ORIGINAL STORY: The organisers behind Victoria’s heavy music festival UNIFY Gathering have revealed the event is moving to a new location in 2019, and they’re already doing the “first drafts” of their next lineup.
In a statement released today, organisers say the just-passed 2018 edition of UNIFY will be the last at the Recreation Reserve in Tarwin Lower, and the festival will be moving “a few kilometre up the road to a site we’ve been planning for the last 12 months” in 2019.
“Our new site will allow us to do a lot of awesome things that we’ve wanted to do and improve the things that have challenged us over the past two years on the Recreation Reserve,” organisers say.
“More special features, more camping space, more parking space (resulting in less cars on the road), more toilets, a bigger stage, more food and improved systems to ensure everything runs smoother than ever before.”
While organisers are promising “more space for everyone” as the festival moves to a new site for its fifth year, UNIFIED Music Group’s CCO Luke Logemann says he and his team are already doing their “first drafts of the #UNIFY19 lineup”, but they need some help.
In their statement, UNIFY Gathering organisers also admitted to “a few teething issues” with their new on-site payment system UNICOIN, but say things will be improved for next year. Read their full statement, below.
UNIFY Gathering 2018 took place between Friday, 12th and Sunday, 14th January. A teenager was flown to hospital during the event after suffering a fall, but Victoria Police told Music Feeds the crowd was “well behaved”.
UNIFY Gathering Statement
Thank you to everyone who attended and supported UNIFY 2018. Year Four is all done, and we’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved with our biggest event yet. Somehow, it managed to rain again during a season when it rarely rains down in South Gippsland, but something about the survival instincts that bad weather brings about is actually half the fun at music festivals (just ask anyone in the UK!). Seeing everyone completely commit to having the best time possible was one of the coolest parts of our weekend. We always get a little worried about people hating the weather but when everyone you see has a smile on their face and a hang out for a high five, it makes us so stoked.
Obviously we know we had a few teething issues with UNICOIN and getting everyone wrist banded at the start. BUT I think almost anyone would agree the system was amazing once it was all set up. Next year we (as in us, and you) will all know exactly how to set it up and its going to run a lot smoother. Thanks for your patience there.
2018 will be our last year at our current site, as we prepare to move a few kms up the road to a site we’ve been planning for the last 12 months. Our new site will allow us to do a lot of awesome things that we’ve wanted to do and improve the things that have challenged us over the past two years on the Recreation Reserve. More special features, more camping space, more parking space (resulting in less cars on the road), more toilets, a bigger stage, more food and improved systems to ensure everything runs smoother than ever before. I think everyone can see how great this next phase will be as we create more space for everyone. So lets all pour one out for the amazing grounds we’ve used for four years and get excited for Year Five on the farm. And yes, all the community will still be involved and benefit form the event!
Thank you to the incredible bands that played. Some of the sets we saw over the weekend were truly iconic. Seeing the current wave of Aussie acts like Hands Like Houses, Tonight Alive and Hellions putting on such world class shows to what seemed like pretty much every single person in attendance? And then seeing so many upcoming acts have serious moments was brilliant – Polaris, Void Of Vision, Young Lions and Outright HC were a few of the highlights in that period. Legacy sets from legends like Parkway Drive, The Amity Affliction, 50 LIONS, Four Year Strong and Behind Crimson Eyes are becoming a staple for our festival, and we have some INSANE ideas for those type of show in 2019. And of course, thank you to ARCHITECTS for being an absolute inspiration as always. All the acts performed incredibly, and we hope to have all of them back at some stage (surely you’re all ok with us bringing this mob back right? I reckon they earned it).
Security – holy hell. While watching the Parkway pit from the DJ tower, I saw 100s of people coming over the barrier – some of them were even in boats – and I watched the security guards work over time to give them safe passage over the barriers and send them on their way. I even saw them high five each other after each great catch and each good move. One image especially stuck with me, which was during a quiet moment of Amity’s set when a punter reached over and gave a security guard a quick neck massage after he got a foot to the neck. Such great stuff to see and we can’t wait to have those legends back to look after everyone. This year we increased our 24-hour security presence across the event (including campgrounds and carpark), increased lighting in all the campgrounds, formed the Your Choice Campaign, had Dance Wize and Socials Workers on-site, added the lighthouse reporting and wellbeing centre, added UNITY Crew outposts to the campgrounds, improved the event emergency hotline and continued to work closely with Victorian Police, First-Aid, the CFA and Ambulance Victoria. As always, we want to do everything we can to improve things even more for the future and your feedback and suggestions on how to do so are really helpful to us (survey coming soon!). Thanks again for helping us make UNIFY Gathering a safe space for everyone.
The staff and crew are all amazing at the festival. The UNITY crew, the ticketing people, the volunteers, stage crew, bar staff, artist liaisons, local community representatives, Council and the local Authorities and everyone in between – they worked so hard behind the scenes, massive thanks to all involved. In 2015, we had 6 people build the entire site. This year we had over 50 of them. It’s all grown amazingly well and we are able to do this because of the people behind the scenes.
As usual we will have the punter survey out to you all soon (reminder… if you fill it out you go in the running for a free ticket to next year). We want all your constructive feedback, and we’re committed to implementing changes to make the experience the best it can be. Every year we endeavour to fix everything we know about, and each year we know we get more suggestions for improvement. So bring that on in a few weeks and we’ll let you know the results of it as well.
We know there is always adjustments to make and we’re ready to do what it takes there.
Overall though, 2018 is almost a wrap (once the survey debriefs are done) and the planning for 2019 will now commence. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support and commitment to our event. See you all soon!
Luke, Rhett, Jaddan, Aidan and the UNIFY GATHERING crew.