Victoria’s UNIFY Gathering heavy music festival has dropped a bunch of juicy lineup teasers, while outlining some big improvements festival-goers can expect at the event’s new site in 2019.
In a statement released today, organisers say they are currently finalising their new lineup, which they previously told Music Feeds they “took some risks” with.
“In 2019, we’ll have a bunch of international artists doing EXCLUSIVE shows, we’ll have some special album shows from multiple artists, exclusive reunion and throwback shows, and of course some sets by the artists that released the best heavy records of 2017/2018 on there as well,” they say.
Addressing the festival’s 2019 crowd capacity, organisers say that while their new site “can safely hold” up to 15,000 people, they don’t plan on hosting that many punters in 2019.
“Truth be told we haven’t decided on our capacity,” they say.
“We’re only planning to increase slightly while we work on delivering the best experience possible on our new site. The goal of the new site is to make everything we do better than ever, and to ensure we can run UNIFY Gathering for decades to come.”
As far as festival improvements go, organisers are promising a new wristband system (to fix this year’s mess), more space, more toilets, more security, more covered areas, a Thursday night camping option and more.
Read their statement in full, below.
UNIFY Gathering 2019’s lineup is expected to be announced in early August, before the festival takes place between Thursday, 10th and Sunday, 13th January. The exact location of the new festival site is yet to be announced.
The 2018 UNIFY Gathering lineup featured the likes of Parkway Drive, Architects, The Amity Affliction and Tonight Alive.
Gallery: Unify Gathering 2017 / Photos: Nikki Williams
UNIFY Gathering 2018 Statement
Over the next six weeks, we will be rolling out information and announcements on UNIFY Gathering 2019 including information on our new site, extra features, a Thursday night camping option (!!), ticketing and eventually, the lineup. Of course, this is one of our favourite times of the year, as it means all the things we’ve been plotting in secret can finally be unveiled to our people!
BUT before we get there, as is tradition, we wanted to get you all across the results of our punter survey, and let you know all the things we’re addressing based on YOUR feedback. We sent these survey questions back in February to everyone who purchased a ticket with their email address, and we are forever grateful that such a huge percentage of you replied. We love to read your notes, and we use this survey to genuinely address as many things as we can to make your experience better.
* 56% of our audience came from Victoria in 2018, with 20% from NSW and 8% from QLD. Also shouts to the legends who travel from WA & NT every single year!
* We had 30 people traveling from overseas – mostly USA, France, Germany and Singapore
* Just under 50% of punters experienced UNIFY for the first time in 2018. Welcome to the family!
THE BIG STUFF
* The most obvious things we had issues with were our campsite entry process and the issuing of wristbands at the Arena entry. There were long lines for people getting in, which is something we acknowledge was not well executed. These were teething issues we experienced with the cashless system and the eftpos terminals used that added pressure while getting people scanned in.
Solution: In 2019, we have a new system for activating wristbands to get people in quickly and more efficiently. We are working on an option for punters to purchase early access upgrades to arrive on Thursday, meaning less people entering at the same time. We will launch our cashless system a lot earlier, so less people need to top up upon entry and you have more time to top up before you get onsite. Finally, we will have more people handy to make sure your entry into the festival is as seamless as possible.
* Toilets and Shade / Cover. People mentioned they’d love more toilets, cleaner toilets and more covered areas in case of rain or sun.
Solution: You asked, we will deliver. One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced on the 2018 site was space. We increased campsite space, only to be further challenged with where to have shade, toilets, food trucks etc. Moving to a new site with more space, means we can increase the number of toilets and resources to maintain cleanliness. We will also introduce covered areas throughout the campsite and arena, more food trucks, a better convenience store and more hang out space in general. Our new site really is purposely built and laid out to be the ultimate site for our festival.
* It was great to see that just under 60% of punters travelled with 2 or more friends in a car, reducing the number of cars on the road. We also had the largest amount of people to date travelling by bus to the festival, with 50 punters travelling from Sydney on the Banana Bus.
* Even though more than 70% of you were satisfied with the ticketing process pre-event, we’re always looking to improve and ensure your online journey is as easy as possible.
* As we mentioned above, a new site will mean more Food and Beverage areas and availability. Over 70% were satisfied with the options at bars and the prices, as well as the range on offer. We’ve listened to your feedback on what drinks you want and we’re working on that. 75% of you were satisfied with the Food Trucks and the general offerings, but once again in 2019 we’re going to increase the quality of offering once more, as well as the spacing and locations that you can grab food from across the site.
* We’re stoked with our security team, and it seems most of our punters feel the same way. We will have more security in the campgrounds and around the site in 2019.
* Just under 40% of people are spending more than 5 Hours in the campsite whilst the arena is open, so that tells us we need to work on ways to make the campsite even more comfortable, fun and safe. We’re looking at more Toilets, Food, Cover, Showers and some more fun offerings for the campsite in 2019.
* In 2018, we introduced The Lighthouse – locations marked by huge, visible towers where people could seek assistance from the UNITY CREW, social services, security, medical, and event staff at any time during the event. 80% of people were aware of these but in 2019 we are making them more available, increasing the amount of UNITY CREW and we’ll work to make sure even more people know about The Lighthouse in 2019. Overall, the feeling was that you were safer at UNIFY 2018 then at previous editions. Your safety is absolutely paramount, and we will continue to do everything we can to ensure you are safe. If you’d like to know more about The Lighthouse, see our post from last year – https://bit.ly/2tE1kO
Those are the basics of the survey. Thank you again to everyone who has answered these questions and given us so much constructive feedback. Our willingness to improve is endless, and we’ve spared no expense in building a new site that we think will give everyone the space to make 2019 our best fest yet.
I guess if you’re still reading, we can also tell you that the new site will give us many options for camping, including the ability to allow a limited amount of camper vans on site for the first time ever. So there is a lot to look forward to.
In regards to capacity, there are rumours going around that we are planning on increasing our capacity to 15,000 people, which isn’t true. The site can safely hold up to that many but truth be told we haven’t decided on our capacity. We’re only planning to increase slightly while we work on delivering the best experience possible on our new site. The goal of the new site is to make everything we do better than ever, and to ensure we can run UNIFY Gathering for decades to come.
Meanwhile, we are finalising our booking process. This is probably the most fun part of what we do, and it’s something we try and get as creative as possible with. We like to think of it like building our own awesome sports team full of superstars, utility players, upcoming stars and savvy veterans. Make it all fit into a Salary Cap like a five-month long game of Mosh-Tetris while we jam our favourite hardcore and punk records. In 2019, we’ll have a bunch of International artists doing EXCLUSIVE shows, we’ll have some special album shows from multiple artists, exclusive reunion and throwback shows, and of course some sets by the artists that released the best heavy records of 2017/2018 on there as well.
We’ll be announcing and going on-sale right around the same time as last year, and we’ll have more communication and information coming in the second half of July.
Thanks for your support and talk very soon.
Team UNIFY Gathering!