OCtober 8-9 | 2016
Arriving at Camp Doogs early on Saturday morning, I climbed the small hill in the centre of a sea of pitched camping tents and started to set up. At that stage there was little movement in the area with most Doogies resting in water soaked and wind swept tents after a long night of raving in Deep Doogs. When completed, the car tent blended into the country paddock in Harvey pretty well looking like a dinged up, old farm car. Over the next few hours sleepy heads would pop out of tents, scanning their surroundings and looking confused when they see a car on the hill where there wasn’t one before.
Open throughout the day, the car tent was very relaxed this time around. A few new faces came up the hill to check out the shelter. A few old ones dropped by to escape the wet windy weather for a much needed warm cuppa as well. Prime for people watching (on top of the hill), it was great to see peoples faces light up when they looked in my direction and to hear a couple laughs from campers returning to their tents between music sets or to grab a few more beers. Spirits seemed to be stuck in the mud for most of the morning though, but that changed in the late afternoon when the clouds parted and sun rays were followed by a roar from the 1400 or so people at the festival. Pretty amazing feeling.
Looking around the campgrounds, I realised my car tent had a bit of competition with a life sized, mass produced VW Combi Van tent nearby. Then around lunch time, news came through that another Mitsubishi Magna was in the fight to be the most iconic car/tent at Doogs. Unfortunately, amidst all the mud and excess water, one happy camper tried to drive their way through the caution tape (blocking a closed road) into a puddle which turned out to be a lot deeper than one might think. The car was a ride off…
I was able to check out the rest of the festival, which differed dramatically to festivals I have been to before. Although housing affordability wasn’t a big conversation over the weekend, the major takeaway for me was the attitude of everyone there which was surprisingly tranquil. People were relaxed, respectful and openminded. Being in nature with a big group of people that were all on the same wave length was refreshing. After getting bogged several times on the way out in our little hatchback, there was plenty of smiling faces willing to lend a hand. Having a day or two off to chill with a mix of likeminded Doogies reassured me that there are people out there who are trying alternatives to established models, and they are doing a great job.