Rather than heading out to a city club, on a given weekend these revellers will pack up their sleeping bags, supplies and costumes and go bush.
“The roads are never good," says Gabe. "Getting in and out is a wasted mission. Finding it is always a mission - but it’s always half the fun."
Gabe is in it for the psy trance. “Like good psy trance,” she says. “These days they play a lot of, like, dubstep glitch sh-- and I hate that… You can’t really find the beat to the music, you can’t really dance to it,” she says.
“It’s always coldest right before the sun comes up and that’s when they always play the best music so it sucks. But you just got to dance to keep warm,” she says.
“I always leave a doof with a sense of I guess… happiness that I don’t really find anywhere else."
At 29, Brendo has been to 15 or so doofs. He and his friends go to at least one a year.
“A lot of what they play is called ‘side trance’ and it gets a bit monotonous especially after two or three days of listening to it,” he says.
“But that’s not really the reason I go, it’s more for the people that I haven’t seen for a while.”
“I always leave a doof with a sense of I guess… happiness that I don’t really find anywhere else. It kind of bleeds into normal life for a while, let’s say two or three weeks afterwards,” he says.
Tommas says one of the best things about being at a bush doof is the views.
“Like when the sun rises over like a massive valley in the morning and you’re just like doofing out, it’s the best feeling. And just dancing in the forest in the mud it’s heaps good. Something about it, you got to do it to understand,” says Tommas.
“I’ve met hundreds of people going to doofs,” he says.
Brendo says the doof community is much more accepting of personal “drug habits”.
“(But) there are a lot of people that don’t take drugs who go there as well, you know. So, you can’t say that’s what the whole culture is about,” he says.
Amelia goes to bush doofs because they feel more free by being away from city life.
“Yeah and you can go out into the middle of nowhere, party for a few days and then come back to normal,” Amelia says.
"Who says you have to stop? No one, no one says you got to.”
Brendo says there’s always one on somewhere.
“Oh the one you went to was a mainstream one; there’s plenty of underground ones. Like, like something my friend said to me, there’s one on every weekend somewhere around Brisbane or, or in New South Wales - every weekend, even if it’s just a party in someone’s backyard, kind of thing,” he says.
“There are doofers that are, like, 50, and quite a few of them. So I mean, like, whatever – who says you have to stop? No one, no one says you got to,” says Brendo.
- Words by Jessica Minshall.