Going to a festival with your best mates can be a life-changing experience. The months of anticipation leading up to it are palpable. The excitement builds with every playlist you make and every potential outfit you buy. The feeling of the set times dropping is simply indescribable.
And this is all before you even enter the gates.
In short, it’s a pretty magical experience — one that the new movie ‘6 Festivals’ manages to capture pretty perfectly. The film follows three besties as they attempt to go to as many Aussie music festivals as possible together after a cancer diagnosis turns their world upside down. It features a bunch of actual performance footage from acts like Dune Rats, Ruby Fields, G Flip and more and is basically a huge celebration of the connective power music has.
Given the movie drops on Paramount+ on August 25th, we asked PTV’s staff (and mates) to recall some of their best friendship stories from festivals to get us in the mood.
“At the start of Year 12, my best friend and I had been through a few typical high school rows — but that wasn’t going to stop us going to Soundwave after having dreamed about going for years. All our favourite bands at the time were playing — All Time Low, The Wonder Years and of course, Fall Out Boy. We got to the front of the mosh during Fall Out Boy’s set and fans know they close every set with ‘Saturday’.
It’s basically a song about taking on the world with your best friend (which is very pop punk). There’s a line at the end of the song that goes, “Me and Pete, In the wake of Saturday”, and at that moment, we kind of just grabbed hands, looked into each other’s eyes and knew we were both sorry for all the stuff that we’d been through. It was special.” – Sam
“In 2016, my high school friends and I went to the first ever instalment of Spilt Milk in Canberra. We had graduated a year earlier, and it was our little reunion after a year of trudging through adult life. In high school, we basically spent every weekend together going to shows, so it felt fitting that this was our reunion.
In short, we had the best time ever and still talk about it to this day (I don’t care if that means I’m stuck in the past). We made a notes doc of all the iconic one-liners each of us said over the weekend, we lifted each other onto our shoulders during Violent Soho, and did shoeys in front of Parliament House on the walk home. It’s a core memory.” — Heather
“Not really a friend story (it was with my partner), but it still counts. In 2018, my partner was interning for the company that puts on Laneway Festival. We both ended up with AAA passes for the event, which we truly put to good use. With the pass, we had access to the artist’s backstage area, and we met so many of our favourite acts — Father John Misty, Bonobo, Mac DeMarco, The Internet — and more. No one really questioned why these two daggy 19-year-olds were roaming around chatting up all these cool artists.
During Father John Misty’s set, I noticed that a little-known artist by the name of Billie Eilish was standing at the side of the stage. I was way too nervous to introduce myself so my partner went up to her and let her know I was a huge fan and really wanted to chat, but I was too shy. Billie and I ended up chatting for a while about the Gucci and Off-White collab she was wearing, and she even introduced me to her mum.” — Jo
“My friend and I went to our first ever Unify Gathering in 2017, and it was a huge moment for us. We are both spreadsheet girls, so we planned this trip thoroughly! We spent the day in Melbourne before going, and we did SO much, we were each other’s hype girls, we made sure we shot content for each other, sung along to every word, and struggled through pitching a tent together.” — Peta
“My first concert experience was at Soundwave when I was 16. I was there with three of my friends; we were all tiny babies with zero experience of music festivals or concerts or literally anything; it was like the first time we attended an event without parents. It was also like 36 degrees.
Anyway, there was a very tall guy there dressed as the Joker, and we asked for a picture with him. He noticed what baby foals we were, gave us his number, showed us his meeting spot with his friends, and told us if we needed anything or were lost to find this spot or call him. He helped us get to multiple acts, ensured we always had water and even had his other mates check in on us. He was like a mother hen. It was seriously the most wholesome thing ever.
We remained social media friends for years after and ended up bumping into each other when I was in uni, five years later because he had gone back to study something new.” — Fran
Does that set your heart on fire? Are you feeling all gooey and sentimental? Well, if you’re not, that’s concerning. (Jokes).
If you’re looking to capitalise on that mushy feeling, suss out ‘6 Festivals’ on Paramount+ when it drops on August 25th, and you might find yourself reminiscing on all your own festival memories from yesteryear.