Bung is Beautiful: Adelaide’s Newest Festival Embraces the City’s Bungness

Bungsound celebrates Adelaide’s cyber-magic through late night dancing.

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Apr 18 2017, 11:01pm

South Australia can't shake the 'Festival State' label no matter how hard it tries. Like the smirky undertone in 'Radelaide', the moniker sticks like peas in a pie floater as more arts and music festival tickets are sold in South Australia than all other states combined.

But many of the regular festivals that occur over summer often have a staid and predictable feel, as they stick to tried-and-tested formats. 

Enter Bungsound. Eager to embrace a nonnormative model and challenge ideas of what a festival can mean, Adelaide musicians and live music enthusiasts Celeste Juliet and Nicole Raine have assembled some of Australia's best techno and electronic acts in one space for a weekend.

Featuring an almost all female, LGBTQI+ line-up, crowd favourites such as Simona Castricum and Terminal Infant will make the trek for the first time, along with familiar faces Lucy Cliché, En.V and Papaphilia. They will be joined by locals including industrial noise soloist Biles and Dario Argento-esque horror synth duo Deep Red, amongst others.

As the big old country town goes to sleep over the colder months, Bungsound intends to work up a sweat as pulsating grooves fill up part of the Adelaide underground (literally) over two nights.

Ahead of the festival we caught up with Nicole and Celeste to find out more.

Noisey: Why BUNGSOUND? Are there any orifices involved?

Celeste Juliet: Of course, heaps of orifices and all good ones! Del from Video Ezy came up with the name. We were lamenting the loss of Unsound from the Adelaide Festival billing, which meant she wouldn't have an excuse for her yearly pilgrimage to Adelaide, unless she came to play a show. Along with Nicole, these discussions turned into plans for a mini-fest.

Nicole Raine: Hahaha, orifices for sure, especially if Celeste is involved. I just love it as a descriptive term. I think it fits perfectly with the sort of festival we envision it to be.

Celeste: I assume it comes from the concept of a "Festival State" in South Australia, i.e. larger events dictating culture to the masses which is bung. As a descriptor, I think it sits nicely: bung is beautiful.

Both of you have been involved in independent Adelaide festivals such as Half Strange and Lost City. How is Bungsound different?

Celeste: Half Strange was eclectic and based across 4 venues. Bungsound is quite streamlined; it's a lot smaller and more intimate. It'll be held at Ancient World both nights and has a solid (albeit diverse) electronic focus, spanning pop, techno and experimental sounds. Probably more a coincidence, but it also has a predominantly non-cis male line-up. Just heaps over 'boys' playing music TBH.

Nicole: I am really just a big dorky fan and haven't organised any festivals before, so this is a first for me. I'd say Bungsound is different to the other festivals mentioned because it's centred around dance music and experimental stuff, and less focused on bands.

Lucy Cliche

For a "Festival State", there aren't enough festivals in Adelaide outside of Fringe time. Who are you hoping to lure with Bungsound?

Celeste: Adelaide can be intensely chaotic during the festival period, it's like most people see this time as a 'sanctioned' party time and when it comes to an end, you can feel the energy leave. It's hard to say whether [organising an event outside of Fringe] is a shame or a blessing, because it dilutes your audience to those who will genuinely like or be open to what is happening. and more to the point, filters out the idiots.

Nicole: Maybe we are trying to lure out those who don't take a punt on more experimental stuff outside of the so-called 'sanctioned' party times. I really felt Unsound as a festival provided a platform (albeit on a much larger scale) for Adelaide to witness the very best underground club music and experimental electronica and I guess I would like to see Bungsound act in a similar way.

Simona Castricum. Image: Grace Honeycutt

Who are you especially excited to see?

Celeste: Lots of faves I've seen before and know are great, plus the ones I haven't seen but have heard fantastic things about: Simona Castricum and Papaphilia especially.

Nicole: I'm excited to see everyone who is playing, but I am most excited for Adelaide. One of my faves is Simona Castricum who is headlining Saturday night. She is so amazing live, combining vocals with live drumming, DJing and her own personal lazer show! Plus I'm always psyched to see Lucy Cliché. She is playing the best techno in Australia right now. I'm also looking forward to Second Sight, an ex-Adelaide musician who rarely plays live, but his shows have been some of my fave dancing nights by far.

Why people should go to Bungsound?

Celeste: To celebrate the underground, to sweat despite winter, and to unite in dance until dawn. For pleasure and because cyber-magic is best practiced through group activity and electronic music.

Bungsound 2017 Apr 28 & 29.

Fri Apr 28 – Ancient World

Botanic Gordon
Biles
Papaphilia
Second Sight
Cheap Present
En.V
Lucy Cliché

+ All Gold DJs

Sat Apr 29 – Ancient World

WaterBear
Terminal Infant
Blast Rhombus
Video Ezy
Nina Buchanan
Deep Red
Simona Castricum

+ Club Sync DJs

Lead image: Terminal Infant by Jack Mannix