Split into two aspects, Off the Grid is comprised of two halves of equal significance: symposium discussions that prompt deeper thought about the world around us, and a straight-up party curated by the renowned Crown Ruler.
A handpicked selection of Australia’s leading thinkers, creatives, environmentalists, architects and entrepreneurs took to the ACCA forecourt for a series of conversations that were thoroughly insightful. Driven by a communal respect of knowledge, but never edging into pretentiousness, they’re part of what makes this festival so special.
Particular highlights included the head of Vege Threads Amy Roberts, instigating deeper thought on fast-fashion and new business models that bring quality clothing into a paradigm that doesn’t cost the earth. Meanwhile, Michelle Isles of Sustainable Isles pushed the idea of Melbourne acting as a catalyst for change, reinforcing its potential as an epicentre for positive movements. Inspiring, intelligent and groundbreaking.
But what use is feeding the mind without feeding the soul? In that sense, the musical program was there to deliver. Detroit don Jay Daniel delivered a set that summed up his rapid growth across his five years as an artist – punctuated by cuts from his long-awaited full length, Broken Knowz. Krakatau brought their modern take on improvised music to the stage, while Two Steps on the Water broke hearts with their visceral folk punk.
How many festivals can you say are truly unique? Off the Grid is filling a gap left by a number of their peers, all while leading the way forward. While it’s certainly fantastic that we have one solar-powered festival to enjoy, perhaps in the future – we’ll have more. Until then, Off the Grid is an absolutely vital festival for thinkers, music lovers and environmental dreams.