Set in the picturesque gardens of Werribee Mansion, Let Them Eat Cake is a boutique electronic music festival held annually on New Year’s Day in Werribee, Melbourne. Stylish, aesthetically pleasing and chic in design, LTEC served up a smorgasbord of international and domestic artists, set to the backdrop of the 1874 Italianate style Mansion.
With five stages, a diverse range of food, drinks and cocktails on offer; art by Camille Walala, Jun Inoue, 227768 and the Beaut Club, installations by The Mutoid Waste Co and stage and space designs by Zod and Mikado Stopler; festival goers were treated to an explosion that expanded all five senses, to welcome in the first day of 2017.
Set directly in front of The Mansion was the Bastille stage, giving revellers a grandiose backdrop. Mano Le Tough helped dust off the cobwebs from the night before, starting off with a warm fusion of deep melodies, filled with some vibrant and varied electronica. His two-and-a half hour set was rich and full-bodied, which set the stage for heavy hitting German, Oliver Huntemann, who brought an array of ominous synths and techno.
The setting at The Mansion is simply stunning. Situated on ten hectares of lush gardens, anytime you need a moment away from the crowd, or a few minutes of peace and quiet, there is an array of leafy alcoves, ponds, rose gardens and undergrowth to get lost in. You can grab a refreshing mojito and laze out under the canopy of a large Swamp Oak; one of the many species of trees and plants that call The Mansion home. The positioning of the stages amongst the lush gardens emphasise attention to detail – LTEC truly is a boutique festival.
The early evening on the Palace of Versailles stage served up an array of turntablism and electronically laden hip hop beats starting with Onra. Hailing from France, he served up an assortment of reverberating sounds, samples and deep electronic production. Fused with the clear-cut quality of the Funktion-One sound system, LTEC was well and truly underway.
Following Onra was Cut Chemist, one of the original founders of Jurassic Five. We caught the start of his set as he showed off his repertoire of skills, then headed onto The Guillotine stage to check out Retza, a Melbourne local. Surrounded by trees, the Guillotine stage was warm and cosy and Retza delivered a jiving set of tech house, which got the crowd moving.
The Red Bull Music Academy stage, located below a single huge pine tree made the setting intimate. Although LTEC’s smallest stage, comprising a truck with a set of turntables on the roof, it was always pumping. Every time we passed by, we were drawn in by the range of funk, disco, nu-disco, house and tech house flavours that were being delivered by local artists. The ground seemed to shake underneath the canopy as everyone grooved out. Boogie Beats DJ’s were an absolute highlight; never before have I seen an artist jump onto the turntables and dance with the crowd.
Dusky closed on the Bastille stage to an immense silhouette projection onto The Mansion, accompanied by flame projectors. The duo from London threw it down with their entrancing bass, synths and building drops, with hints of vocals; it was the icing on the Cake for the first day of the year.
With ample toilets, water fountains and hospitable staff and crew, New Year’s Day at The Mansion was nothing short of a treat. Now in its fifth year, it is one of Australia’s premier electronic music festivals. LTEC is a celebration of music, the arts and is all class.
Words and pictures by Edward Richards