Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The End of an Era

You may remember many posts from me over the years about our annual pilgrimage to the awesome Christian music festival, Easterfest. For sixteen years, Easterfest has been a highlight of the year for our family -- some years it was the only family holiday we had -- and last week, we found out that this year's festival, which we attended over my birthday weekend, will be the last ever Easterfest. You can read more about why here, but it basically boils down to the same reason so many festivals all around the world are closing down; fewer attendees, greater costs - they just become unsustainable. And it's such a crying shame!

I've been blogging about our Easterfest adventures since 2008, and you can read those posts here:
20082009201020112012. 2013 I attended but didn't blog about because I had to leave halfway through to go to my cousin's wedding in Perth, and 2014 was the slackest blogging year ever. But Easterfest has basically been an institution for our family. Mayana is six years old and this year attended her seventh festival. She was 10 weeks old at her first. Reuben was born two weeks after the 2012 festival, and was not quite one the first time he attended. And Quinten was a grand total of six weeks old at his first! I'm so glad that we got to share the festival with the kids, and that at least Mayana will remember it.

So given that 2015 is the last ever Easterfest *sob*, I thought I had better blog about it, and share some of the stack of photos we took! So here we go, a photographic wrap-up of the last *sob* ever *sob* Easterfest.

Good Friday church service

Lala and her two littlest boys

Miss Mayana with her super awesome ear-muffs

Selfie! Cool ear-muffs Reubs!

Who let these guys have the camera? More selfies!

More Reuben photography (you can tell by the way he puts his finger over the flash, lol). These our are very good friends Leigh & Lyndall. We met them about 13 years ago through Anglican Youth Ministries, and Easterfest was the one time a year we would definitely always catch up. I will miss that.

Easterfest was always awesome for making new friends too. Like Danni! We met through mutual friends, and she stayed with us for Easterfest this year. That's one way to become very good friends very quickly!

Me and my big boy.

My little sister and brother were lucky enough to be offered a performance spot at Easterfest this year. They had a set each day, and were fabulous. Their duo is called Alexie & Jordan, and you can follow them on Facebook. Do it!!

So it rained at Easterfest this year. A lot. It became a bit of a mudfest. And day two was a particularly rainy and muddy day. Pete and the kids and my mum and a few friends and me actually didn't make it to the park at all on Saturday. It was a shame to miss Switchfoot, but I couldn't bear the thought of trudging through heavy rain and mud with a pram and three kids. Mud and I aren't particularly good friends at the best of times. Plus at this point, Quinten was coming down with something and had begun to throw huge temps and get a mystery rash (which we found out the next week was a REALLY intense dose of hand foot and mouth disease), so I thought being outside in the wet may not have been the greatest idea for him. So we made the choice to hang out at the Easterfest Jazz venue on the Saturday evening instead. You know, I actually have no regrets. Aside from the fact that it was warm and carpeted and had padded seats and wood fired pizza... the music was simply amazing. We had such a fantastic night in there.

One by one the kids all dropped off to sleep, lulled by the sound of real quality jazz music.

He couldn't have done this in the mud!

Note all the gumboots! We all had a pair.. they were very necessary. I'm pretty sure Toowoomba sold out.

On Sunday the sun came out, and we ventured back to the park. It was still muddy. Oh so muddy. Have you ever tried pushing a four-wheel strider pram through ankle deep mud. Yeah. It pretty much sucks. But; worth it to get to the worship event on Sunday night! Oh, and also... Sunday was my birthday! How cool to get to celebrate my 28th birthday on the very last day of Easterfest ever.

It's blurry but I love this photo anyway. My dad and sister and I right down the front. This was during an African American gospel band called Light of Love. SO GOOD! The band that played next were called Bluetree, from Ireland, and I seriously get goosebumps just thinking about how awesome and impacting that worship was. 

Twas a bit chilly once the cloud cover blew away.... Brrr!

Down the front with Jase and Mays. Love these two.

No hands!!


It all got a bit much for Mays. That's a pretty fabulous place to take a nap.

The theme this year for Easterfest was, "Love Changes Everything".

How beautiful is it? I think definitely the prettiest festival we've had. Even with all that mud on the ground.....

I took this shot from right up the back on the hill. With our little point and shoot Samsung camera. Impressive, no?

I have to share this one, because my husband is actually crazy. It was fuh-reezing. Here he is rugged up in his woollen hat and leather jacket... and shorts. As you do.

Goodbye Easterfest. We love you and have loved you and will miss you forever.

Thanks for all the memories Easterfest... 16 years of fantastic memories.

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