Fes­ti­val ex­plodes into ac­tion

Air­lie trans­formed by car­ni­val at­mos­phere

Whitsunday Times - - REEF FESTIVAL -

THE fire­works ex­ploded over­head, the night mar­kets were a hive of ac­tiv­ity, the beats boomed and peo­ple thronged to the Air­lie Beach fore­shore on Fri­day night for the ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated open­ing of the 2015 Whit­sun­day Reef Fes­ti­val.

Fam­i­lies wan­dered the en­ter­tain­ment area, with the younger kids head­ing for the rides and slides at sideshow al­ley and older ones mak­ing their way to the Main Street Stage.

As the smoke from the fire­works drifted into the night sky, top Aus­tralian DJ Joel Fletcher threw it down for a pumped-up au­di­ence, and the car­ni­val at­mos­phere kept the party roar­ing long into the night.

“It was good, the kids were down,” Mr Fletcher said.

“They were up and about and get­ting around it, so it was good fun.

“I love Air­lie Beach. I’ve been here maybe four or five times now... it’s a beau­ti­ful place with lovely peo­ple. It’s an all-round good joint.”

The 23-year-old DJ has had some­thing of a me­te­oric rise, “play­ing house par­ties” since he was 14 years old and get­ting his first club res­i­dency just two years later.

“Ever since then it just keeps go­ing up for me.

“I’m pretty hum­bled to do what I love and get paid for it.”

When asked what it was like play­ing Whit­sun­day Reef Fes­ti­val af­ter per­form­ing gigs at fes­ti­vals like Stere­osonic, Mr Fletcher said they were “two dif­fer­ent vibes”.

“But I feel like more in­ti­mate gigs can be bet­ter than a big fes­ti­val if you’ve got an in­ti­mate show with peo­ple go­ing crazy com­pared to a big fes­ti­val with peo­ple kind of stand­ing there,” he ex­plained.

Mr Fletcher said he en­joyed his time in Air­lie Beach so much that he and his friends were al­ready plan­ning a re­turn trip.

Photo: Matthew New­ton

BIG BANG: Thou­sands of peo­ple turned out to the Air­lie Beach fore­shore to see the fire­works on Fri­day night.

Photo: An­drew Pat­tin­son / Vampp Pho­tog­ra­phy

Top Aus­tralian DJ Joel Fletcher brought the beats to the street on Fri­day night.

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