus Henriksson aka Son Kite (2pm) will be the Main’s peak. Of course, stick around for longtime Open Records DJ and Earth Frequency Festival founder Paul Abad (4.30pm) before you head back to the Open session. Phew!
An official program on Monday is new to Earth Frequency Festival, and trust us, they saved some of the best for last. If you’re still awake from Sunday, don’t miss Sun In Aquarius (1am) and Midium (6am) bringing up the sunrise.
The legends that are 3rd eye host the Subterran session with Trip Syndicate (8am), Purple Hayes (9.30am), Surge (11am), Birrang Mill (12.30pm) and One Tasty Morsel (2pm), followed by Marcus from Minilogue/Nobody Home (3.30pm) returning for a second set to close the stage. If you’ve still got legs after all that, head over to the Earth Pod for the always excellent Whitebear (5pm) and Lubdub (6pm).
It’s not a public holiday, so if you’ve made it this far and haven’t been fired, give yourself a pat on the back and get some rest. You’ve earned it.
For full information, FAQs and last tickets, visit earthfrequency.com.au
PHOTOS: Ryan Lee, Liam Hardy, Boaz and Noma Kim