It really is necessary for the soul to have extended periods of rest, i.e. NO WORK.  So we made our way to North Stradbroke Island this weekend, and it was awesome!  And, here is what I have to say about: 1) Straddie and 2) Island Time II Festival.

1) Beautiful.  It’s the 2nd largest “sand” island (2nd only to Fraser Island, which is the largest sand island in the WORLD), and a bit isolated.  (I think only a few hundred people actually live on the island, but don’t quote me on that.)  We decided not to take our truck over, so we hopped on the Water Taxi and made the 20-minute journey to Straddie with one backpack, a daypack, surfboard and esky (cooler) in tow.  Our accomdation was in the Point Lookout area at Domain Stradbroke – located directly across the street from the festival & beach, which was perfect!  We hit up the beach, a trail…and I thought I might have seen a whale surface and spout, but I can’t be sure.  The festival was really crazy and kept us pretty busy, so I’ll have to make another trip out to Straddie soon to catch some whales for sure! 

2) Everything in the US tends to be bigger, bolder, louder.  And maybe that’s a good thing, but maybe it’s not.  The Island Time II festival was by no means on the same scale as a SXSW or Lollapalooza like in the US, or Big Day Out or Homebake in Oz.  What Island Time lacked in size, it made up for in having a true “festival” feeling – a grassroots coming together of people who love/respect something in common – that irie vibe 😉 

Friday: The highlight was definitely a Sydney band called Rastawookie.  They were more than just reggae – they were funk, they were soul, they were swing, and at the end of their set, they were even a little drum n’ bass.   We also heard from: King Tide (whose lead singer resemebled a reggaefied Tony Bennet), Mister Laneous, and Ruby Blue

As for the crowd, everyone was in good spirits and having fun!  There were flumes of sand and smoke everywhere, and a lot of water bottles waving in the air (if you know what I mean…hehe!).  In any event, it was all love and no fights!

Saturday: We headed to the beach in the morning, then made our way back to the festival in the afternoon – just in time to see local Aboriginals performing and telling about the stories that have been passed down for generations.  Also, what’s a festival without Hare Krishnas!?  As for bands, we saw: Fyah Walk, Cool Calm Collective, and the headliner of the evening was a group from New Zealand called The Black Seeds.  (Apparently, the “dub” scene is really popular in New Zealand.)  I was really impressed with every band we saw, so yet another great day/night 🙂


Sunday: We checked out, left our bags behind with the very nice front desk girl, and headed out for some more sightseeing before the festival doors opened at noon.  I’ve found that the best motor to have to check out a new place is – your own two feet!  We walked maybe 1k or 2k, then found a trail, walked off the trail, found our way to a sand dune of some sorts, made our way to the beach, and then finally, headed back toward the festival.  We pretty much just checked out some of the tents and vendors, then waited to catch the bus back to the Water Taxi. 

 All in all, it was a very good weekend!  It was really fun to meet new people, hear new music, see new sights….and best of all, get JP dancing 🙂