The Pleasure Garden 2018
“A little Background. . .
Pleasure gardens where all the fashion in London during the 18th and 19 centuries, they where a new breed of outdoor entertainment, dream worlds of escapism in which people of all ages, classes and background could loose themselves in the magical. They where bewildering spectacles filled with live concerts, theatrical performances, musical parades and menageries. “
Fast-forward to Melbourne 2018 and let’s step into my experience of the world of wonder and merriment that is the 3rd instalment of The Pleasure Garden.
I’ve shot many festivals over the years but this one really had something welcoming and special. It’s welcoming family friendly paradise filled with amusement and escapism. It’s Located in Catani Gardens in St Kilda, a stones throw away from Melbourne CBD which makes make it perfect for anyone who what’s to escape the daily grind of city life.
You’ve arrived, collected your wristband, you’ve just walked threw the gates and hello! Palace servants straight out for Alice and Wonderland roam around offering fruit, stilt walkers are showering bubbles and the Insecurity guards are on duty locking away your insecurities. What a welcome!
The festival had heaps of theatrical acts throughout! All of whom where very welcoming and engaging, It was really enjoyable to see everybody's faces light up as they where accosted by wondering characters. I love my job, moments like this make taking candid photos very easy.
As well as more theatrical acts there are other scatterings of magic across the the garden, a variety or lounges areas, flower enveloped beds, swinging chairs, works of art, games and activities to play with your friends.
Of course, this is still very much a music festival and boasts some grand names, The Temper Trap, Xavier Rudd, Stickybuds, Nora En Pure, Eva Lazarus Alex Stein and Haku Hands to name a few, all of whom where being showcased on 6 equal as grand stages. From my walk arounds I noticed the atmosphere was electric at all the stages and each had their own intensity, Bass Station was filled with a younger crowd exploding in expressive dance moves, they raved the whole way threw. The Beach Club was a little more chilled a with a constant motion of people bobbing up and down while others sat in recliners sipping at cocktails, all while being under the overwatch of lifeguards who where keeping and eye over those who ventured into the sea. The House Party was similar to the Bass Station but to a different tempo with a slightly older crowd. The main stages where huge, one covered in mirrors reflecting the skies the other a massive overgrown conservatory, both with areas filled with oceans of people, they where the last to close and housed a perpetual sea of waving hands. There was something for everyone!
No festival is ever complete without the people who fill it patrons, acts, musicians, stage designers, event teams the list goes on. I have to say all I saw was love and happiness, this family friendly festival attracts a very diverse range of people of all ages, races and backgrounds. Thank you to all that where there for making it the wonderment it was.
My journal. Lastly but not leastly I would like to say Thank You! I was very lucky to get the chance to shoot this festival. Having recently arrived in Melbourne with no contacts and nothing but my portfolio I went applying for jobs, . . the festival was happening that weekend. I offered to shoot in exchange to prove my worth and they granted me a chance for which I am very grateful. The Pleasure Garden Family are a wonderfully loving bunch of people, I’m happy that I had a chance to meet so many of them all. Thank you for having me part of your family!