The Rainbow Chai Tent

For stories and photos of events and venues that The Chai Tent has gone to, is currently at, or is planing to go to in the future

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Chai Tent at Lismore's Sonic Festival

Well after a very wet weekend down in Sydney, we arrived back up north on Wednesday evening, had one days rest, and set off on Friday, to set up at Lismore's first 'Sonic' Music  Festival.
We were offered two locations 'out the back', and 'round the corner', these spots were not suitable, so we looked at the site, and decided the most suitable spot would be opposite the Market Stage. 
We thought this location would best serve the punters by having a comfy place to watch this stage from, out of the sun or rain.
After some length of time waiting for the main organiser to ring in, we were told we were not allowed to set up in the ideal location, as it was going to be used for a 'crew base'. (Although a double Market Stall marquee did later go up, on the edge, it was not used, as they used the permanent structure beside it ).

The said area, is seen as the higher, un-flooded grass, in the top right of this picture below, just to the right of the orange ute.
It would have been a perfect place for The Chai Tent,both for the punters and us, and we would have stayed dry !

The rain started just after we hopped into bed, I jumped up to retrieve one carpet left outside earlier, as it had been made damp by the still sodden centre carpet, that hadn't been dried, down in Sydney, as it was under the centre pole, and we'd kept the tent up for the return of the Film Crew, ( a rumour...they wanted to film some music in the tent, which they had missed over the weekend.....they never showed up ).
The night security, saw me appear from the tent, and came over saying 'No One is supposed to be sleeping onsite !!', I said " We always do ! and I'd told him to be quiet, when he'd "Oi'd" me quite loudly ! At my reply, he merely shrugged his shoulders and left us alone.

The rain kept going all night and looked very set in, in the morning, very like a repeat of Buundi Beach !! except it was warmer rain. That is until about 11'ish, when the Southerly swung in, and with rumours of Gale Force Winds and Cyclones due to hit Sydney and travel north, we really thought it was there to stay all weekend.

We had puddles on the carpet, as not one but two little streams of water ran thru the tent, meeting at a junction, on the lower side.

We had to lift all the cushions, and the knitted 'crew',as the puddles enlarged, and the whole floor rapidly became saturated.

 Michael, goes over to confer with the Pyro-Technic Crew, who were still 'setting up ', despite the deluge

 Benny mops the puddles in the grass, much like he mopped the grass of Buundi Beach the weekend before.

 And we are hoping that this weekend, a music festival might bring in some much needed revenue, to help defray the costs of our expensive journey to Buundi. Hahaha! Think again Chai Wallahs, you must mop and dry, mop and dry, and then we'll see !

Having just decided that 'Yes' all agreed, we should 'pack-up' and write it off as a bad joke, we decided to not begin pack up, til the rain stopped a bit.( Nothing worse than packing in the rain!)
With that decision, and a return phone call re an update from the B.O.M. weather site, that the weather ,would clear, the rain stopped !!......the wind blew........the clouds cleared nearly instantly !........ and the sun began........ to shine....!!!
So we put the carpets out to dry in our Roseless Rose Garden  and laid out some water-proof Ground sheets that wouldn't allow the streams to seep thru,and laid out the dry carpets, and kept mopping up the puddles of water upstream.

The sun set with an awesome cloud, that took the last of the rain around us, and away



And so .....we got ready and waited, and waited .... for the punters to arrive.......and for the punters......... to come in for a chai .........   or some Coconut Fish Soup .......or Pumpkin Vegie Soup.......or Cake.......or just a comfy cushion....

And despite being in the wrong place for the watershed earlier in the day, we were in the right spot for the wonderful Illumination from the Floodlights, yet again !!


And we had a wonderful location to watch the Fire Show!


These two  11 year old twins from Nimbin are stunning performers, at such a young age, along with their 15 year old sister.


The clear sky later that night, foretold of a clear and sunny day to follow, but we learnt via the Sound Team, un-plugging from the 3 phase power board beside us, that they and the Security Team were both pulling out due to not being paid.....and the Police who stayed on duty til 1.25 am, said it would have to be cancelled, if there was no security....... 
The organiser, appeared to confirm this without really telling us anything, when he came and took down his 'Sonic' banners on a neighbouring booth, that had been designated for the 'Doof Angels'
So we went to bed assuming it was all called off.

In the morning, as the first stall holder cars arrived to set up for the day, we realised that we had been locked in all night, and they were locked out, til the organiser arrived an hour later !

We had already begun to pack up ....Benny has the tube lighting around his arm here, all his flags were down and Ots had just taken down the Blue Shade Awning, pegs and all.
I took one of the Chocolate cakes made for Sydney, to give to a fellow marketeer Willow, celebrating her birthday.........just as well I went down when I did, I just happened upon, a large circle of people, just breaking up from an impromtu meeting, that had just found out from organiser that, as the bands had all been paid in advance, the festival was still on.......( he even asked them all to contribute a further $100 each to help pay for new security and sound??)

I headed back up to The Chai Tent, to halt our packing up.....and so for the second time that weekend. we turned around and re-set up,  putting on fresh pots of Chai.  

Then we finally had time for a late brekky of Pumpkin Soup from last nights dinner ....


And we were open for business once again.....

or ....... ready and waiting .....


If we had been able to put The Chai Tent in the more appropriate location,these people sitting on the grass, would have been sitting and lounging  on cushions and carpets, as they watched the performers on the market stage.

 And we wouldn't have had two creeks running thru the tent.

If there had been more advance advertising,the event may have had more patrons, and we may have actually covered our stall fee, costs, and made an income.
Oh well......let's hope the weather is kind to us for the next market at The Channon (13th June), and that people do make it to the market, and that some of you kind and generous Friends of The Chai Tent, donate, to our Fundraising try and defray the recent costs of the Tent's journey to Buundi Beach for the Parliament of Sovereign Nations.........

Friends of The Chai Tent

To recompense Michaels already stretched Bankcard, we are setting up The Chai Tent Donation Account ..........
Commonwealth Bank
BSB. 062 580
ACC. 102 784 85... See More

Donators should add their name and say it is for FOST
Federation of Original Sovereign Tribes

Our Target is $5,500.00

Please spread this word, outward ....
and the link to FOTCT page (Friends of The Chai Tent),
to everyone you know, THAT feels strongly about this issue.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Chai Tent Goes to Bondi Beach

The Chai Tent recently, went on an impromptu journey south to Sydney.
Mark McMurtrie rang Michael, asking "What are you doing next weekend?" and so, with no further ado we set off on Thursday 20th at 4.30am following Michaels birthday, when he woke himself at 3am to cook 16 cakes by 9am and spent the day packing the trailer and truck.

We were off to set up The Chai Tent along with 2 large marquees to create a venue for an Historic event...... Daragule Tribal Council......inviting Elders from around the Continent, to attend a the Re-Convening of the  Federation of  Original Sovereign Tribes.
A Parle-ment (Speaking of the Mind), Ceremony, to bring the Nations together as one. To recognize the Sovereignty of all Originees.

After a long and round-about trip, picking up the two marquees from under the mountains behind Cessnock, we drove a 3 vehicle convoy  right thru the middle of Sydney at 11.30pm, to our then destination, La Perouse.
Not knowing exactly where we were to set up we waited opposite 3 security guards and multiple rabbits munching the grass short.
Only to learn that we were not allowed to set up there, due to the wishes of a 27 year old from Kempsey ?? off to find a motel near the Airport, (knowledge of nearest location, courtesy from the security guards).
First one full ! sets our 3 vehicle convoy again, to locate second possibility, courtesy Ron Gardiner's GPS.
2pm and we had hysterics trying to log in to motel via a touch screen at the locked door, and needing to find out if they had wheelchair access for Ron.

The next morning, after a lovely scenic tour around LaPerouse and the private Golf Course,we learn from Mark, about the debacle surrounding La Perouse and are directed to come down to Bondi Beach ( Buundi , pronounced Buwundi) !

Aaaaah , we think " An Excellent location for The Chai Tent ! ( We'll  be able to sell  Chai and Cake to the tourists, and maybe make some money to cover the costs of the trip !)
HahaThink again......although when we arrived at Buundi, the weather was looking clearish and sunny,

the moment we began to set up the first marquee,

the wind decided to begin to show it's power, into what would develop into Gale Force Winds with Torrential Rains,which began pouring later that night.
We virtually had the whole beach to ourselves, excepting the surfers,  the Bondi Beach Keep Fit Club, and the Iceberg Swimmers Club, all weekend.

At least by the time the rains did start, we had managed to set up the Chai Kitchen beneath the Blue and White striped Marquee

It was an awesome place to be...... and the weather, despite making it a tad harder for us ...... did tend to bring all those attending, that much closer together.

After a morning of heavy rain,the skies began to dry up, as the People arrived from the Dawn Ceremony at Barramattagal,

The fire was kindled at the Dawn Ceremony  of The Spirits, held out at Barramattagal  (Parramatta), an Historic site where the British  orders were given for the capture and beheading of  Pemulwuy ,an un-relenting warrior hero.
See here for a short video of the weekend

The skies began clearing, and by the end of the first umbrella-'d circle, we had joined our combined Energies, and made a Hole in the Clouds for the sun to get thru, 

The afternoon was blessed with a fine day for the Dancers to Dance on the grassy hill of Buundi

I didn't manage to get any photos of The Men and Boys Dance, as I was then caught up again in the kitchen marquee. You can see some stunning photos of them  here at Mathew Flower's FaceBook page photos of the event.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Chai Tent at Nimbin's 18th Mardi Grass

Friday and all set to go except for two loads of couches from Lismore Tip Shop.

Colourful preparations by many willing volunteers.

First load of couches

And we're all set up and very comfy with the couch haven in the back.
Sunday after the big parade.
Nimbin Environment Centre was brought into the centre of things this year, instead of being way down at the end of the Peace Park.

Mardi Grass colours

The Fabulous Gunja Faeries, continue their dance all the way from the Police Station.
Heidi the Brave, spells out The Naked Truth !

The Stage was just thru the little Marquee

And we had many Angels come and wash mugs with us 
Thankyou all who came and lent a hand.