I'm not much of a party animal, at least not in my doting age, but in my far distant past I have been know to party til sunrise on both weekend days. I've sort of lost interest in youthful trends regarding music: emo leaves me stone cold (it really was never able to stand up to an extensive collection of Smiths 12 inch singles), hip hop and other disco derivatives such as drum'n'bass too shallow to catch or hold attention for long.
The whole party rave scene and attendant drugs culture passed me by unlamented and the last dance party I have been to was last century.
So I guess I'm not really the core demographic for Ibiza-style raves or gay disco, but I did want to try it out when the opportunity arose last weekend at Stonyridge's annual "Fiesta Del Sol", an afternoon early evening affair set in the natural amphitheatre of Stonyridge vineyard.
All very laid back in a not-too-sultry afternoon, the assorted party boys and girls came over en masse from Auckland to show off, parade, dance, drink and snog. The girls all looked like Paris Hilton clones: skimpy and short loose outfits, oversized sunglasses and pouting lips; the boys a collection of muscle boys, tattoo boys and hardcore ravers, most of them clinging on to their girlfriends.
It was a very straight affair, my own entourage (Ewen and Dennis "Get Stuffed") the gay exception, plus of course the fabulous Paul ("Frankie Goes to Hollywood") Rutherford and his partner, Perry, who live on Waiheke Island.
I must say I wasn't impressed with DJ Norman Jay (Crazy Penis was far groovier for my taste) and left him to it after a few tracks to head down to the more hardcore dance tent below.
The darker it got, the more frenetic the atmosphere, which I suppose is what a good dance party is all about. The shirts came off, the girlfriends were unclung, and the boys started dancing in a circle showing off their pectorals and tattoos to each other. We are all metrosexuals after dark, I presume, the only thing missing were the manbags in the middle.
Everybody got home safe and well, as far as I know, unlike three years ago when a similar dance party ended without sufficient ferries going back to town, leaving many stranded on the wharf.
Some party pictures here by A Colourful Guy Drowning.