What was simply a plan to put on a handful of bands in a pub’s function room swiftly escalated into a packed bill and the daunting task of squeezing nine bands into just one evening as Bushfest'10 took shape.
Started as the brainchild of 9blind’s Mark Seibert in 2008, this year’s third annual Bushfest took on a new life with the involvement of myself and Rock For Change and evolved into an all-encompassing, 6 hour phenomenom.
With 9 bands performing, there really isn’t enough I can say here to really sink my teeth in and dissect the gig properly, but there were enough people there to experience it that I shouldn’t need to go over the whole thing for them.
Even such an early start, with doors opening at 6pm, wasn’t enough to dissuade the eager crowd that had been gathering outside from as early as 5, keen not to miss a single moment of the action.
I began warming up the audience from behind the decks before the evening’s live entertainment was kicked off by a double whammy of new-comers, Twisted Hearts and Hurricane Season, both recent additions to Enfield’s ever growing list of bands and both attracting enough fans that anyone could quite easily forget how early it was, with another 7 bands still to come.
Deeds of the Dying followed swiftly, along with New Conscience, Room 9 and The Anonymous, all setting the bar high and impressing the throng of people that had continued to gather over the course of the evening with an array of sing-a-longs, moshpits, crowd participation and over enthusiastic dancing between them..
Enemy Planet and Kids Uncanny both held up the high standards that had been set before them, the two female fronted bands on the bill had nothing to prove to their male counterparts whatsoever, as both bands are already well enough known by local audiences to pull out a number of fan favourites and keep the evening moving without losing pace.
And as the night was eventually drawing to a close, 9blind's late headline slot was like an epiphany.
Stood by the side of the stage watching a room of devoted fans sing back every word to 9blind and I realised then just how important tonight was.
Bushfest wasn’t just a gig.
It was a celebration of some of Enfield’s most promising talent.
It was a chance for young fans not to worry about being 18 in order to enjoy a Saturday night out.
It was a landmark occasion that many music fans in our ostracised suburb never thought they would get the chance to see.
Because amazingly, for a town without a legitimate music venue, Enfield has cultivated so many exciting bands, and seeing 9 of our local acts playing back to back it became clear that we have created our own scene without a scene, where enjoying the music is more important than any singular musical tribe, and where we have had to strive to do it all ourselves because nothing has been given to us.
We achieved all this without any light at the end of the tunnel, campaigning for a music venue, asserting that younger fans should be able to get into gigs, and not wanting to travel into Camden or even further afield to see a band that came from our home town when we can't even see them locally, it brought us all to this point.
The fact that a small metal band hailing from Edmonton can inspire such devotion among a fervent fanbase and that a small local festival can breathe life into a backroom-cum-venue might mean that Enfieldians long dark days may finally be drawing to a close.
9BlinD - Promises stream only
credit where it's due:
photography by Laura Harvey
mp3 stream kindly agreed by 9Blind