Your Last-Minute Rainbow Serpent Festival Survival Checklist: Are You Ready for Your Weekend at Victoria’s Iconic Doof?

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Rainbow Serpent Festival 2019 starts this Thursday – literally just one day away! Are you ready to jam at Victoria’s biggest and most iconic bush doof?

Before you say you are, it’s best that you look over what you’ve already got prepared so far. Rainbow Serpent is one massive party where everyone’s expected to have some serious fun. But all that fun can turn into a nightmare if you show up at the party unprepared.

To help you make sure that you’ve got everything you need before you head on to Lexton for the doof, we’ve made a checklist for you to tick off. Check it out to see if you’re really ready for Rainbow.


If you don’t have your tickets yet, tough luck. All Rainbow Serpent Festival tickets are sold out now, and the organisers won’t be selling tickets at the gate. Your name should be on your ticket, and you need to show your ID to the ticket scanners at the gate. If your name isn’t on the ticket, you need to be with the person who bought your ticket for you.

Vehicle Pass

Have you bought your vehicle pass/es yet? If you’re bringing your car to Rainbow, it’s best that you buy a vehicle pass online beforehand. While you can buy vehicle passes at the gate, buying them online will save you time. Each vehicle pass costs $30 and entitles you to one complementary festival booklet per car. You can buy your pass here.

Need an alternative ride?

If you can’t drive or carpool, don’t worry – Rainbow’s organisers have you covered with alternative means of getting to Lexton. Rainbow will provide free shuttle service through V/Line to and from Beaufort Station and Ballarat Station. Check out the shuttle service’s timetable here. Additionally, if you have the Banana Bus app installed on your phone, you can use it to grab a ride to the doof.

What to bring to Rainbow Serpent

Make sure you have these among the stuff you’re packing for the doof:

  • Your tickets and photo ID – you can’t get through the gate without them, obviously.
  • Drinking water and refillable bottles – it’s going to be crazy-hot at the doof this year again so it’s best to stay hydrated. Bring your own water in case the doof runs out of supplies.
  • Sun protection – another way to stay cool throughout the festival. This means a hat and sunglasses, plus sunscreen. Also, a tarp and poles so you can have your own shade.
  • Camping gear – tents, sleeping bags, coolers, storage bins, tarps and poles for shade, the works. That is, if you’re not glamping at Sleepy Hollow this year.
  • Portable ashtrays and rubbish bags – hey, Rainbow Serpent is a leave-no-trace event, so avoid littering and bring your garbage with you when you go.
  • Ear plugs – if you want to catch some shuteye or some quiet time, ear plugs are your friend. While free ear plugs are available at DanceWize, supplies can run out, so bring your own.
  • First aid kit – in case of injuries and sudden illness.
  • Appropriate clothing – swimsuits for the pool party, saris and towels for the massage and healing sessions, costumes if you’re in the mood for them, comfy casual clothes for the rest of the time. Don’t forget warm clothes to ward against the night-time chill. Also, clean underwear!
  • Your fun side – leave all the drama and the negativity behind you at the gate. Rainbow Serpent is strictly for fun.

What NOT to bring to Rainbow Serpent

If you don’t want to get in trouble while partying at Rainbow, leave these at home:

  • Matches, lighters, and other fire-starters – fires aren’t allowed at Rainbow. With the scorching heat and Victoria being one of the most fire-prone places in Australia, even a small fire can lead to a disaster.
  • Gas bottles – for the same reason as above.
  • Glass – any container made of glass. It can break, and the shards can cause accidents.
  • NOS bottles – nitrous oxide can be deadly in the wrong hands. Just don’t.
  • Drones – drones may be useful for capturing the atmosphere in Rainbow, but they can cause accidents too.
  • Pets – unless you’re visually impaired or physically disabled and need a service dog, you can’t bring your pooch or kitty with you.
  • Your own sound system – you’re at a music festival, for doof’s sake. If you have to listen to your own music, use earphones.
  • Drama – again, leave the drama and negativity at the gate. Rainbow isn’t a place for nonsense.

Remember your festival rules and etiquette

Nothing spoils a party more than making trouble for yourself and for others. To make your Rainbow Serpent experience truly memorable in a good way, do remember and follow your basic festival rules and etiquette:

  • No smoking in the forest – Rainbow’s doof grounds are right beside a state forest. Don’t start a forest fire with your butts.
  • Leave no trace – respect for the environment is why doofs like Rainbow are around. Pick up after yourselves and don’t leave trash behind.
  • Reuse and recycle whenever possible.
  • Avoid climbing the granite hill unless you’re a mutant who’s immune to snake bites.
  • Camp only at designated areas; you’ll be asked to camp elsewhere anyway. Also, park your vehicle only at designated areas to avoid it being towed away.
  • Respect the art and decor – show some consideration for the artists who put them up by not stealing or destroying the art.
  • Share what you can – water, food, laughter, companionship.
  • No means no. Sex is nice and fun, but only if it’s consensual.
  • Remember that check out time is Tuesday midday. Be sure to leave your campsite clean and clear by then.

Safety first!

Always put safety first within and outside the doof. You’ll enjoy it more if you know you’re sound and safe.

  • Look after your mates. If you see someone in distress, help them as much as you can. If you can’t help them, look for a roving ranger or bring the person to the nearest Helper Hut.
  • Don’t wander alone or without telling your mates where you’re going.
  • Know your limits. Don’t drink more than you can take. If you have to take drugs to heighten your doof experience, avoid mixing it with alcohol or with other drugs.
  • Don’t drive when you’re tired, drunk, or high. Get some rest a few hours before driving, and get tested for drugs or alcohol at DanceWize. If your ability to drive back home from the doof is impaired by fatigue, alcohol, or drugs, take the shuttle home and just pick up your vehicle later in the week.

Know where to get help

In case you or someone you know needs help while you’re at Rainbow, these are the places where you can go within the doof site:

  • The Medical Tent, at the Entertainment Area near the South Campground’s main gate. That’s where the medics on standby are, and it’s open 24 hours daily throughout the festival.
  • DanceWize, next to the Medical Tent, is a place for you to chill out if you need a quiet place to relax or if you’re getting anxious and hyper. DanceWize is also where you can get tested for drugs and alcohol.
  • The Nest is the place to go if you’ve witnessed or fallen victim to gender-based violence. It’s also right next to the Medical Tent and open 24 hours.
  • There are five Helper Huts throughout the doof site. If you need help from a Rainbow Ranger, go to the nearest Helper Hut.

For more details on how to make the most of the Rainbow Serpent Festival weekend, please download the survival guide.

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