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Infinity Worm review

The calm before the storm

Danny Corvini’s expectations shatter at this hyperpop rave

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As someone who was part of Canberra’s original rave scene of the early ‘90s, I know that this city can turn out some wicked events. I was excited about our first large-scale electronic music festival since March 2020 when Art Not Apart gave us one last dance before the world shut down.

Expecting to shuffle to some house and techno beats, we only ended up confused at Infinity Worm. It turns out that something had happened in the meantime: a new musical genre came along called ‘hyperpop’. A sort of bastard child of dance music, it’s rave-in-appearance for a generation who were born online and have ridiculously short attention spans. The DJs build up to drops that never come or cut out the best bits completely, replacing it with static, rewinds or genre hops. They strip out the musical progression, hacking off dance music’s umbilical cord while stealing its loot and elevating musical chaos to an artform.

With generic techno being played on the smaller stage earlier in the day, it took a full half a day for the main stage to switch gears from downtempo to something danceable – with extended waiting times for set-ups between acts. There was only one set that we could really dance to before Black Lung came on in a pig mask and pounded us into oblivion with insane BPMs. Thick Owens jumped into the crowd and suddenly shirtless bros were smashing into everyone as a mosh pit detonated on the dancefloor. It was the antithesis of the rave scene’s mantra of peace, love, unity, respect (and personal space).

This is partying for the age of disruption: distracted, disconnected and revelling in it with youthful abandon. For an old raver, it was like visiting a distant relative and realising we have nothing in common.

Grumbles aside, the festival had an incredible host venue in Goolabri Estate, awesome sound and production by Sidestage (seriously the loudest speakers I’ve ever heard at a party!), brilliant visuals and some amazing slabs of beats served thick and fast.

Rolling Stone, reviewing a similar event in L.A. in February said: “This is a subculture that brings out the club kid Party Monsters of the TikTok generation. The only party scene where people could be vogueing and moshing simultaneously”.

OK, so there was no vogueing at Infinity Worm but queer people were definitely to be seen. Yep, there’s diversity at the end of the world! Maybe there is a special place for us in hell after all.