1996 Field of Dreams 4 – Ray’s Reviews
Field of Dreams 4
Location: Cataract Scout Park, Appin
Date: 6th July 1996
Finally it arrived. The massive build up to this rave had lasted months, and everyone was very excited about this event labelled “The biggest rave ever in Australia”. The previous Field of Dreams party had been absolutely massive, according to the lucky people who attended. All the rave newspapers, magazines, and radio stations had been promoting this party constantly and hyping it up like no other party. Not only had tickets been sold to this event, but t-shirts, keyrings, tapes, and a massive variety of other things had been sold. The entertainment was to start at 5pm, with the main arena opening at 8pm and going through until 8am. It was about a 1 and a half hour drive to the venue, but since it was off the street directory, and every street was a major highway, it took us 4 hours to get there . We missed the turnoff, and the next turnoff was 20 km away (and only 10km out of Wollongong).
We got there at 8pm, and just saw the end of the spectacular fireworks that started as the main arena opened. There were enough people collecting tickets/frisking at the entrance, so we just walked straight in without having to line up in a huge queue. The event was very organised down to the last detail. Many people had brought tents to camp out over the night. Tents were all around the entire area, which was very large. This event was truly spectacular. The main arena was an enormous tent-like structure that was built for the event. It was larger than many warehouses I have been to. 7000 people came to Field of Dreams 4, and the main arena was packed full of pumping partying people all night. At the front of the arena was a huge stage with 3 sets of DJ setups. Lights were put up all over the massive tent, so that even people at the very back had lots of lights glaring in their eyes. In the middle of the arena was a setup for the lighting crew, which performed visual miracles all night and don’t get enough credit in the rave industry as they should. This was definitely the biggest event of its kind that I have ever been to.
Around the park, there were many other smaller tents with different types of music in them playing all night. There were a couple of tents playing house, another with ambient, a happy hard room, a hard house room, a couple of food/clothing stores. The happy hard, and the hard house room was full all night, with the others sometimes pumping, sometimes not. Each tent had their own lighting/lasers etc. And there were flushing toilets! :) The main room was pumping until 2am, when all the music stopped, the lights went down and the stage was filled with an eery blue light. Adrenalin was pumping through everyone, then the crowd started to get a peaceful feeling of serenity as a voice came over the speakers.. “Field of Dreams 4, a massive, modern, technological, natural, spiritual dance music festival….” This emotional voice, prompted a single multicoloured laser behind the stage to shine across the crowd, and a female dancer dressed as an angel slowly moved across the stage floor. The theme song to FOD4 came on: “Paladian Dawn” by Sunday Club, and an emotional high of unity, and peace filled the crowd. Lasers shone out of the dancers hands and covered the ravers in a flood of coloured light. This was the emotional climax of the night for most people. As the song got faster and started pumping, people started dancing again in entranced in a “higher state of consciousness” (to steal the title of a song).
This was followed by DJ Paul Holden, who made the whole tent go ballistic with a fast pumping set of tunes. This Hard Hard Hard house with a dash of Hardcore went for the next couple of hours and all the lasers in the tent came on shining over the entire crowd. About 8 lasers in all flooded the room with beams of colour. After Holden’s set, the crowd slowed down a bit (from exhaustion) but the partying was still very alive and strong. A video screen had 3D graphics taking the crowd to another land. Another screen was lowered from the ceiling in the middle of the arena, and impressive laser graphics were shone onto it. The live acts were good also, and there were dancers on the stage at various times throughout the night. The lighting/laser show that was put on all night was definitely the best I have ever seen and the crew should be congratulated. Once the final set of the main arena had been played, another one started outside in the daylight. I decided to leave at about 10am, but of course the car wouldn’t start (seeing as I am soooo far away from anything!).
Just to add to the car troubles was the fact that mobile phones did not work out this far away from civilisation. After about an hour, I finally found a public telephone, and called the NRMA. While I was waiting for them to come, some reporters came up and took our photo for their local newspaper, and got a quote of a raver saying that it was the best rave he had ever been to and the promoters should be congratulated. The return trip was only 2 hours (as opposed to the 4 it took to get here). This had been a truly unforgettable night, the biggest production of its kind, with a pumping main arena, and a strongly emotional 2am surprise.
The atmosphere was very strong and festive – but not that “ravey”. Seeing as how the rating out of 10 is for raves, this gets an 8, but deserves something extra, as this was the biggest and best organised party I have ever been to. The FOD4 crew did not disappoint at all, even after all the hype about the event, they still managed to live up to the “Field of Dreams” name. The end of the party had come, but not the end of FOD4 in the rave scene. A video was also released about the event, and a screening of the video at a cinema, which had ravers literally “dancing in the aisles”.