Island Vibe Festival – Community Goodness

Some people go to Island Vibe festival for the music on the bill.


Many folks go to dance barefoot on the grass under glorious Spring sunshine and night stars.


Most people go to soak up the heavenly island goodness of Minjerribah (Nth Stradbroke Island): to breathe in the fresh, clean ocean air – to swim on one of the many stunning beaches as whales, dolphins and turtles pass nearby – to wander through the island’s forests and be amongst wild and beautiful native Australian wildlife.

Everyone goes to Island Vibe festival to be part of a community. One of good people. One of happy people.

Island Vibe - 2013 -

Communities Connected

Island Vibe-2013-7-www.beaveronthebeats.comInterconnected people, friends and families, come [mostly] from not-so-far-away Australian places. Those places feel like a world away once you get over Moreton Bay by boat to Minjerribah.

Families and friends share rental houses and camps. Everyone cooks and eats good food, drinks and laughs together. They catch up on each other’s busy lives, swim and walk, and watch their kids play together. They relax and unwind together.

For all of that, everyone is juiced up before they even get to the festival ground.

On Friday, Saturday, Sunday or every one of those days, all those people come from wherever they are on the island. So too come the local folks of Minjerribah and its surrounding bay area.

They meet, and they share a space together – metres away from the divine Home Beach – just behind those trees – in the open air festival of Island Vibe.


That festival space becomes the principal meeting place for one and all – to eat more good food, browse artisan markets, appreciate the beautiful local indigenous artworks in the Artspace gallery, hang out, relax, and talk and laugh together some more. Dance together. Be connected in music.

The Island Vibe Festival Community.  Each October for the past 8 years, a new one has been formed.   That community is one with a really beautiful spirit – and one that gets happier and healthier on each 1 of the 3 festival days.

Island Vibe - 2013 -

Island Vibe Music

For me, the music artists on the bill at Island Vibe are an integral part, but have also become just a background to all of that other island goodness.

DJs Up

This year lots of international DJs were added to the musical mix of Island Vibe: Electric Punanny (NY) – Ill Gates (US) – JStar (UK) – Jah Red Lion (Chile)  –  J:Kenzo (UK) – Dub Terminator, Soulware & Organikismness (Aotearoa). Increased musical diversity at a festival is great.  So is hearing some new music in Australia. The DJs I heard were awesome at what they do and I heard some music I love.



Ultimately though, they are DJs – playing, mixing and creating music, with machines. No live instruments, and only live vocals or rhymes where the DJ’s doing the gig with an MC/ vocalist.

Kingfisha - Island Vibe - 2013 -


I think there’s a very different energy and atmosphere created by music from a DJ, to the energy and atmosphere created by music created from instruments, played live, by human people. The energy created by live music just feels more alive, and more organic to me – more alive and organic than the greatest DJ in the world playing the most incredible music, could ever feel. When I go to music festivals I want as many live music experiences as possible, especially new and original music.

The DJs at Island Vibe this year weren’t just added to the mix.  They replaced all international bands on the bill, and played as the last headline act on the main and 1 of the other 2 stages. This is just me, one punter, but I wanted more live (new and original) music than I was offered.

2013 Good Stuff

Live bands or DJs (even better a live band with a DJ in it),  I always hope to be blown away by something musical when I go to a music festival.  That didn’t happen for me this year at Island Vibe – but, throughout the festival I heard some great sounds, engaging music and fantastic musicianship. I’m sure I missed some good gigs too, and maybe I even missed some amazing ones that might have blown me away.

Here’s the stuff I heard that I got into…

Uncomfortable Science

The multi-madly-talented musical scientist Lachlan Mitchell (Laneous & The Family YahKooii, Kafka) led a really entertaining improvised session between a group of musician test subjects – all concentrating very hard to follow his spontaneous whiteboard scribbles of chord progressions and melodies.

Uncomfortable Science

Uncomfortable Science

Musically the most unique and interesting sounds I heard in my 5 island days was at a restaurant gig by 2 members of Uncomfortable Science before the festival started. It was the really engaging, at times mesmerising improvised sounds of Lachlan Mitchell on vocals and hand percussion with Michael Meddlycott  on synth and keyboard.

Yeshe & Friends

Beautiful, gentle, soothing lunchtime world fusion music sounds played by a bunch of incredible musicians from the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Northern NSW.

Yeshe & Friends

Yeshe & Friends

Mystic Beats

A spacious, cruisy, groovin’ early afternoon jam between 5 Northern NSW-based musicians – including Cye Wood playing exquisite violin.

Cye Wood

Cye Wood w/ Mystic Beats

Bobby Alu

Sweet, soulful sunset ukelele and percussion sounds from the Gold Coast and Brisbane’s Bobby Alu.

Bobby Alu

Bobby Alu

Golden Sound

Straight up, funky good funk tunes out of Brisbane. There just aint enough new funk music being made in the world today – and happily for me, Brisbane’s Peter G and his musical cohorts (including Bobby Alu’s Paulie B on guitar and Stewart Barry on bass) gave me some of it at Island Vibe.

Golden Sound

Golden Sound

JStar & MC Soom T

Soulful vocals, beats, rhymes and attitude from Glaswegian MC Soom T, collaborator with a huge number of talented international producers and DJs – including at Island Vibe 2013 with JStar.

Check out a video here…   


Brisbane’s Kingfisha took everyone happily through Sunday’s sunset with old and new songs, and new versions of old songs – all of which are sounding better and better with the increasing addition of synth sounds to the musical mix.



Kingfisha videos to check out here..

Electric Punanny

Good reggae tunes mixed up with some dancehall and electro.

Video of Electric Punanny w/ dancer Nadiah Idris here…

Music Missed

Gotta say it. I missed a lot of music at Island Vibe that I’d really wanted to hear.

Some was because the festival ticket box opened almost an hour after the festival started.  The first acts had already finished before I could get a ticket, a wristband and into the festival.  I felt sorry for me, but even sorrier  for the artists inside the festival sharing their music with almost no one. Other times I missed music when bands’ sets were cut drastically short due to sound and stage issues.

A Beautiful Welcome The music and dance that affected me the most during all of the Island Vibe festival, was what I heard and saw during the Opening Ceremony on Saturday.

The traditional custodians of Minjerribah and surrounding region, the Quandamooka peoples, with their words, music and dance, welcomed everyone to the land and the festival in a generous and beautiful spirit of sharing and respect.

It began with the traditional song, dance and stories of the Yuli Burri Bah dancers, led with thoughtful, positive and moving words and didgeridoo by Josh Walker

Island Vibe festival-2013-www.beaveronthebeats.comIsland Vibe festival-2013-www.beaveronthebeats.comIsland Vibe

Followed by the very lovely Siva Mai Dancers you can see behind this cutie…

Island Vibe

Then the ever so cool Q Crew with their super stylin’ dance moves – accompanied in one piece by the amazing dancehall dancer  Nadiah Idris


Ending with Simangavole performing the Maloya rhythm, traditional music of the slaves of Réunion Island


I listened,  watched and smiled through all the music and dance of the Opening Ceremony. I loved it all – traditional and modern. It  was the best in the festival for me this year.

Island Vibe Goodness

The total experience that you’ll have by going to Minjerribah for the Island Vibe festival is one full of goodness. It is a meeting place for a friendly, relaxed, happy community of good peoples – on a very special island paradise.  There are so many reasons to go and to be part of that community.

Anyone else in the 2013 Island Vibe Community hear something awesome that I missed? Maybe a DJ that blew your mind? 🙂 

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