December 1, 2018
Going by its etymological roots, “caldera” is a volcanic crater.
The lava that is produced by the boutique-y new festival that goes by the same name is an eclectic melange of emerging underground artists channelling their alchemy via a literal athanor in Eveleigh’s turn-of-the-century workshops.
Caldera Festival’s bits and pieces could be a small scale, condensed equivalent to MONA’s Dark Mofo Festival in Hobart.
Equipped with an excellent gin concoction courtesy of local artisan distillers Four Pillars, one wanders the dark locomotive workshop every nook and cranny of which offers something to discover, be it interactive art installations, pop-up performances, bars and surprises galore that can be explored via an interactive digital map, while one is serenaded by an industrial soundtrack.
If the mission statement of Caldera’s curators was to create something visceral, exciting and strange, they have certainly accomplished what they have set out to achieve.
Performances were spearheaded by burlesque performer Zelia Rose, Melbourne songstress Tanzer, as well as acts based on the utilizations of industrial machinery put to work by Bree van Reyk, with Alon Ilsar performing the AirSticks in the thick of the machinery.
Framed by themed bars that offer both libations and sustenance, the first incarnation of Calera gave a taste of what it could evolve in coming years – a dark, adult playground that one can get immersed and literally get dirty in.
Lead image by T, additional photos below by @k.a.vv