For thousands of festivalgoers, the annual Strawberry Fields is an opportunity to unwind and step into another world.
With an impressive array of international and local music on offer, the festival is high on the priority list for DJs.
This year, theme camps were introduced with great success, highlighted by the Organic Audio stage and theme camp.
Set amongst the camping grounds, the locals stage was a jungle playground which utilised the natural environment of surrounding trees to create an electric vibe across the four days.
Complete with a trampoline and swings hanging from the trees, the space was described by many as the most creative and interesting stage of the festival, providing an opportunity for some of Melbourne’s finest selectors to showcase their talents.
Autosea’s resident DJs Paul Lynch, Mitchell Gee and Eskapet were fortunate enough to land a 2pm slot at the stage on Friday afternoon. The trio headed to the bush alongside many of their friends for a weekend they will remember forever.
At last year’s Strawberry Fields, Pietro Cavalieri was an everyday punter enjoying his first visit to the wildlands. Since landing his first club gig in April, he has quickly established a name for himself as Eskapet. But never in his wildest dreams did he believe he’d be playing at this year’s festival.
“It’s obviously something I fantasized about, but I never thought it would actually happen or if it did, I thought it would be many years into the future,” he said.
Eskapet kicked off Autosea’s Friday afternoon set with his renowned melodic sounds, highlighted by crowd favourite Acamar by Frankey & Sandrino.
He described the Organic Audio Stage as like nothing else.
“We expected to be playing on a small stage with maybe 20 people, so to rock up and see the incredible stage built by Muska and his crew with the crowd absolutely pumping was great,” he said.
“The vibes during our set were unbelievable and it was so amazing to have all our friends and the Autosea following right up the front showing support with massive smiles on their faces.”
Paul Lynch has progressively built his DJ career since hopping behind the decks in 2009.
With a stint in Ibiza, a residency at Survivor and a monthly slot at Revolver Fridays under his belt, Lynch was more than ready to bring his sound to the bush.
Taking the reins from Eskapet during Autosea’s set, he was very impressed by the set up of the Organic Audio Stage.
“What stood out for me was playing at ground level with the crowd which created a great vibe,” Lynch said.
“I loved our set. It was such a great feeling playing with two of my good mates in front of so many people and representing the Autosea brand.
“My favourite moment was when I played Subzero by Ben Klock.”
For party animal and keen festivalgoer Mitchell Gee, playing at Strawberry Fields was the ultimate good time.
Closing the trio’s set, he followed on from Lynch with upbeat techno.
The large crowd was now well and truly warmed up, and the collective fist pumping to the echo of ‘techno, techno’ during Nina Kraviz’s Ghetto Kraviz (Regal 303 remix) proved to be a special moment.
“Our set was way crazier than expected in all aspects,” Gee said.
“We were planning to play a chill set with not many people around, but the complete opposite happened! It was mayhem.”
Buzzing from the high of their biggest performance yet, the Autosea lads enjoyed the rest of the festival, feasting on a smorgasbord of house and techno.
Lynch was impressed by Tornado Wallace’s return home from Berlin, and late announcement DJ HMC, who closed the main stage on Saturday night with his signature techno sound.
Sleep D’s Saturday afternoon set on the main stage exceeded Eskapet’s expectations, adjusting their sound to suit the vibe and location of the festival.
Gee couldn’t look past the late night boogies provided by Tom Trago at the Saloon stage on Saturday night, which had something for everyone in an intimate setting.
Gee and Eskapet also played at the Dome stage in the Organic Audio theme camp on Sunday night, with Eskapet joined behind the decks by good friend Sunbather.
By day four of the festival many partygoers were in fabulous form, with a house party vibe creating the perfect ending to a magical experience at Strawberry Fields 2016.