While Northern hemisphere hipsters are tucking their printed flowered shirts and neatly-hemmed denim shorts away for the winter, their Southern hemisphere counterparts are digging out their festival attire.
Scorching temperatures have arrived just in time for Chile’s Primavera Fauna, which kicks off the festival season in South America (the event is followed by Brazil’s Popload Festival, Mexico’s Corona Capital and Argentina’s Bue). This year’s line up included Iggy Azalea, Phoenix, AlunaGeorge and Yo La Tengo, followed by an after party from 1-5am featuring house musician Claptone.
Taking place about 30 minutes from the Chilean capital, Primavera Fauna buses shepherd you out of the Santiago smog to a grassy event space decked with palm trees and even (albeit, closed) swimming pools. It’s totally different from Lollapalooza, Chile's largest festival, which takes place in the concrete city centre. While Lolla CL has evolved into a sort of family friendly, exclusive event where you can't drink unless you have VIP tickets (!), Fauna is one-day event that attracts a very certain type of crowd. It's 2017, of course it’s the hipster millennials.
And it’s all quite polite. You can drink booze, and thank god for that because its 37 degrees and a cold beer is a necessity. But things don’t get rowdy. Bogs stay totally acceptable. Want to get to the front of the stage? Easy, just stroll up, there is plenty of space to get a good view.
Earlier slots were filled by the like Neon Indian and AlunaGeorge whose electro-melodic pop got things swimming along pleasantly, leading up to Iggy's costly 9pm slot. It’s her first time in Chile; the big-booty singer deftly performed all her hits, well-rehearsed yet somewhat too mechanical for the hype that surrounded her performance. Things then drastically slowed with Californian shoegazers Yo La Tengo, who probably should’ve been billed before the 'Work' rapper. French indie-synth Phoenix closed the festival with an energetic and worthy headline performance.
The after-party unfortunately wasn't in a tented outdoor space, so you couldn’t rave below the stars and marvel at the shadows of the surrounding cerros. The crowd was instead directed to an-indoor Casino type space. This killed the atmosphere, as it felt more like a sterile club than a festival, so many took off to wait in the two-hour bus queue back to the city. And even with that sort of waiting time (organizers promised a 30-min wait), people remained so darn civil.
So, if you happen to be in the region this time of year, looking for a well-mannered type of daytime festival, no camping, no shitty loos, no bus puking, Fauna could be for you.
(Note: take sunscreen – and your denim shorts, naturally).
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Words: Charis McGowan
Photography: Carla Granfio
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