9 years ago I went to my first Breakfest music festival… and since then it became an annual Boxing Day tradition. Prior to that I’d been to all the standard Perth music festivals. Ministry of Sound, Future Music, Big Day Out… and whatever else was around back then.
If it was a dance/drum n bass/electronic music festival I was at it. So I’m not sure why it took me a little longer to discover Breakfest, but from the moment I did, I was hooked.
And nothing ever came close to being as good. To all the Breakfest festival punters, this was our true Christmas.
Great crew. Great music. Great venue. Nothing could beat it. People you don’t see all year would always come together for the #bestdayever
There’s just nothing quite like it. And you can’t really explain it because the only way to truly understand is to go and experience it for yourself.
My favourite thing about Breakfest was that it was truly about the music.
Unlike other festivals that attract the hot heads and show offs. Those people that were purely there to be seen and couldn’t care less about the music. Breakfest was different. The show offs would go to Raft Up. The die hard music lovers would come to Breakfest. That’s just how it was.
Even when it was 40 degrees and roasting, we preferred to sweat in the bowl. Nothing could stop us from enjoying the music. We just poured some water over our bodies and we were sweet. And you never had to worry about being hit on by seedy guys. Because everyone was there for the same thing, to dance!
And when we didn’t feel like dancing we could sit on the grass and have a d&m. Soaking in the atmosphere and watching the bowl pumping. Or go on the hunt for Stumpy, of course!
I fell in love with music in that bowl. I made some of my best friends in that bowl. And I probably even left a bit of my heart in that bowl.
Dancing to the likes of Stanton Warriors, A Skillz, Krafty Kuts, High Contrast, SPY, Plump DJ’s, Ladywaks, Danny Byrd, and all our local favourites. And when the final song played I’d always be in the bowl screaming for just one more song.
Eventually we’d accept it was over and start making our way up that huge set of stairs. Trying to navigate our way to the bus that brought us there so we could get to the after party and keep dancing. Some years we weren’t so organised and then the adventure of getting out would start. But generally we’d meet some new ‘best friends’ who would be nice enough to offer us a lift on their bus.
Off to Ambar we’d go so we could continue dancing into the early morning. Or chat in the alley to our new besties. And once that closed it’d be time for kick ons at someone’s house.
We were never quite ready to let go of the Breakfest vibe.
And from the moment it was over the countdown would begin until the next one. As the days rolled on and we had to face the reality of returning to work and whatever, we’d finally walk out of whoever’s house we were at saying “only x days until the next Breakfest”.
In more recent years I haven’t been as committed to the cause. Travel became more important. A Christmas spent in New York. And a few trips away with my boyfriend.
But after one year away I’d always seem to have my withdrawals and end up finding myself back in the big bowl for one more dance. The year I did go to New York I was raving about it to anyone that listen. Plus I had my friends sending me videos the entire time so I could feel like I was there. And one year I even booked my flights to the Phillipines for a day after Boxing Day just so I wouldn’t miss Breakfest.
So when my sister decided to have her pre wedding events before Christmas and I realised I’d be back in Perth, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d find myself back there. I wasn’t sure if I felt up to it, but my original Breakfest bestie was going so I ended up deciding to go along.
And of course on the day the excitement mounted as I found myself back in that glorious bowl. But sadly, something had changed.
And I think I can safely say this was my last dance.
As I sat at the top of the bowl watching the crowd all I could think about was being back on the Sunny Coast camping with my boyfriend.
Usually I’d be the last one standing, not wanting the music to end. Right at the bottom of the bowl screaming for one more song. This time I found myself sitting at the top thinking when is this going to end? Shockone didn’t seem like a fitting act to close the big bowl.
In fact, many of the acts seemed pretty average and I couldn’t quite get into it. Halfway through the day I called it, “I’m done”.
It was cooler than most years so it wasn’t the heat that was getting to me. For some reason, I just couldn’t get into it like I have done every other year.
Maybe it’s just me, as I enter a new decade my priorities are changing.
But I also think it’s more than that. As we chatted to some of the Breakfest originals we all came to the same conclusion. It’s just not the same anymore. The crew has dwindled away. The music has changed.
The bowl didn’t look as full as it used to and the crowd wasn’t as pumping. I ended up sitting down for the entire last set as I couldn’t get into the music. If our friend didn’t tell us to wait until the end so we could sneak onto their bus we probably wouldn’t have stayed. The funniest part was when someone messaged Shockone and told him his music sounded terrible and he retorted, “well this is my music”. Don’t get me wrong, I used to love Shockone but there’s a time and place for his music and closing Breakfest is not it!
As they try to cater to the tastes of the new generation coming through, it seems the festival is becoming less about breaks and losing its original meaning.
And as we got into the bus at the end of the night I noticed the song playing on the radio was “It’s the end of the world as we know it.” Ok, yes that’s slightly dramatic, the world isn’t ending. But for many years, Breakfest was a huge part of my world, and now I feel that has come to an end.
As us die hard Breakfesters retire our dancing shoes I can’t help but wonder if this festival will last much longer.
Does it have the same sad fate that Ambar did? Only time will tell I suppose…
At least now I know for sure my Breakfest days are over. And I will always have the fond memories of a festival that shaped my 20’s.
So for that I am forever grateful. Thank you to the Breakfest team, the Boomtick events organisers, Belvoir ampitheatre, the amazing artists, and the best crew of friends ever. The Breakfest music festival may have changed, but the memories will live on forever. 💖🎼🎶