Victoria’s first post-lockdown multi-day music festival with no restrictions on standing or dancing was held in Tallarook over the Easter long weekend.

With restrictions easing further in late March, Boogie Music Festival was able to go ahead this year, looking almost completely normal.

The three-day festival on Our Friends Farm was approved to proceed by the DHHS in March, after tickets had already sold out, and organisers moved quickly to set up the COVID-safe event

After the annual festival was cancelled in 2020, Boogie’s 14th edition brought together revellers of all ages from across the state for a special ‘waltz in the dust’ with a all-Australian line-up.

Boogie has brought thousands of visitors to the Mitchell Shire for more than a decade, but next year it will move on from Tallarook to find a new location.

Boogie’s annual Boxwars Spectacular is exactly what it sounds like: dozens of people get inside giant cardboard box costumes for an absurd wrestling match. This year participants dressed as seagulls and hot chips. ​

One week before this year’s event, organisers were threatened by a nearby resident’s application for an interim enforcement order, IEO, to ensure the festival complied with the conditions of its permit around noise monitoring. The application was refused by VCAT on March 26.

The 221-acre festival site, home to four boutique music festivals, has been the subject of noise complaints for several years, resulting in fines from council in 2019.

‘El Ultimo Boogie en Tallarook’, as it was dubbed online, welcomed some of Australia’s most beloved music acts, including Melbourne soul favourites Karate Boogaloo; King Stingray from Arnhem Land; alt-country outfit Cash Savage and the Last Drinks; nine-piece beats and rhythm band Ausecuma Beats; and jazz fusion group Mildlife.  

Boogie 14 also saw the addition of a new ‘art park’ featuring sculpture, light, video and sound works. Other programming included the annual Boxwars Spectacular – a chaotic wrestling match between dozens of people in giant custom box costumes – and the long-running chocolate egg hunt on Sunday morning.

In a statement, festival organisers said the weekend’s success demonstrated that it was possible for similar events to now run safely, and the arts and entertainment sector has the capacity to start coming back in earnest after many workers were left without employment in 2020.

“If this event is anything to go by, Victoria’s music, festival and live events sector is ready, equipped and skilled to #bringbacktheboogie,” the statement read.