Flash flooding forces evacuation
Well that was unexpected.
Saturday night - just over the half-way mark of Easterfest. Newworldson have been on stage for about 10minutes when it starts spitting rain. No biggie, we all thought. It'll stop soon enough.
Then the rain really started. Best estimates from the Easterfest camp have it at 50millimetres over 30 minutes. That's a lot of rain. I had read a forecast for 'fine with the slight chance of a shower' over the whole weekend so I brought one poncho with me. For the camera, really. That's what I ended up doing.
Gave up on trying to shoot and just huddled as far under the stage awning as I could. D700 was poncho-wrapped, my LowePro Slingshot was on my back (containing another lens and accessories) I never bothered getting an 'all-weather' cover for it so I was just praying it would hold up against the barrage of water. It did, in the end.
I had two more things to shoot at that stage that night, the first being the amazing Chris Wayne, then Switchfoot. The former was cancelled, much to the dismay of many - but totally understandable given the weather.
The rain wasn't letting up and it was now well above the tops of my socks, so I made a break for it with the help of a lovely couple from local media company Thru A Lens. The only path to a dry area we could see was on-stage, so that's where we went. Via some huge stage-support structures. I must have done it wrong, because I leapt from one to the other 3 times, missing twice. My shin is bruised from knee to ankle...
I'm glad I went there though, as I was still able to get some photos of Switchfoot - one of my favourite bands. I could hear them too, of course (which was amazing - as they always are!)
Probably the best shot I got of Switchfoot. I had the wrong lens on, of course. Wasn't game to try changing because I was still standing on wet floor, my bag was dripping and I wasn't going to risk any more gear.
Queen's Park flooded. Easterfest activities were cancelled for the rest of that night (Noooo! Emery!) and the next day. Luckily, event organisers were able to scramble and get more stuff happening in Easterfest City. So The Classic Crime (50% of my reason for going to Easterfest this year) were able to perform in a pub/club type place, Newworldson and Naturally 7 found stages around the city, so did PC3 and many others - many more than were originally slated to perform in Easterfest City that day.
The Classic Crime set was amazing. They were originally going to be in a tent that has room for 5000 people, so moving to a pub that has room for about a tenth of those people made for some squashiness. I got there early (Easterfest media pass meant nothing outside the gates of Queen's Park! haha) so I was in the front row. I actually only planned to stay there for a couple of songs then let someone else have my awesome spot - but it wasn't until about 3/4 of the way through the set that I could actually move! So good. I listened to the rest of the set from downstairs.
After that, I headed back to my hotel. The next day (Anzac Day) I visited my grandparents.Then we began the trip home. Quick stop to stock-up on Easterfest eggs (at 50% off....) and here we are :) My few days of holidays are over, so sifting through the 5000+ photos I took over 3 days is going to take awhile.
It was worth it. So worth it. So many amazing bands, spectacular shows with great atmosphere, happy crowds and bands whom obviously enjoyed the shows as much as we did! Easterfest organisers and crew did a great job of making sure everyone was safe, as did all the Toowoomba emergency services.
Well that's it for another 12 months. For Easterfest at least. My next gig is Escape The Fate - thankfully that one will be fully indoors!