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HomeAustralian NewsThe Splendour of gumboots in a world gone to mud

The Splendour of gumboots in a world gone to mud

The forex of the rain-plagued Splendour In The Grass competition close to Byron Bay this 12 months was not a shiny wristband however a gumboot.

Within the days earlier than the competition, as somebody who lives regionally and already owns gumboots, I used to be moved to serving to interstate guests discover appropriate choices. My teenage daughter, who associates carrying gumboots with the Northern Rivers floods earlier this 12 months, was horrified.

Revellers in gumboots at the Splendour In The Grass festival at Byron Bay.

Revellers in gumboots on the Splendour In The Grass competition at Byron Bay.

“Do we’ve got to put on them proper from the beginning?” she requested. Fortunately, my powers of parental persuasion will not be fully exhausted because it turned out gumboots have been wanted effectively earlier than getting contained in the competition. The lengthy slim path from the shuttle bus cease to the entry gates, enclosed on both facet by lush forest in addition to competition fencing, was ankle-deep in mud.

After spending Saturday at Splendour taking a look at folks’s ft (trying down ensured I didn’t go A-over-T with every step), I’d say 98 per cent of festival-goers had managed to supply gumboots. One other one per cent had different boots that might have been high quality in much less making an attempt circumstances, leaving the ultimate one per cent in bother, with a mixture of never-to-be-worn-again common sneakers, crocs, plastic luggage and naked ft. I even noticed one lonely, long-ago deserted thong.

An abandoned thong in the mire at Splendour in the Grass.

An deserted thong within the mire at Splendour within the Grass.

It rapidly turned clear that not all gumboots are created equal. Fashionable ankle-high variations lasted three steps earlier than being stuffed with chilly sludge and ill-fitted boots have been extra susceptible to getting caught. Over the day, I developed my gumboot-wearing approach (slower, shorter and lighter steps) and dirt etiquette (avoiding spraying others by sloshing).


Figuring out I had hole-free, well-fitted, calf-high gumboots meant I may benefit from the day regardless of the mud. The safety my wellies offered enabled me to snicker on the muck somewhat than being chilly, moist and probably contaminated. My hole-free footwear meant I may sort out puddle mud and moist concrete mud somewhat than feeling defeated with every squelchy step.

This bought me pondering that having gumboots in a world that had fully gone to … mud … feels so much like a metaphor for our troubled occasions. Like having housing from which I’m not prone to be evicted on the whim of a landlord wanting greater hire. Or not having the not possible resolution between rebuilding on a floodplain versus beginning once more some other place.

Having well-covered ft felt like a gig economic system employee who’s paid sufficient for every job that they’ll cowl sick days, superannuation and different fundamental situations which are enshrined for many in office legislation. Having good gumboots at Splendour felt so much like having a main minister who believes in democracy somewhat than theology.

Gumboots. Useful in a flood, at a music competition and as a metaphor for all times.



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