When you disappear into the Australian wilderness (into the Ghost Gums as the festival staff like to say) for a weekend, preparation is critical. Strawberry Fields is designed to break your everyday routine, take you out of your element, and give you some of the best beats so you can do a little dancing.
So how do you prepare? We’re not just talking tents, bottles of water and speakers, but mental preparation. What should you expect out in the Ghost Gums (that’s an evergreen tree native to Australia for those not in the know) after you leave the comforts of the city or suburbia? For those headed to the festival this November, we’ve created a guide on how to do Strawberry Fields Australia 2017 like a pro.
The river’s where it’s at
A huge part of Strawberry Fields is spending time chilling out in the Murray River which winds its way through the festival grounds. Whether that means a float, extra sunscreen, a floating cooler for stashing the brews, or just some swim trunks, you don’t want to be the one attendee who showed up unprepared for the river fun.
If you’re lucky enough to have a birthday that falls on the 16th, 17th, 18th or 19th of November, you get in absolutely free. Yes, that’s right, free. Maybe that’s you or maybe’s that a friend — either way, make sure you take advantage.
Early bird gets the camping space
Purchasing an early entry pass means you get first dibs on the best parking spots. You’ll be allowed to enter the campground Thursday the 16th starting at 2:00 p.m., while regular entry attendees don’t get to pick their spots until the next day at noon. Having a good camping position can be the difference between being front row for your favorite DJ and having to get on your friends’ shoulders just to catch a glimpse of the goings-on. Don’t underestimate this.
Low income? No problem
Strawberry Fields doesn’t want fun to be too expensive. Of course, if you can pay the full ticket price, do it. The festival needs your cash to keep things going. However, if you fit the festival’s definition of low-income, they will gladly offer you a ticket at roughly half of the normal cost. For more information on the program check out the low-income ticket program page.
Civilization isn’t as far as you think
The idea is that you spend the weekend out in the boonies and to an extent that’s what you get. However, in case of emergency, or in case you forget any critical supplies, the township of Tocumwal is just 15 minutes away. It’s a tiny little town, so don’t expect anything major, but there is a small medical clinic just in case something goes awry.
Leave no trace
Leaving behind a messy campground is a major foul at Strawberry Fields. The idea is that when the festivities conclude, there is no evidence that anyone was there in the first place. So come with trash/recycling bags and keep your footprint in mind throughout the weekend. Partying in the wilderness is a privilege. Don’t abuse it.
Don’t count on reception
As much as you’d like to keep a steady stream of Instagram stories going, the reception will almost certainly be poor. There’s no electricity either, so if the phone is a necessity, pack your wireless charger.
Don’t be dumb
Strawberry Fields is all about a good time, but they’re also about safety. Local police will have checkpoints set up along the access points and all driver under the influence or carrying illegal substances will face the consequences. The last thing you want to do is ruin the fun because you can’t be responsible.
A free watermelon?
Now we can’t confirm this professionally because we don’t see an official statement on the website but we do see a photo of a riverside bar sporting a sign that says “naked = free watermelon”. If you like watermelon and being naked, then you’re in luck.