From March 2nd to March 10th, Levi's Copacabana Bliss (Big Lefts Invitation Surf Show) entertained Australian beach crowds with a surfing contest run with a unique judging system which eliminated most of the fierce competition associated with title events and introduced more hot surfing and free expression. The sporting side was accompanied by lots of fun and games provided by the organizers, Divine Light Mission. Both Saturday nights were highlighted by dances and films and midweek saw the Full-Moon Fancy Dress Bliss on the beach promenade.
The Big Lefts Show was a new step for DLM both in terms of style and success of propagation. The Golden Age asked John Perry of Shri Hans Promotions how the contest originated.
"Well, Dave Wyllie came down from the coast. He said he had something going up there that would make a good surf show. The first idea was that the Mission should supply our band and our good vibes. Then after a couple of discussions we were going to take over the coast and produce a carnival. Then it came back to this Copacabana Surf Show".
Did it turn out different from what you thought it would be?
"The whole thing was done from Wentworth Avenue (National Headquarters) and I hadn't even seen the beach. When it all came off in the end I think my preconceptions were broken but something fantastic happened there because everyone got really blissed out at night and although the attendance was small at the beach the contest was really well run."'
What did the people from Levi's think about it?
"We saw Mal (Levi's Representative) and took him the publicity out of four newspapers including the Australian. I asked him "what mistakes did we mhake, what are your criticisms?" He said "I have none", because the only thing he was able to criticise was the small attendance which was due to the beach we chose for the good waves it usually has."
Are you likely to be working with Levi's in the future?
"I hope so. There's something in the air like a musical event, something that will turn on all the musicians in Australia and bring them together. Something to raise money for charity, something we could bring overseas artists to. We'll try to get them behind us to bring Blue Aquarius out here."
As far as Copacabana Bliss goes, what section of the community did you reach?
"We reached the general Central Coast public, we reached the local council, we reached the drug referral centre and the council's really happy and the drug referral centre wants David Wyllie on the Board of Directors. It's a simple thing but a really effective thing. And in many ways we reached the young people there in the way that they now think that Guru Maharaj Ji is someone who produces happiness."
What did the premies think of the whole thing?
"Premies were blissed-out. There was a lot of freedom up there. People came up on two weekends and they slept on the beach and they slept in farmhouses. Ashram premies were totally out of schedule and yet the whole thing was under control. No-one was desiring for the external freedom they got and when they got it they could handle it. They're back into schedule now. At night times their good vibes, the beautiful thing that Guru Maharaj Ji has given us, just spread slowly throughout the room so everyone was rocking at the end; it was a complete rock-out each Saturday night."
Do you think there was any particular aspect that made the show a success?
"I think Guru Maharaj Ji was the major aspect there. Mainly because premies got blissed-out the feeling spread. I was talking to Miss Bliss, she was saying it's not often you go to a place where no-one is smoking dope or drinking or getting aggressive and everyone's having a fantastic time. And that's like Guru Maharaj Ji's good vibes."
Did you learn anything about propagation and promotions?
"Yes, I learnt we can't rely on the Mission any longer. That the Mission is now going to be a lotus floating above any of the business and it's going to be just a pure propagation thing so that any of these festivals are going to be done by premies involved with other groups, like sponsors. We have to be able to use other people's money to do things like this."