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Lost Paradise Festival Directors on Taking Luxe to the Next Level

Written by Michael Carr on December 17, 2015

Bursting onto the summer festival scene last year with lots of colour and positive vibes, Lost Paradise has already established a reputation for delivering not only top quality artists but also an unrivalled festival experience.

Set in the lush surrounds of the Glenworth Valley about an hour north of Sydney, the festival well and truly lives up to its name. With a list of activities on offer that’s about as long as the line-up, looking across the whole program the festival looks more like a hybrid Day Spa/Adventure Retreat than most music festivals. Not that they’ve skimped on the music though with Angus & Julia Stone, Jame XX, Four Tet and more all set to play, the festival boasts one of the most diverse and eclectic line-ups of the summer.

Back to the activities though (can you tell what I am looking forward to?), the festival caters to all tastes. With horse riding, abseiling, laser tag and kayaking all on offer for the thrill seekers, those looking for a more relaxing experience can indulge in the Day Spa services or Shambala tent, a centre for new age healing and relaxation. They even have feasts organised for punters, with chef Steven Sutcliffe providing a range of sumptuous culinary treats to delight punters’ tastebuds, with other spaces dedicated to everything from burlesque and cabaret to and air conditioned cinema. So to paraphrase Sade, this is no ordinary festival.

Held over three days leading up to New Years Eve (Dec 29th, 30th and 31st) and with the set times having just been announced we caught up with festival director Wade Cawood to get some inside info on what to expect from the second coming of this idyllic party paradise.

Music Feeds: So this will be Lost Paradise’s second year in operation, any additions or surprises install that build on top of last year’s festival?

Wade Cawood: Whilst we’ve kept the signature elements that delighted our founding tribe last year, for Lost Paradise ‘2.0’ we have purpose built stages, lighting and set design, high-tech sound engineering and positioning of stages to ensure maximum ambience in each area throughout the festival. We’ve taken luxe to the next level adding hot tubs, champagne service, burlesque performances and an air-conditioned indoor cinema to our already wow day-Spa.

We’ve expanded the Shambala healing area with stacks of holistic activities including yoga, movement and ceremony sessions to cater to the ever-expanding conscious collective. The markets and dope food trucks are positioned into a buzzing communal space reminiscent of a mediterranean outdoor dining quarter! Basically anything and everything that we could do to elevate the event to the next level of community, celebration and comfort, has happened. As for surprises – Lost Paradise is full of them, you just need to know where to look 😉

MF: While the festival is certainly packing a stacked line-up of talent, for many the real draw card is the experience and all the activities you offer, what inspired you guys to include such a huge range of activities instead of just focusing on the music side of things?

WC: The lives and work of our performers and attendees are colourful, fun and multi-faceted and we believe Lost Paradise should be reflective of that. Many tastes and many talents make for an amazing New Years experience for all. Besides, it’d be a pretty one-dimensional event if we focused only on one thing!

MF: With the kind of boutique festival “revolution” happening in Australia right now, what with the bigger festivals packing up shop while hordes of smaller ones flood the market, do you think Australian crowd are more interested in a more well rounded experience rather than just the names on the bill these days?

WC: Yes. Exposure to well thought out immersive boutique festival experiences overseas definitely paved the way for an event like ours to be embraced as strongly as it was for its inaugural year. The Australian market is ready, people’s tastes are eclectic and can no longer be defined by a genre or single focused event. Having a multi-day camping event enables attendees to experience a broad range of performance in a unique space.

MF: Personally I’m most excited about the adventure activities, abseiling, horse riding and quad biking, most of which I haven’t done since I went on school camp. Is that what you were going for with these things, a kind of school camp for grown ups vibe?

WC: We hadn’t thought about labels or definitions for the adventure activities beyond ‘adventure activities’! but perhaps we should if it excites you most?! This ain’t no band camp!

MF: Out of everything on offer, what would you be heading straight for if you were a punter?

WC: I’d be planning ahead – pre-booking my Lost Feast, spa treatment and hot tub, checking the set-time to make sure i don’t miss a thing, because there is A LOT HAPPENING.

MF: Now the mass skinny dip has already gotten a bit of attention, can tell us about the origins of that?

WC: What better way to wash away the year that was 2015, the excess of the night before than to regenerate yourself on the first morning of 2016 with friends old and new in the fresh flowing waters of Glenworth Valley – positive ions, bare skin and losing your inhibitions is a win-win. I think we’ll make it an annual thing.

MF: Another great feature is the Shambala tent, essentially a new age healing and spirituality zone, can you tell us a bit about that? Will people be having their third eyes opened and shakra’s cleansed or is it more of a day spa vibe, or a bit of both?

WC: There’s what I would class as the more ‘conventional’ day spa and there’s the Shambala tent for yoga, movement and ceremony. Eyes closed to relax in the spa and third eyes opening in the Shambala. We cover all bases.

MF: When it comes to the music though, you guys have put together one of the most consistent yet eclectic line ups on offer this festival season, was it important for you guys to have a little bit of everything for everyone?

WC: We don’t have any country and western meets dub-step so there might be one or two disappointed people out there but I think we have curated a fantastically talented array of artists and I am grateful for the stars aligning on that front. We couldn’t have asked for a better line-up,

MF: Are there any artists we might not have heard of that you are really excited to have playing? And secret weapons?

WC: There are so many quality acts this year .. We made a conscious decision to book the acts that we love as apposed to focusing on massive headliners just to sell tickets .. Personally I’m looking forward to seeing Grizzly on the Paradise Club .. QUALITY QUALITY QUALITY !!!

MF: The festival is of course well known for the fancy dress element, do you guys already have your costumes ready?

WC: Its one of the most fun parts of planning and looking forward to an event like Lost Paradise – the costumes! Answer is yes, but there’s no such thing as too much fancy dress options!!

MF: Beyond the obvious things like, food, water and shelter, what are some essential items a Lost Paradise attendee ought to bring?

WC: Our founding tribe last year nailed it with their positive attitude, smiles and ‘leave no trace’ attitude. The stunning venue is nature’s gift to us and we definitely respect the land, each other and the amazing people who work across the entire event cleaning, cooking, serving drinks and generally making stuff happen, to make Lost Paradise the special new years experience it is for each and every one of us.

Lost Paradise 2015

Head here for the full lineup and set-times.

Tickets on sale now

Tuesday, 29th December — Thursday, 31st December 2015
Glenworth Valley, NSW
Tickets: Lost Paradise

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