Let Them Eat Cake Festival 2018

by Jake Judd     
photos by Duncographic

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'Let Them Eat Cake' entered its sixth year in fine form as thousands of revelers flocked to the picturesque location of Werribee Mansion. Five decorative stages showcased a nicely curated selection of artists in the gardens surrounding the mansion. The line up consisted of international DJs, live techno, electronica, hip-hop and backed up with solid local DJ talent.
The main stage (The Bastille) was set up on the front lawn of the mansion with ample Funktion 1 speakers stacked on either side of a wooden pyramid. Berlin based Australian DJ’s Bella Sarris and Fantastic Man set up the day as people arrived, with an eclectic blend of techno and acid sounds. Fantastic Man closed his set with Tornado Wallace’s new track “Zorn Gottes” from local label Animals Dancing.

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 The Guillotine stage was a DJ booth inside of a giant disco ball, with a much different vibe from the rest of the festival, with artists playing longer sets than the usual one hour. Palms Trax layed down a super happy four hour disco set, leading into the more house and techno sounds of Nite Fleit and Salvador Darling.


The Palace of Versailles stage hosted Big Shaq, who’s single “Mans Not Hot” has racked up 157 million views since October. The track was originally conceived as a freestyle on BBC radio and quickly went viral. It’s comically meaningless lyrics include “Two plus two is four, minus one that's three, quick maths” and “the ting goes skraa”. Lyrics which were quickly adopted into meme culture. Most of the crowd chanted every word. His appearance was reminiscent of Psy at Future Music festival. Andy Warhol once said everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes. Big Shaq was on stage for 30 minutes.

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A group of punters were walking around wearing Indian Headdresses. This was much to the surprise of most, given the controversy they have caused in recent years within rave culture. Brisbane hip-hop artist Miss Blanks spotted the group and in the middle of her set denounced “If you’re white and wearing Indian Headdresses or bindis you’re a fuckhead, let’s leave cultural appropriation in 2017”. This was followed by a very loud cheer.
Those lucky enough to get into the mansion were met with a whole other party hidden from the crowds. Artists, promoters, trustafarians (google it, lol) and scenesters mingled in the mansion, jumping from hotel room party to hotel room party. It was posh, it was class and it was cool. It’s probably how I’m going to do it next year. Behind the scenes promoters laid it on thick with a seemingly endless supply of ice cold beer, cider, tequila, vodka and water. Not to mention VIP bathrooms.
Let Them Eat Cake gave local DJs the exposure they richly deserve. After all they work tirelessly week in, week out, promoting, producing, DJing and dancing. Featured locals included Jay Mugelli & Francesco Castelli (Quality Project), Salvador Darling (Beaút) Mike Callander (Fridays at Revolver Upstairs). In a lot of ways they pave the way for events like Let Them Eat Cake.

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Back at the main stage Melbourne legend Mike Callander was on point with driving techno selections. Showing how local talent can easily match it with the internationals. Playing a late afternoon set in between Ame (live) and Stephan Bodzin (live). 
Stephan Bodzin was nothing short of mind blowing. It takes a lot to blow my mind and he blew it. The level of control he held over the crowd is something you don’t get to see often. His physical presence and crowd interaction was equally entertaining. His latest track “Strand” was a feature of his set. Performed live with a moog synthesizer, a drum machine and a custom build midi controller. Bodzin was always one step ahead of the crowd, toying with energy levels, knowing when to build and when to release. 

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The Bastille stage came alive as the sunset and the light show and pyrotechnics began. Jackmaster & Jasper James brought the party with their energetic house and techno selections. A reward for those brave enough to stick around till the very end and fight for a miracle taxi or Uber back to Melbourne.
Let Them Eat Cake nails the gap in the market between bush doof and music festival. It’s no surprise they will be back again in 2019.