The Doof Stick – Australian high art or drug paraphernalia?

Can a stick make people care again?

Check the front page of the Herald Sun and you’ll be led to believe that Rainbow serpent 2019 was some sort of hippie infested drug rave out in the middle of nowhere.

To be fair, it’s probably not far from the truth.


But what the papers don't tell you is just how good a hippie infested drug rave can be.  Ranging from the psychotically weird, to the gut wrenchingly bizarre, there’s no doubt in my mind that this 15,000 person affair is one of the greatest gatherings on earth. Being a good cunt, costumes and getting inebriated are the only focus at these outback festivals.

At a doof, there's a consistent flurry of weird shit trying to disorient you. For example, this year at Rainbow I was confronted by a team of blackout scouts in a cardboard canoe. These jolly scouts awarded me a ‘courage badge', before rowing off into the distance singing collectively. Not exactly what you need when your buckled mind is questioning its own sanity. Immediately after this, I stumbled into a UN style debate taking place near the food stalls. Following this, i was confronted by a Yeti asking for directions under the psycho throbs of psychedelic trance. Its easy to get lost in the wonder and lose your mates. So whats the antidote?

One thing you'll notice at a doof, is everyone is walking around with big weird looking poles.


Enter -"The Doof Stick"

The ‘Doof Stick’ is a true icon of the Australian doof & jeeze louise are these things fucking good  At its core, a Doof stick is a sign or pole, constructed with the purpose of helping you find your mates in a crowd. But really, these things are so much more. They range from marks of true mechanical craftsmanship (that will blow your buckled mind), to the funniest thing you’ll ever see (that will blow you buckled mind), to the purely functional (that may just well blow your buckled mind). No matter which way you slice your Helgas wholegrain, the Doof stick is going to blow your seat belted mind into oblivion. Seriously, the amount of time and effort people put into these things makes it feel like people care about something again

"Doof sticks are making people care again"


For the sake of analysis, I’ve classified the sticks into four separate kinds:

  1. The Mechanical Genius

This most impressive kind of doof stick reside in this category. You know someone has put in some serious time and effort into these wonders. The guardians of these are probably mates with electricians, mechanics, or some really crafty browser. These are what you’re looking at after 80 hours at the market stage when you’re absolutely zonked. (See below)

2. The ‘Australian Drug Reference’

The funniest doof sticks I’ve seen fall into this category. They follow two criteria:

  1. Include an Australian pop culture reference on them

  2. Somehow infuse that reference with a drug

Think ‘Ket and Kim’, ‘Rave Mcmanus’ or ‘Froth wihtlam’ etc. (See below)

3.The ‘Personal Joke’ 

Usually a mates face blown up to jumbo size. Nobody else gets it, but you know that the group is enjoying the fact that every patron is viewing their face throughout the entire festival. (See below)

4.The ‘Last Minute Functional’ 

Think a broom. A stick. A piece of broccoli.  Sometimes these are the winners of the festival. (See below)

©2019 by Ballistic (In)Sides.