Eastern Suburbs Nutcase Legit Threw an Actual Doof in BaliKai Suteja embodies all of the bizarre yet wonderful things I love about ‘Straya’. He combines a loose, ‘sick c**t’ kind of vibe with a social and environmental awareness you wouldn’t expect to coincide in one person. And he pulls it off in a way that only a nutcase Aussie kid could.
Born in Bali, Suteja and his family moved to Sydney when he was a child. He spent his youth at their home in Chifley before slowly migrating north through the Eastern Suburbs to Bondi, where he lived during his university days.
Suteja shot to Insta-fame by posting fashion-forward content with brutal yet hilarious captions under the wonderfully bogan handle @urmumsyadad. With nearly 140,000 followers on Instagram and a further 190,000 on Facebook, he is a bizarre, modern day PR powerhouse.
After taking the Internet by storm, Suteja recently turned his attention to Bali where he decided to throw a full-on doof. No joke. The festival, called ‘Gypsy Lands’, was born from the notion that “you should be able to party solely on kombucha and techno and still have an MDMAzing time”.
“Festivals should be more than music,” Suteja told The Beast.
“You can’t listen to DJ Penis Pump for 12 hours unless you’re gacked off your brain and unfortunately Bali isn’t really a BYO boogie board culture.”
“The creation of an environment that was immersive, interactive and engaging was necessary. It should be a spectacle, not a gathering of sardines facing a stage.”
The festival, much like Suteja himself, was packed full of delightful weirdness, contradiction and creativity.
“The whole f*cking festival was pretty weird to be honest, but that’s just my vibe,” he said. “F*ck ‘same’.”
“There was just like a lot of people having sex, specifically in the maze and the fetish room. It was really cool to see people get amongst the activities within the festival – there were marriage ceremonies orchestrated in the chapel and WWE wrestling in the cage.”
We asked Kai if he’d consider hosting a similar event back in Sydney.
“The things we did at Gypsy Lands would not have been possible [in Australia],” he said. “We had cage fights, tattoos, piercings and a half-pipe. We probably broke every single OH&S regulation.”
Somewhat miraculously, however, everything seemed to run smoothly, and according to Kai there were no complaints. The locals are even keen to have the festival back next year.
“No one got hurt and every patron had an amazing time, so maybe it’s time to trust your guests and rethink these laws. There’s definitely a duty of care, but common sense goes a long way.”
As for Australia’s lockout law, nanny-state culture, Suteja didn’t hold back.
“The laws are so f*cking dumb,” Suteja said. “It doesn’t address the issue of toxic behaviour in venues. From my observation at Gypsy Lands, the most important factor is being able to control the crowd you pull, i.e. a no f*cking dickhead policy.
“In total, we had twenty security guards responsible for peak 3,500 guests.”
He also believed the way they marketed the festival was key to its success.
“I mean, come on, ‘kombucha and techno together at last’ – that straight up stopped a lot of dickheads from coming.”
“There’s a fine line between not letting dickheads into your venue and discrimination, but I think it’s an important factor to consider.”
“Why should we let a select few people ruin the experience for everyone else?” Amen.
So what’s next for Kai Suteja’s kombucha-fuelled empire? His goal is to run about three or four events each year with Gypsy Lands taking centre stage as the main annual shindig. But for those of you who can’t wait until next July to have an “MDMAzing time”, he’s currently planning a Halloween party in an abandoned kindergarten (as you do). If watching your peers frolicking in fetish rooms whilst simultaneously attempting axle stalls on a nearby half-pipe has been your lifelong dream, you might only have to wait until October to tick that one off your bucket list.
You can keep up to date with Kai’s events by following the Instagram handle @gypsylandfestivals.