One noticeable difference I experienced at Earth Frequency Festival last weekend was the freedom that it allowed children. Watching my son climb towering fences, play obscure instruments and attempt to ride bikes twice his size was encouraged. More often than not it seems society tries to stifle a young child’s curiosity with constant warnings of, ‘Don’t touch that” and “be careful” and “leave that it’s not yours.” What I discovered early on was the community that had gathered for these few shorts days to celebrate all things creative not only supported this kind of exploration but facilitated it. The freedom that came with feeling unrestricted was a pleasure to watch.
We arrived in the Chai ‘n’ Vibes tent to find a DJ playing a relaxing ambient techno set, everyone very chilled out on the overstuffed, colourfully embroidered cushions as my energetic toddler raced to the stage area. Looking at the DJ he gave me a nod and I sat down and watched my two year old pick up the drums sticks and proceed to hit the variety of drums including Conga, djembe and hand drums strewn across the floor. He then made his way to the drum kit and reaching high belted the cymbals with all his might as only a (mini) rockstar would. Taking the DJ also by the surprise our eyes locked and he smiled signalling to me to let him continue. Jack then found the keyboard and gently playing a few notes listened to the sound before trying the full range.
By this time the audience were right behind him clapping and urging him on. I doubt he noticed as he was caught up in this exciting new world of instruments. The DJ snuck over to me as to not break his rhythm and whispered in my ear, “he was clearly a muso in his previous life”. Gobsmacked at the natural talent of my son I marvelled at the fact that he had the freedom to explore and sat and watched in awe. An earthly hippie type nearby asked if that was my son, when I nodded he said, “You’ll definitely have to encourage that.”
This set the tone for the weekend as we exploring the many exotic market stalls and incredibly designed stages. Jack managed to find instruments tucked away in hard to reach places and brazenly attempted to play each of them. The flutes in the shamanic healing tent were a favourite as he blew and sang into them creating a frenzy. Wherever we went, when I hesitated, others encouraged and soon I let go of the control and let him be; to be his wonderful inquisitive musical self so often stifled or controlled.