Is This Australia’s Best Kept Secret?

Subsonic exploded onto the scene and onto my radar about 5 years ago as I knew a few DJ friends who are part of the extended family and it was their involvement in Subsonic and their stories about the annual pilgrimage to the Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley Resort that first brought it to my attention.

The first Subsonic actually took place 2009, so this year marked the 7th Subsonic Music Festival. Sydney DJs, Scott Commens created Subsonic as record label and touring company and Marco Mazzucco joined as festival director in 2009. Subsonic has over the years created that extremely loyal, underground following and a growing reputation both here in Australia and overseas.

After a very near miss in 2012, when my wife and I almost made it to Subsonic, but pulled out last minute for heinously mundane reasons, 2015 is the year that I finally got to pop my Subsonic cherry when asked to cover this exciting festival for


So much to be thankful for

Subsonic 2015. Thank you. Thank you for providing the canvas, the perfect lighting, so many interesting subjects and a satchel full of vibrant oil colour paint for so many people to express themselves with.

Thanks for putting so much new and diverse music out there for us to discover and enjoy.

Thanks for putting so much life out there. We devoured it.

Thanks for thinking about absolutely everything so we didn’t have to.

Thanks for enabling a community to grow and thrive within this annual 3 day event. Not just this year, but ongoing. Many people I spoke to said that they can pick-up and resume where they left off the previous year, which speaks to the unwavering direction, energy and spirit of the Subsonic community. Early on, I spoke to a lot of people who were on their 2nd or 3rd Subsonic in a row and were so passionate about the festival and the people that travel from all over Australia to Monkerai, NSW, where Subsonic is held.

First impressions

For the Festivalworlds crew (Derek, Josh and I), Subsonic 2015 got underway a few hours later than planned due to some mechanical issues with our transport from Sydney to the Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley Resort. The 3 of us arrived at 9pm on Friday night, a little tired and jaded, from the day’s challenges and what felt like an excruciatingly long week at work, straight into a busy camping festival.

The crew on the door, welcoming cars and processing tickets and guestlists were all smiles and genuinely happy to see everybody arrive. The welcome was unbelievably warm. The excitement was palpable. We had agreed to meet up with our mate who had arrived earlier than us and connected with friends in the ‘Newtown’ area so made our way down into the valley.
What we didn’t know was that our mate, Sebastian’s, friends had been there all week helping build the wood and bamboo structures, which transformed the resort into, well, Subsonic. We had joined a community within a community, and the guys made us feel so welcome. Thanks Paul, Will x 2, Ken, Jean-Marc, Amanda, Matt, Garth, Penny, Sam et al. Funnily enough, we never actually set up our own tents, as we were quickly sucked into the festival. Paul, one of the first people we met at Subsonic, wouldn’t shake hands with any of us…… was hugs or nothing.

So with unconditional love fresh in our hearts, we surrendered to Subsonic and everything it had to offer. The weekend took it’s own natural course. Over the 3 days we danced and laughed our way around all of the stages. The River Stage was a sheltered bass cocoon and forest sanctuary. The wooden wormhole structure behind the stage was immense. The production throughout the resort was to an incredibly high standard but the production that went into the main stage and Hathours Hideout deserves a notable mention.

Festy beats and besty peeps

The music was consistently good- fucking good. There was always something to get right into. House and techno, breaks, glitch, drum n bass, dub, electronica etc. I heard time and time again, that people preferred not having to over-think things or schedule who they wanted to see. Being able to float around and stay where you liked the music and vibe made the festival flow more organically and more fun. I’m certain because of this most people would have come away from Subsonic having discovered at least one new artist that they will have a connection with going forward, and love & support with gusto.
With most stages pumping through a full 24 hours, day and night, the party never has to end, which is sort of my dream. I found it reassuring going to sleep and waking up to a distant beat.

Thanks to all the amazing internationals and committed local acts for the broadening of musical minds. Musically, Subsonic is so on the money it filled my heart with joy and legs with lactic acid.

Before Subsonic I would have said we go to festivals for the music, the dancing, the good-times. But I know now, 3 days after returning to my everyday life, that I will be heading back to Subsonic because of the people.
Finding that much respect, love, understanding and joy among so many people in the one place has to be rare. I think Subsonic has, this year, continued to create something really special. Subsonic facilitates community and kinship like I’ve never seen. Subsonic is family. But better. And when you’re away from family, you miss them.

Reading the comments on Subsonic’s facebook page a few days after the gates have closed, people are home-sick for Subsonic. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

Thanks Subsonic. See you next year.