Why I Love and Hate Doof Sticks: A Brand New Culture of Its Own


“F*** off reality.” A luminous umbrella jellyfish. “Oi how good is this?” Adam Sandler’s annoying face. Mr Burns as a lit-up alien. Lots and lots of Nic Cage….

These are only but a handful of some of the doof sticks I’ve seen over the years, often repeatedly and at different events. I’ll think to myself: “Oh, there goes the Bumpaketa people again…” or “Yes! I remember Sir Ian McKellan as Gandoof!”

Aaaah, yes. Whenever I see a doof stick that’s truly hilarious, intelligent or creative, it never fails to bring a smile to my face. What a ridiculous, colourful motley crew we all make.

Though not everybody loves doof sticks, and I’ll admit I’ve had my frustrations with them in the past.

But no matter which side of the fence you personally sit on, I reckon there are both pros and cons to the presence of doof sticks. For me, it’s definitely a love-hate relationship.

So let’s start with the positives. Here’s what I adore about these loved up markers:


There’s comfort in knowing where to find your mates

Seriously, how good is that feeling when you’re roaming around in the darkest, coldest hour of the night feeling lonely and exhausted and you see your shabby doof stick surrounded by all your crew? Priceless.

Many a doof stick is amusing to behold.

The squashed-up Owen Wilson face saying ‘WOW’, the Garlic-o-meter and 1-3-CAPS have definitely elicited chuckles from my circle, though there have no doubt existed others far wittier. Most of them on a good day are a pleasure to contemplate. (But exhausted and worn on the last day and you might feel like smashing the next meme poster you see…speaking on behalf of a friend, of course.)

A chance to get creative and express yourself.

To me, a doof stick’s aura is generally a good indicator of what kind of people made it. It’s really interesting to see all the different brands of doof stick, from the ‘Look at how trashy our crew can get’ brand to the ‘You know, I actually put hours of work into this 3-foot tentacle creature’ variety. Say what you want about doof sticks, but it’s hard to deny that they provide your fellow doofers an easy visual reference tool for what your crew’s all about. Not to mention getting all crafty with your friends can be a sweet bonding activity!

They add some serious aesthetic value to the D-floor.

So many doof sticks are actually super beautiful – especially the ones that light up at night and bounce along to the music. They make me feel like I’m at a festive underwater soiree surrounded by all these weird and wonderful sea creature ravers. The colours, the lights, the fabrics…don’t tell me you’ve never enjoyed this visual feast at least once in your doofing career.

Now for some of the pain points:


References that seem funny at a doof can depress in the real world.

People don’t always want to be reminded of shady politics or narcissistic celebrity culture when they’re out in the bush trying to reconnect and ground. To you and your mates, a picture of a dodgy pollie might be fuel for laughs but to the earthy-spirited hoop fairy at the back, it might elicit plain old feelings of ‘get out.’

Too many doof sticks, not enough space!

Most of the complaints about doof sticks I’ve seen online tend to pertain to this issue. There are people who genuinely get frustrated by doof sticks blocking the view of the DJ, or massive doof carts taking up precious dancing room. But I reckon we’re just splitting hairs here. A doof cart is actually a great vessel for drinks and food on the way in, and rubbish on the way out. These are all wise things.

Some doof sticks are MOOP just waiting to happen.

Have you got lots of glued-on bits and bobs, sequins, paper streamers and glitter on your doof stick? It may look gorgeous, but it could also wreak havoc on nature if materials fall off or fly away. These types of micro-plastics are really hard to pick up and they contribute to the widespread problem of MOOP (matter out of place) in our beautiful doofing environs. It’s even worse when people leave their doof sticks at a festival, as recently happened at Babylon.

Being the person left with a giant, heavy doof stick sometimes feels like being the designated driver.

A doof stick is great until your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to go get a burger and your other mates decide to check out the psy stage and then you’re left alone with a chunky cardboard cut-out of Pamela Anderson unsure of where you are and what you’re doing with your life. Doof sticks are best when they’re a shared responsibility, not piled onto the silliest or most inebriated person of the team – which on more than one occasion has been me.

So there you have it. Was there anything I missed?

P.S. Really, I love doof sticks and don’t think I’ll ever want to break up.


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After her first 'death pit' mosh at 14, Lauren became spellbound by the power of immersive music experiences. Except these days, she prefers deep doof conversations under a tree and the electronic grooves of a bangin' D-floor. But no matter the space, Lauren's always been drawn in by that sweet transcendent feeling of collective togetherness music can inspire. As a research writer, aspiring bedroom producer, transformative healing enthusiast and darling of her diverse doof crew, Lauren hopes to enrich the important conversations that blossom from one of the greatest party cultures in the world.


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