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'Highlands' Winter Solstice

Community, music and connection on the longest night.


An opportunity for inner growth & transformation as we uncover the stories buried deep within all of us.

On the shortest day and the longest night of the year, we hosted a joyful event at Winter Solstice with the intention to bring together our community for healing, release and play. Highlands was a celebration of the new solar cycle, a homage to our ancestors, to ritual and story-telling, to where we came from, and to where we are heading. A moment to stop and reflect. Pause and connect. As the light shines into the dark, the seeds submerged in the Earth awaken, offering life and energy, a time for regeneration. Likewise, this time of year is an opportunity for inner growth and transformation. To reflect on what has come before, get grounded in the present moment, and manifest what is to come. 
Inspired by a cluster of Gemini birthdays and our typical nod to the seasons, the event was a collaboration between old friends, musicians, artists and creative culinary masters local to our location. The event was held on Gundungurra country at Wild Ducks, a beautiful property overlooking the Wingecarribee Dam in the pristine Southern Highlands. To combat the chill and assist with the transformative element of the event the spirit of fire was forever present, igniting the offerings of the past and answering the calls of our inner desires and dreams. The scene was set with our ‘Arrivals’ and ‘Departures’ signage, and guests were greeted by our friendly airline staff at the nose of our cockpit stage for check in. 

The aeroplane hangar was decorated with disco balls, olive branches, clouds and hanging artworks by Artist Bunkwa. A Swedish log fire was created by local artist Colin Munro, and Brooke Munro created the woven scarecrow effigy who stood proudly upon the giant bonfire awaiting its fate, a tribute to the parts of ourselves from the old cycle that we would be setting free. 

Analog Cabin, a collective of musicians and digital producers with a love for synths and machines, curated the music and orchestrated the line up of talented DJs who played from 12 midday to 1am. A Wild Feast kicked off festivities with the intention to fill bellies and provide sustenance to endure the long, cool night ahead. Martine Folden from Betty’s Kitchen, well known for her menus based on wood, smoke and fire using seasonal, local veggies, collaborated with Stephen Santucci from Moonacres Organic Kitchen, whose imaginative use of locally grown ingredients tantalised taste buds and brought out the inner WILD in all of us. Check out their delicious menu as well as the DJ line-up here.

As the feast came to a close, Trolley’d served a delicious Pepperberry Tasmannia Lanceolata and Illawarra Plum Podocarpus Elatus Mulled Wine with Four Pillars Shiraz Gin and Trolley’d Fly Grog by Rosnay. A belly warmer and liquid segue to the much anticipated effigy burn and bonfire offering. 

At 420pm, as the sun began to set on the shortest day, the fire was lit and guests are intuitively guided towards a basket containing paper and pens, beneath a painted sign that read ‘Intention Setting’. Personal notes were scribbled onto paper and flung onto the fire as the wood pile burned, creating a magic ambient light and much needed warmth before the music volume increased and the dance floor was populated with adults and children alike. 
This event and the completion of a cycle was an important opportunity for us to give back and contribute to the lives of those who are less fortunate. Highlands was a fundraiser, with all proceeds going towards 3 charities chosen based on their 3 layers of proximity and connection to us.

Black Rainbow - close to home and deadly proud to be supporting the LGBTQI Indigenous community.
Give India - a little further and a country that has contributed a lot of meaning to many of our lives via the teachings of yoga. Covid has hit poverty stricken India particularly hard. GiveIndia’s vision is to alleviate poverty by enabling the world to give.
Amnesty - an incredible charity that creates change and helps protect our fellow civilians, displaced people, humans in need who are suffering without access to basic human rights. 

Winter Solstice

A party on the longest night. 

Diving deeper into the history of Winter Solstice, and other seasonal celebrations, opens us up to our collective pasts and provides an opportunity for us to connect more deeply with our ancestral lineage and the spiritual side of ourselves. Where did we come from? What stories did our ancestors tell? Kindred spirits, community, tribe, have been gathering around the fire for thousands of years to release, let go, heal, and evolve into the next stage 

of being. Urban living and industrialisation has disrupted our connection to nature and ability to experience this type of ritual, yet this is the time that we need it most. There is something truly magical about coming together in this simple yet powerful way. The intergenerational celebration. The transformative element of fire. The emotive power of music. The healing ability of dance. The power of community. 

We are humbled and filled with gratitude at the turn out and all of the creative contributions. We danced, we shared, we released and reset. Thank you all for coming. Thank you for your support, and for all the donations. Until the next event, Peace. 
Check out the final DJ set by Submusic here.

Event Photography by Zakari Kha


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