Words by Lauren Olivia
Photos by Chris Frape
Strawberry Boogie - str b( )ri/ bu i/ 1. 'A celebration of local creative culture'
Before you read this article, I want you to know one thing. Writing this made me feel a bit like I’d eaten 10 brekky rolls and gone for a 5km run. In short, it’s kinda scary.
There was a photography exhibition that made me weirdly nostalgic and gently broken-hearted at the same time. There were girls who lent their bodies out to the general public as living canvases, and spent the rest of the night in more paint that a primary school art teacher. I couldn’t go a few metres without seeing someone sharing a cock-shaped confectionary sculpture (or peruse my Snapchat without a reminder for 24 hours afterwards). The bands were all absolutely top notch; from Cosmic Spice and Iffy warming us up in all the right places, to Archy Punker having a goddamn ball (and making sure we all joined in) - to Jarrow making us feel some things - and a particularly big mention to headliners Good Boy for showing us such a nice time that I lost all sense of time and dignity, and caught myself wondering just how the heck I could enjoy a set so much without imploding on the spot.
There were also sculptors, experimental DJ sets, live artists and a performance art piece (that I didn't get to see, but that I heard a lot about afterwards). One of my friends walked out with a earless Pikachu statue she will treasure well into the afterlife, and a few others were spewing they’d spent their rent money on beers before realising how damn good the vintage clothing stall was. There was not a single corner of the venue that wasn’t absolutely vibing; even if you were just punching darts in the courtyard, seeing ya mates running round in a lovely sequinned bra & school dress combo (or even a lovely two piece skirt suit with a charming leopard print jacket) while you boogied to some classic bangers with almost strangers, would have been more than enough to keep you satisfied.
If you were wondering why all of that made me a bit weak in the tummy, it’s ‘cos I know that no matter how many times I rewrote this piece, I could never capture quite how good Strawberry Boogie actually is.
Sure; it’s a chance to see some really brave art, and listen to some absolute bangers from top bands around the country (just a really, really bloody good show, really); but I think it’s a lot more than that. What makes it stand out, is what it stands for.
It’s about people who are so truly themselves, coming together and just totally fucking going for it. Regardless of if you were on a stage, standing with your work on a wall, milling around the stalls or plain losing it on the dance floor… everyone was smiling. It’s like a community of pure support and joy. I will never forget being in the crowd as Good Boy dropped 'Poverty Line' on us, dancing my heart into oblivion, and looking up to see all those beautiful souls so thoroughly intoxicated by the moment we were sharing.
Strawberry Boogie, it’s kinda like going to home to a family you didn’t know you had.
Strawberry Boogie is run by Wollongong pals Strawberry Visions; an event, management and art agency.
The next Strawberry Boogie takes place May 25th at University of Wollongong Uni Bar.
MUSIC: Bad Pony + MEZKO + Raised as Wolves + Enter the Jaguar + Roscosmos DJs
CREATIVE: VBMAMIII + Adam Rozmus + Sucker Magazine + Ruairi Burns + 09 LIVES + James Lidsey