Words: Bonnie Ryan-Vance
When the warmer weather returns to Australia, it signals a few things. For most people – the beginning of beach season, holidays and barbeques. For myself – festival season. But rather than be excited for doofs and dust, I am always a little more keen for the lush green of Werribee Park, where I have spent the last four New Years’ Days.
Let Them Eat Cake is set amongst the exquisite Werribee Mansion with immaculate gardens and a pristine lake within the grounds. People from all over come to spend the day frolicking around in a setting that closely resembles ‘Alice in Wonderland’ as festival-goers spend the very first day of the year heading down the rabbit hole.
There’s really no better place to spend the first day of the year. The boutique festival features everything from electronic, house, techno, electro, hip-hop and drum and bass, creating an eclectic mix of yummy options to enjoy across the day.
The park has been home to day festival Let Them Eat Cake for the past six years, bringing together some of the worlds finest electronic music artists with some of Melbourne’s most picturesque surroundings.
My first order of business for the day was to visit the Guillotine stage, which is the hub for the house and disco acts at the festival, and almost always my ‘home base’ for the day. In the past, the stage has hosted Leon Vynehall, Heidi and Motor City Drum Ensemble, and 2018’s guests did not disappoint. German native Palms Trax delivered a groovy, seamless four hour set to the crowd from what looked like a giant disco ball, before passing the torch to Australia’s own Mall Grab.
The Bastille stage is the main attraction of the festival, playing house to huge techno acts over the years. Usually located directly in front of the historic Werribee mansion the contrast of such a majestic, historic setting with the sounds of the artists that play there is almost other-worldly. As day turned into night, Stephen Bodzin’s set from the Bastille was lapped up by thousands of revellers – particularly so when he dropped his own ‘Singularity’.
Although there was no shortage of international artists, a highlight of the day came in the form of Mike Callander, who proved that locals know their own crowds the best. Originally scheduled to play before Bodzin and his live set, a last minute set-time amendment meant he instead came before Apparat, and played an absolute ripper of a set. The crowd was all hands-in-the-air when he dropped a heavier version of house classic ‘Lovelee Dae’ by Blaze, and I know I wasn’t the only one disappointed when it was over.
Located less than an hour from Melbourne’s central, Let Them Eat Cake is a getaway without the hassle – as long as you pre-organise your travel, which is usually the only downside of the day.