Let Them Eat Cake 2017
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Let Them Eat Cake 2017

The journey from Melbourne to Werribie was a moist one, a slight drizzle left drops of doubt in my mind with regards to the weather despite having checked the forecast in the run up to the festival and knowing it was contradictory. Thankfully between being dropped off at the entrance to the park and entering the festival site situated in the gardens the drizzle had stopped and on the whole it didn’t reappear. Werribie park is located 30km south west of Melbourne and houses a zoo and mansion come hotel/spa, the hotel’s website boasts it’s a “haven of tranquillity” which may be true the other three hundred and sixty four days of the year but for the last five years come January first it has hosted a one day festival called Let Them Eat Cake which has fast become the destination for party conscious in Melbourne on new year’s day.

This year’s line-up was full to the brim of international acts with the likes of Dusky, Alex Niggermann, Oliver Huntemann, Mano Le Tough, Maribou State and Heidi all on the bill. Along with a good selection of local Melbourne artists to boot.

We arrived later than planned and by the time we had queued up at the bar for a drink and got back to the main stage, named The Bastille, it was well past the midpoint of Mano Le Tough’s early one till three thirty slot. It looked like the stage design concept had taken a step backwards from the previous year which was disappointing but a reconfiguration of the sound system improved the overall sound which is arguably more important. Mano Le Tough was touching on a lighter Techno sound which suited the moment perfectly, as his set wore on and the festival site filled up he progressed into a tougher Techno tip and really upped the vibe. As he handed over the reins to Oliver Huntemann who bought the energy back down slightly we decided to check out the rest of the expansive gardens to see what else they had to offer.

Next to The Bastille was the second stage called Palace of Versailles. It offered a more diverse sound to the festival on the whole from the glitchy arrangements of Edit to the straight up hip-hop of Cut Chemist it was the destination for anyone whose taste weren’t catered for by the House and Techno that dominated the rest of the areas.

After that was The Guillotine, which in my opinion is where it’s at. The smallest of the three stages and hemmed in by bushes and trees with a rabbit warren of entries and exits which means it holds it’s atmosphere really well. We caught Retza’s set who played a smooth mix of Tech and House and reminded us that the locals on the bill can hold their own against the internationals.

In the farthest reaches of the gardens were the two side stages named The Woods and the RBMA. The Woods played host to mainly Australian artists including some live acts and was powered by DIY Hifi which is a home brew sound system centred around their take on the unity horn which can be powered fully from their solar set up (although we are not sure if it was on the day). The set up held its own against the Funktion One that populated the rest of the site and it’s refreshing to see grass roots alternatives given a platform be it the artist or the sound system they are playing on. The RBMA was next door with local DJ’s playing out of the top of the Red Bull car. It was framed perfectly for its size, nestled amongst trees next to a small lake you could dunce under a canopy of pine branches or chill out lake side and watch the ducks. When we looked in Caly Jandro of The Boogie Beats Collective was laying down some chunky House providing a soundtrack that the crowd was lapping up.

As the day neared its end the inevitable timetable clash left us with a tough decision, do we go and watch Dusky close out the main stage or head to The Guillotine to see Heidi. As Heidi started half an hour earlier than Dusky we opted for The Guillotine and from the first tune she had us hooked. For the rest of her set she laid down some serious techy bombs like Audion’s Mouth to Mouth that she’s so well known for, closing her set with Strings Of Life

It’s easy to see why LTEC has risen so rapidly. The programming is second to none and caters for everyone. The location is picturesque. The vibe is a relaxed one that I’ve come to expect from Australian festivals. The crowd is young and friendly and most important up for it. We’re already looking forward to next year’s edition to see what they have in store.

Photo credit Duncographic

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