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CAN THROW A PARTY

By Nichola Spain

Brought up by a pack of wolves in the Siberian Tundra, for the first twelve years of Child’s life he could communicate only through a series of grunts and growls. Rescued by Hasidic Jewish explorers who went on to become his adopted parents, Child was introduced to classical folk music quickly learning the glockenspiel and the tambourine. Through these tools and an old Commodore 64 computer, he was able to devise a system which enabled him to finally communicate with the outside world and thus the reclusive veil, which was previously his life, was finally lifted.

The above paragraph was written by Elliot Rothfield (Child) almost a decade ago. Most would have ‘ROFL’ and thought he had a seriously vivid imagination and then if they were interviewing him like us, they would have wrote it down as a question to have a laugh at. Distinction. Some.

“Rolling Stones or some magazine came to do an interview with me and they started asking me these questions about what my life was like, how did I learn to communicate with humans and stuff” he chuckles.  

“And I said what the fuck are you talking about? And they said well we’ve read that you were raised by wolves. I said are you out of your mind, you’re a journalist, this is fiction, this is fiction! It’s not real. They said oh, someone in the office said this but I said don’t be stupid, why would he write that about himself.”

“I said well it’s fucking funny that’s why.”

If you haven’t heard of the name Elliot Rothfield before, you probably have heard of or attended one of the following events, Strawberry Fields and/or Let Them Eat Cake. Elliot is the proud baby daddy of both the iconic bush doof (although he doesn’t like to use that term) and the lavish New Years Day at Werribee Mansion.

The reality altering Strawberry Fields concept was conceived when Elliot Rothfield was just 21. Already an established name in Melbourne’s Techno scene, the producer and promoter certainly wasn’t just creating a party for his mates in the bush. Together he and two friends figured it was easier to have a party in the country than a warehouse in the city.

“The first year we did it we had one-thousand people. So it wasn’t just my friends, because I can assure you I don’t have a thousand people that like me. I was running other events before then…Hi-Tech Soul, which was Derek May’s brand, so we were doing really cool Techno parties in Melbourne and we were also doing these side trance gigs called Conquest. We had a really strong promoter base to begin with” he explains.

Eight years deep, the 2016 lineup is a killer and will see nearly five thousand people flock around three hours north of Melbourne for the three-day event in November.

“The Strawberry Fields way of picking up a line up is by far so different from any other event that I’m involved in. It’s how can we put something together that is cohesive, broad, unique and that people are not going to expect” Elliot explains.

“Over eight years we’ve built up a lot of trust with our audience, and I know that a lot of people that come to the event have not heard of some of these guys, but they’re willing to say alright you know what we’ve been to your event a couple of times, we love the music, we’re willing to trust you and of course they’re going to come this year and hear this shit that is going to absolutely blow them away. Some of the acts that we have playing this year, even though they’re not household names, are so incredible and we feel really lucky to be the ones that get to expose people to this they wouldn’t otherwise be listening to.”

The sound isn’t the only impressive aspect of the event, it’s a true spectacle too. If you’re not half naked covered in glitter and sequins with temporary tattoos placed all over your body, or whatever you saw in that one time you did DMT, you’re going to stick out like a sore thumb. The weird, the wacky and the wonderful come out to play at Strawberry Fields, where you reality is only limited by your imagination.

“I’m a really, really proud of our crowd, we have a lot of great people attending the event, I really like meeting new people there, especially young people. They’re always really open minded and always smiling. They’re not the sort of bitter, jaded ravers that you might find telling you about how everything is shit now and ten years ago, blah, blah, blah it was the best. They’re really cool and they’re really there to enjoy each other company and have fun."

The other unique thing about Strawberry is that there is zero phone reception. Giving you an experience rarely had by Gen Y.

“It’s probably the best fucking thing about the festival. This is not an event that’s in a paddock. It’s really in the Wild West. I mean Jesus Christ. I can’t imagine what it’s like for some younger people where the mobile phone is actually an extension of the hand. To be able to rip it off then and they’re forced to finally speak to people and become a human again, it’s the best thing you could possibly ask for. It’s not like people are leaving after the weekend going fuck I had the worst time I couldn’t Instagram my whatever to whoever, I couldn’t send a picture of my dog to my brother.”

Four years ago Elliot and co began LTEC, giving Melbournians a welcome alternative to soul destroying New Years Day parties like Riva and Circa.

But even then, we surmise, the “real” party happens not on the beautiful greens of the Werribee Mansion, but inside the mansion itself.

“There’s moments when you find yourself staying at Werribee Mansion in a robe with a bottle of Moet or something in your hand, half naked with all these woman running around. It’s very lavish, very hedonistic. I suppose they’re both a bit wild, but they’re wild in different ways. Strawberry Fields is on the river and it’s really in the middle of butt-fuck-nowhere with the flies and we’re there for a month before, bathing in the river and eating together as a family. I think certainly at times it gets a bit uncomfortable but for me it’s the best couple of weeks for the year.”

“LTEC is obviously an enormous amount of fun, but it’s a different sort of fun, it’s very luxurious. You’re in a five star hotel, you’ve got a masseuse if you wanted on demand, you’ve got room service and whatever else comes with it. Not the whole public has access to that, but just the friends of the organisers. We’ve got about 300 plus maybe 400 I dunno that actually stay in the mansion after the festival and we sort of celebrate for a few days.”

Elliot assures us that the GA ticket holders have just as much as those inside the mansion do (we doubt that), but it’s not a bad way or place to spend the first day of a new year.

Tickets to Strawberry Fields are available now.