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January 23, 2020

Daytime dance party on the city’s only island? Yes, please

Livestreamed by Groundfloor Radio, music by the loveliest record selectors we know, and food from the almighty Syrian Mobile Disco – the Inner City Oasis party this Saturday is a very nice time for just $15.

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  • Words and pictures: Josh Fanning

Over East Terrace and down alongside what may well be the world’s shortest and most expensive bus-only tunnel, sits a man-made lake in the middle of Murlawirrapurka Rymill Park. This picturesque spot is home to the city of Adelaide’s only island.

Striding across the stone bridge and onto the island we find the team behind this weekend’s Inner City Oasis daytime lunch and dance party.


Inner City Oasis
Murlawirrapurka Rymill Park Island
12 midday ’til 8pm Saturday, 25 January
A lunchtime dance party with globally influenced sounds via all-local deejay lineup including:
Joe Boy
Danny DIY
Fantastic Black Plastic
Lake Wasabi

Tickets $15 from Eventbrite. Also available on the day.

“This whole island will be a dance floor,” says Nick Gencarelli waving his hand over the paved area we’re currently standing on, before motioning wider to include the beautiful plane trees growing on the edge of the island. Nick is the founder of event company Endless Grooves and has been organising DJ nights and events in Adelaide since 2017.

Apart from Endless Grooves’ events on the Popeye for Fringe this year, this party on the city’s only island may be he and partner Natalie Carfora’s biggest event yet.

Top row: Dan Gill, Natalie Carfora, Nick Gencarelli, Lois Byrne. Front: Mark Kamleh & Joe Marschall


“It’s the first time we’ve all come together for an event,” says Joe Marschall of Groundfloor Radio. Joe concedes that they’ve worked together as deejays or been to each other’s events, but Inner City Oasis will be the first event co-produced by Endless Grooves, Groundfloor Radio and Syrian Mobile Disco.

On Saturday, 25 January the gates will open to the island and music will be cuddling up with ducks on the lake as the fragrance of a charcoal barbecue lures you over to the little kiosk on the eastern ‘shore’.

“It’s the perfect thing to be a part of,” says Mark Kamleh of Syrian Mobile Disco. “We’ll be cooking from 12 midday ’til 8pm – the whole time the party’s happening. It just makes sense to use this space for something like this.”

Liquor licensing was easy too, which is at odds with the plight of many temporary licence seekers.

“We got our approval back in two days. We’ve licensed the kiosk, part of the shore around the lake and the entire island,” says Mark.

The event was inspired by Groundfloor Radio’s “Vinyl on Rymill”  broadcast last year, where the group lugged down a PA system and started playing music to anyone who wanted to listen. Nick was one of the DJs who played the event and he saw an opportunity to scale the operation.

Fyre Festival is definitely one of our biggest inspirations,” says Joe, deadpanning.

“Oh yeah. Fyre Festival is the benchmark,” agrees Nick, before the whole group let out a hearty, ‘ha’.

Really though, the inspiration for this event comes out of frustration for the group.

“We don’t want to necessarily throw these kinds of parties, but no one else is going to do it,” says Nick.

Lois Byrne from Groundfloor Radio agrees.

“Adelaide was the home of techno music at one stage. Adelaide and Berlin were considered the centre of techno music. I guess now, we’re just trying to rebuild that music community and bring Adelaide’s deejay community together with a common purpose,” she says.

The group talk about the Metro – now Hotel Richmond – on Rundle Mall that was the home of large scale dance parties, none of which this group attended as they were either not alive yet or far too small to make it up the escalators.

Romance aside, this crew have no illusions about how difficult it is to get Adelaide to show up.

Famous for our late-ticket-buying habits, these event organisers know that a lot of the success of their island party will depend on those who show up first.

Image from Vinyl on Rymill last year. Photo: Jack Fenby


CityMag floats our hypothesis that all parties need nerds and that cool people don’t actually throw parties.

Nerds know how to use Excel, fill out forms, organise insurance, book security, and liaise with government bodies. Nerds make things happen, like organising a sponsorship from a beer company and hiring fencing to comply with liquor licensing, while ‘cool’ people show up late, only after they’ve received several texts – or seen on Instagram – that the party is truly ‘bumping’.

“I wouldn’t call us nerds,” says Dan Gill of of Groundfloor Radio. “But definitely our approach with the livestreaming of the event is all about getting the word out.

“We just thought, ‘Why film the event and post it later when we can film the event and let people know it’s happening right now?’ People will see it, it’ll remind them it’s on, and they’ll see what they’re missing out on – right now – and come on down,” says Dan.

Tickets are just $15.80 via Eventbrite. There’ll also be tickets available on the day. Inner City Oasis isn’t a big deal thing – there’s no ‘headline’ act – but rather, it’s just a really nice time, organised by the best sort of people for the entire city to enjoy.

Buy tickets here.

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