Keep it Local: Three Mile

Amongst the plethora of Melbourne DJ collectives there’s one taking our city by storm: Three Mile.

2 years ago the collective was born out of an opportunity to throw parties at chic Gertrude street pub; The Wilde.

Above: a mix from Three Mile hit man Jack Gallagher, recorded for the garage and your ears only.

The parties were inconspicuous and laid back, usually wrapping up by 12 o’clock. The turntables were set up in a dingy room atop the venue, which included an antique dartboard and an abundance of old Victorian couches.

Friends and walk-ins enjoyed free games of pool, $5 sailor Jerry’s and cheap pints. Others reveled in the opportunity to smoke indoors and dance to the thought out house jams of Heath Kantor and Will G-R.

The parties struck a remarkable balance with a greasy old school pub atmosphere and a modish, inner city crowd ravenous for good tunes.

At the time, the boys hadn’t thought further ahead than the next party. The events were thrown with the mere intention of giving people a fun and affordable way to access quality music on a Saturday night.

After a makeshift warehouse Rave in Footscray and a successful hoon in Half Moon Bay, they decided to form a collective in Three Mile.

A more branded approach has since given the collective a stronger direction, allowing them to further their parties.

Following their formation, Three Mile has thrown some of Melbourne’s most legendary and notorious renegade parties, with a handful of shindigs in Footscray, a quintessential city doof at everyone’s favorite Yarra Bend Park and a string of beach parties in Black Rock.

Unstated is the tireless effort that goes into throwing the parties.

Depending on the venue, a significant amount of work will have to be done before hand; a warehouse has to be made safer and park locations often require work that increases accessibility.

Photos are always taken prior to the party to ensure that the location is left in pristine condition & sound quality is held in the highest regard; professional sound systems are hired out of pocket from a Melbourne music warehouse.

With a recent party in jeopardy due to weather, Three Mile turned towards a riverside side spot in Footscray infamous for psy-trance parties. Cradled in a natural amphitheater on the Maribyrnong River, the event turned out to be one of the best Three Mile parties to date.

Nite Fleit and Moopie dexterously pounded attendees into submission with dark and deep techno. Honorable mention to Melbourne’s prodigal son Reptant (AKA Lou Karsh), who introduced punters to his new alias with a captivating live performance.

There’s a thought out correlation between sound and setting at the parties. The Hells Bells lineup speaks for itself, collaboration with Steeplejack‘s intelligent and experimental techno was perfectly fitting for a warehouse party and it’s difficult to ponder a more superb booking than Bryce Lawrence and Unfettered for a sunny day at Half Moon Bay.

Three Mile‘s success also rests with their artistic team of Charlotte Alldis, Trent Crawford and Callum Rogers. Recently, a greater focus on artwork has made the parties feel significantly more comprehensive.

Installations at the various parties add depth to the events. The surrounding trees at Hells Bells were littered with ominous, dim red lights and last years party at the Mercat saw the roof filled with balloons that were illuminated with Callum and Trent’s tasteful projections.

As more and more people come to the events, more stringent management is required to ensure everybody has a good and safe time. Renegade parties are as integral to Melbourne electronic music culture as Nathan Buckley is to Collingwood. Like Collingwood FC, renegade parties can attract undesirable characters.

Three Mile ensures they only attract people with the right attitude by creating Facebook events where the organisers and DJs invite whoever they please. The parties then spread by word of mouth. Doing so is an effective way of maintaining cohesion amongst the crowd as well as ensuring that the average person can come to their parties and have a safe time.

‘16/17 was the groups’ most successful summer to date, with a string of wild renegades and their first international booking. Whilst Three Mile will be slowing down as we roll into winter, we’re sure they’ll be back for their biggest summer yet.

Pictures courtesy of Trent Crawford.