Australia’s legendary Rainbow Serpent returns for another huge year this week, and as per usual, it’s four days of non-stop epicness across the festival’s five official stages. It would be impossible to see each and every musical highlight that Rainbow throws at you every year, so we’ve composed this handy guide to ensure you get the maximum out of your festival experience.
We’ve focused on the techno, progressive, tech-house, deep house, minimal and progressive spectrums, with obviously all the action from Open Records artists, friends and collaborators in there. To even enjoy this whole list would have to have put in some serious hours in festival training, so we remind everyone to enjoy responsibly and make sure you get some sleep and keep refreshed in between it all.
Australia has been in the middle of the record heatwave as well, so don’t forget both the sunscreen and protection from the cold country Victorian nights – this part of the country can really throw everything at you. Check out all the official information provided by the festival here.
FRIDAY NIGHT/SATURDAY MORNING
Friday night’s Sunset Stage session has grown and grown in recent years and now counts itself as one of the best sections of music of the party. Rainbow Serpent’s own Johnny Mac will kick things off in typically slick style from 4pm, while our favourite sibling duo Thankyou City (pictured above) will no doubt provide one of the festival’s true early highlights from 7pm.
Vapour head honcho and Aussie legend Kasey Taylor will rock from 9.30pm, followed by an awesome run of music including Atonix (11pm), D-sens (12.30am Saturday) and Paul Abad (3.30am). After Paul it’s probably time to get your first bit of sleep.
But don’t get too comfy. Zenon head honcho and Open Records collaborator Sensient is live on the Market Stage from 9am, which sadly, provides a bit of a crossover with Timmus on the Sunset Stage from 9.30am (one of the hardest decisions of the party, we’re sure!). The other option is head out to the Pool Party in Beaufort, our friend optomol will be rocking out there.
Lovers of techno and progressive house won’t want to miss the awesome run on the Sunset Stage of Ed Motive (12.30pm, pictured above) into Thad Lester (2pm) into Luke Porter (3.30pm), while the more deeper and minimal heads will probably be over at the Market Stage for Phil K (midday), Fehlmann live (1.30pm), Uone (3pm) and Nico Stojan (4.30pm).
By this stage, the Sunset Stage will be starting to close out with Punkz On Junk (6.30pm) in anticipation of the Main Stage and festival opening ceremony at 8pm. It’s pretty special seeing nearly the whole party in one place and one time and coupled with the indigenous elders’ welcome to country, is integral to the whole Rainbow Serpent experience.
Ott and The Orb’s amazing 25th Anniversary Special will no doubt provide not only the peak of the RSF Main Stage, but also a truly memorable moment for the Australian festival scene. The Orb in particular have played a huge part in influencing most of the music that appears at Rainbow, so this should be nothing short of mindblowing.
That leads us to Interpulse. The Aussie master has been saddled with one of the biggest sets of the party, charged with kicking the party into top gear directly after The Orb at midnight. After all the hard work and amazing music from Richie over the years, it’s going to be true benchmark moment in his career, so we all hope you can get down and support him in the best way you can – on the d-floor!
As Interpulse rocks the main on Sunday Morning, there is also a huge session rocking the Market, with Opiuo (11.30pm Saturday), FreQ Nasty (12.30am Sunday), Meat Katie (2am), Jamie Stevens (3.30am), Steve Ward (5am), Rollin Connection (6am), Moodmachine (7.30am), Oblique Industries (8.30am) Dylan Griffin (9.30am) and Mike Callandar (11am).
After the juggernaut that was Saturday night/Sunday morning, you may want to take a rest for a couple of hours to escape what will no doubt be some pretty hefty UV rays. Greek progressive master Dousk should coax you back out again at 2.30pm for an awesome Main Stage closing set, but you will need some energy for the Market Stage techno session as the sun starts to go down!
Kompakt legend Michal Mayer is without a doubt one of the most anticipated sets at the party, taking over from 7pm on the Market with an epic 3-hour session on the books. After Sacha last year, Rainbow had to pull out something pretty special for around this time and they’ve definitely done the trick, especially with fellow international superstars Donato Dozzy (10pm) and Pan-Pot (Midnight) in quick succession!
If you’ve managed to keep up with even a part of this guide, you’ve earned yourself a good eight hours of sleep. But don’t let it linger too long, because an Open Records hometown favourite has the biggest set of his career on the Market Stage, helping to kick off Rainbow Serpent’s legendary Monday session.
This is the point of the party when you want to grab all your conveniences and left-over supplies (drinks, water, cigarettes, fashion, props, etc) down to the floor, find a spot for you and your crew and get set for one of the best Monday sessions at RSF ever!
Our very own FunkForm (pictured above) will make his Market Stage debut from 9am in full live mode, followed by High&Mighty (10.30am), Max Cooper (Noon), King Unique (2pm) and James Zabiela (4pm)… what else can we really say, other than big congrats to Maddy and let’s get ready for the party of the year! See you on the dancefloor, full set times here.