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February 27, 2012 | by  | in Arts Music |
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Camp A Low Hum 2012

Standing atop a sea of transparent ponchos and silver goon sacks watching So So Modern, I instantly regretted not packing a coat.

Instead, I was wearing what might as well have been a towel that had fallen into a pool. And sure enough, by the time I did end up getting a yellow child’s poncho (they were out of adults) the skies remained cloudless for the rest of the three day festival.

Back for its sixth year running, the 2012 Camp a Low Hum festival returned to the town of Wainuiomata, following a short two-year stint in Bulls. As a sophomore student of Camp, I knew a bit of what to expect; people on all kinds of substances, good music and blistering heat.

Two out of three isn’t bad.

Weather aside, the event was an undoubted success. Spanning three days and three nights with bands playing from 10:30am until well after 2:30am across seven different stages, you would assume there wouldn’t be much time to ‘chill’. But what I found particularly endearing about the festival was how relaxed–without being disorganised–the atmosphere was. There was no rush to get to the front row for all of the bands, and your campsite was never far away, should you need to ‘rehydrate’. Overall, yeah, it was fucking awesome. However, rather than describing it all in detail, for the sake of your attention span and my patchy memory, I have compiled the literary equivalent of a highlights reel.

For me, anyway.

  1. The Forest stage–almost certainly designed for people on acid.
  2. Wintercoats–a one-man four-string quartet with the voice of a gentle lover.
  3. The Renegade Room poster saying: “Susan Boyle is going to shit herself in the Renegade Room at 9:30pm on Day Two”.
  4. Sexy Merlin–this guy pulls off a crop- top that would put any 17-year old girl in 2001 to shame.
  5. The destined-for-injury bouncy swing bridge (I never managed to find this bridge again throughout the rest of the festival… a possible Terabithia situation?).

As a festival where you aren’t aware of the line-up until you arrive, and when most of the international bands are unknown, trying to describe Camp to people who haven’t been can be challenging. So I tend to steer clear of it and just say I went to something like Homegrown so when anyone asks if Six60 played, I can say “Yes. They rocked”.

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