7 September, Mt Samson
The drive to Mt Samson was a confusing one, and while we drove for an hour along one of the loneliest country roads I had been on, I was beginning to wonder if Google Maps had, for the first time, failed me. Though I was soon proven wrong as we drove under the golden deer archway and into a secluded campsite where everyone from hipsters to 70 year old, grey bearded men were setting up tents.
After making our 7L vodka fruit punch and gathering our picnic blanket, we headed for the festival area, which was a mere 100 meters from out camp site. The whole lay out of the festival was well thought out, allowing an exceedingly enjoyable day for everyone that came. As Red Deer is a small, boutique festival, the arena consisted only of the two main stages which sat at the bottom of a natural amphitheatre. There were multiple food and market stalls around the outside of the arena and workshops throughout the day, leaving no space for a dull moment. The whole atmosphere was chilled out, everybody brought in their own couches and rugs and set up their own area and, being BYO, this meant for a mellow crowd as everybody drank as they pleased.
The bands were amazing, the local bands wowed crowds with their new and undiscovered talents, however highlight bands Kingswood and The Grates undoubtedly stole the show towards the end of the night, feeding the crowd an energy they had been waiting all day for. Everyone I spoke to said it was one of the best festivals they had been to, which is why Red Deer Festival continues growing in numbers each year. My advice? Get along to Red Deer before it becomes too big. There aren’t many boutique BYO festivals as badass as this one and anyone who enjoys sweet music, chilled vibes, sitting on hills or drinking excessive amounts of vodka should definitely experience it.