Home festival a treat for travelling DJ
After spending much of the year travelling the globe, playing tunes at some of the most iconic dance-music scenes such as Berlin, Cobram’s Courtney Clarke returned home to play at her home festival, Strawberry Fields.
While family and friends know her as Courtney, fans across the world have come to know and love her as CC:Disco!
Although Ms Clarke has gained somewhat of a cult following abroad, she is still revered at home.
She had the local crowd in the palm of her hand on the main stage at Strawberry Fields on the Sunday, dazzling them with her disco-based style of music she considers uplifting and happy.
‘‘The atmosphere was incredible; it was probably one of my favourite sets there so far,’’ Ms Clarke said.
Considering it was her sixth consecutive appearance, it was a compliment festival organisers should not take lightly.
The vision to relocate the festival to a new site has been vindicated, just ask Ms Clarke.
‘‘I think the new site was a lot better. I think it totally changed the festival actually,’’ she said.
‘‘Having a stage right on the river absolutely blew everybody away I think and gave it a different vibe in terms of making it more relaxed.’’
The well-known DJ relishes the chance to return home and said having the opportunity to play at a festival practically on the doorstep of where she grew up made the occasion all-themore special.
‘‘Especially now that I’m touring Europe a lot more and playing festivals overseas, I’ve come to realise that Strawberry Fields is one of the best festivals in the world,’’ she said.
She said there are a mixture of elements which made Strawberry Fields such an attractive proposition for artists from across the world.
‘‘I think the landscape is one of the biggest drawcards to it, the quality of the sound is always really good and the calibre of acts is really high,’’ Ms Clarke said.
‘‘It’s not littered with really high-profile artists, but it’s made up of a lot of artists that are taking risks and might not be so well-known and that brings a really good surprise element and sense of intrigue to the festival.
‘‘And of course I’m from the area, so I’m always really proud to go there and play.’’
Ms Clarke said despite living in Melbourne and touring a lot, she never felt disconnected from her roots.
‘‘It’s really nice to meet people from Cobram. Even when I’m playing in Melbourne, people will often come up and tell me they’re from 3644 and that’s really exciting. I’d love for more people from Cobram to come to my sets and events.’’
Strawberry Fields was the perfect chance for Ms Clarke to return home after a hectic touring schedule, which is only set to get busier in the coming months.
She has toured Europe three times this year, with visits to India and Bali in between.
She will finish the year by playing a set of shows in Brazil, before returning home for the summer. As soon as she recuperates she will be boarding a plane back to Europe for a six month tour.
It is certainly no mean feat to crack the international dancemusic market like Ms Clarke has managed to achieve and she follows a linage of artists making big waves in foreign lands.
‘‘I’m not sure what it is, maybe they just like a crazy Australian. There are a lot of Aussies who are making it overseas at the moment which is great,’’ she said.
Making a career out of music not something Ms Clarke considered to be a remote possibility in the early days.
The former St Mary’s of the Angels student left Cobram at 17 to pursue music, working in radio before spinning decks in packed out venues around the world.
‘‘I started doing radio when I was 15 at ONE FM in Shepparton and the DJ thing was nearly an accident almost,’’ she said.
‘‘I never thought I’d be doing this as a job, let alone playing in a place like Russia.
‘‘I just love it so much and for the first five or six years I started doing it, I just played as much as I could and played anything and everything and worked my backside off to get to this point, which has been good in a way because it’s allowed me to slow down a little bit now and focus on touring overseas more.’’
If you are keen on catching CC:Disco! on Australian soil, is playing a series of Australian festivals, including Beyond the Valley, Let Them Eat Cake and Lost Paradise.
Home turf: Festival. CC:Disco! finds her rhythm at Strawberry Fields Picture: Dunocgraphic