By Conrad Charles Maclean
Deep in the wilderness outside of Perth, far from any telephone reception or loathsome routine, adults rave beneath the stars wearing animal onesies and tutus. A Bush Doof is in progress.
A Doof is a public outdoor dance party. They’re common in Europe and they can be commercially run or operated at a financial loss for the love of a good party.
Tonight’s Doof is in a clearing surrounded by dense bushland. Dream catchers and tight rope wires hang between the trees. This Doof has several techno dance floors and an acoustic area.
Essentially adults come to these Doofs to play with each other like children, which is tremendously healthy. Alongside the dance floor Doofers twirl Devil sticks and Poi balls. They hula-hoop and spin fire-staffs for hours on end. Most stay up all night by camp fire light doing LSD, MDMA and bud. Doofing is nothing if not modern Bohemianism.
Beside the dance area somebody’s hung a huge net between several trees; like a hammock. It’s big enough for people to jump around in, but somebody’s lighter falls through the net onto the ground below. His mates have to crawl over to his end of the net so that the whole thing can sag low enough for him to reach out and pick it up. There’s also a cabbage being tossed around the net like a volley ball.
Back packers have flavoured this melting pot and many of the Doofers don’t speak English as a first language. French boys run around with Bubble wrap cones on their heads. A Dutchman shimmies over to me on the dance floor. He paints the Dutch flag on my face with what looks like eye liner. Mostly the Doofers are Germans, Italians and Scandinavians, but there are a few Gaelic speakers.
Most non-commercial Doofs are run on public land for liability reasons. There have been Doofs held on private property. Word is one was crashed by Bikies. It didn’t end well and the land owner was liable.
There’s a general consensus that a level of anonymity preserves a healthy non-commercial Doof culture. Thus the location of a non-commercial Doof is not announced until the day it’s held, and you only get invited by somebody who you know is going.
This means people only invite friends they trust, people who they know won’t start trouble. Also because it’s not publicly advertised it doesn’t get mobbed with people. There are only about 400 at tonight’s Doof, anything bigger would cause trouble.
One Doofer describes it to me like this “Five out of ten, or six out of ten people are dickheads. The more people rock up, the more dick heads.”
Editor’s Note: This piece is non-fiction, because Conrad’s life is generally more exciting than the average person’s.