HAPPENINGText: Luke Mynott

This article comes to you not from Sydney, but from Bellingen, a small town approximately five hours drive north of the city. Rather than a review, this is a preview of what promises to be an amazing event. This New Years Eve, Bellingen will be host to an enormous music and arts festival called Ganymede, after Jupiter’s largest moon.

Bellingen is a beautiful place, surrounded by rainforests and streams and only a short drive from some spectacular beaches and coastline. This may sound a little like a tourist brochure, but it truly is a picturesque part of Australia. Fly By Night Productions is the organization responsible for Ganymede, which is the fourth major event they have staged in Bellingen.

This region of Australia is notorious for alternative lifestyles and for its unique inhabitants – the most famous of whom is David Helfgott, world-renowned pianist and subject of the award-winning film ‘Shine‘ (1996). The hugely successful previous Fly By Night events have been affiliated with the Bellingen Global Carnival, a world music event which brings together artists from all over the world for a weekend of performances and workshops.

There was no festival this year, but the Fly By Nighters are putting on an event anyway, as an alternative to all the large-scale NYE parties which will be taking place in Sydney. It is anticipated that people from all over Australia (and hopefully the world) will come to Bellingen for 24 hours of bacchanalistic romping.

A diverse array of performers has been confirmed, covering a variety of musical styles. The artists include the legendary Alphatown, 5000 Fingers of Dr T, Atone, Dan Coy, Mik La Vage, Spanky, Sub Bass Snarl, Cubensis, Jeff Dread, Professor Stanislavski, Sir Robbo, Gnomik, Neural, Emit, Grey Area, Anti DJ Crew, Lysergio & Tanglefoot. The promoters have made a conscious decision to focus on homegrown talent, which is refreshing considering the usual reliance on overseas acts to sell similar events.

Beyond being simply a ‘doof’ (Australian feral nomenclature for a rave), Ganymede will be showcasing innovative video works and performances from a variety of artists including Pauline Piper, Black Rhino, Lucid Installations, Optic Nerve and Insectoid.

Date: December 31st, 2000
Place: Bellingen, Australia

Text: Luke Mynott

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