Friends of Ours Festival on building the ultimate happy place for misfits and colourful creatives

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Friends of Ours Festival on building the ultimate happy place for misfits and colourful creatives


The history of popular culture is adorned with famous partnerships. Be it Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Brian Eno and David Byrne or The Killers and Richmond Tigers full-forward Jack Riewoldt – these iconic pairings challenge expectations and transcend the oeuvres of their collaborators.


Now another team-up is set to prove the age-old adage that two is certainly better than one. Rubix, Brunswick’s favourite bass haven, has taken over the coolest festival venue in Victoria: Bruzzy’s Farm.


Based in Tallarook, around one hour north of Melbourne, Bruzzy’s Farm is a paradise where music and nature can live in harmony. Bruzzy spent 30 years building the site, which has hosted the Boogie Festival for the last 11 years and New Year’s Evie for four. Now, at 84, he is handing over the reins to Rubix owner Tanya El-Gamal, who has big plans to continue the work he started.


“For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to build the ultimate happy place for all the misfits and colourful creatives that do cool shit,” she says. “I thought I’d done it with Rubix, but after I finished building it earlier this year – it only took five years – I knew we could do it on a way bigger scale, so I started looking for a farm.”


To her surprise, she found it, pre-built and fully-licensed. “I came across Bruzzy’s and it turns out his idea of the ultimate happy place is the same as mine. It was all built just as I dreamt it.”


The Friends of Ours Festival is the maiden voyage of the new venture, but also a massive thank you to the staff that made it happen. As for the date, well, it was going spare anyway. “The Melbourne Cup permit came with property so I decided it would be rude not to use it, and it was the perfect excuse to throw a ridiculous housewarming party for all the Rubix crew living out here with me.”


As the name suggests, the lineup, featuring Roni Size, Eva Lazarus, DLR and Dub FX, are all artists El-Gamal has worked with and met through Rubix over the last ten years. They’re literally friends of hers. “I’m excited to see them all here and have a listen to what they’ve been up to.”


It won’t be all slow-motion reunions however, as partying in idyllic surrounds does have its responsibilities. To this end, the smart heads at Rubix have been getting together to make sure none of the farm’s natural beauty gets spoiled.


“We’re implementing a full sustainability plan to minimise and manage waste. We do all the recycling and composting on site so we really push all the people who come to leave no trace, by taking what you bring and only bringing what you need.”


Waste management isn’t the only task for the team, as the venue also has a limited supply of water, with no means to bail them out if the river runs dry, so to speak – there’s no actual river.


“The whole farm is run on tanks so we have to be super careful with how it’s used. It really changes your mindset living out here after being in the city for so long where everything is on tap.”


Where water is in ample supply is in the many dams scattered around the property, which the guests are encouraged to interact with. “The main big dam will be open for a dip so bring your floaties. If it gets hot enough we’ll take a sound system down there for a paddle party.”

It’s all shaping up to be a weekend to remember, and El-Gamal has no plans for the Rubix cohort to rest on their considerable laurels just yet.


“We’ll continue to run Boogie Festival at Easter, New Year’s Evie and Friends of Ours on cup weekend every year. There’s been a lot of interest from other festival promoters who want to bring their events to the farm but we’ll be focusing on a quality over quantity approach to bookings for camping events. We’ll be running a lot of day parties with internationals and local promoters mixing it up between bass music, techno, live music and queer parties for the LGBTQ community.”