Words and images by Nadia Gradwell
“Back to nature”, the perfect mantra for the Lost Paradise festival. Three days filled with good vibes, sunshine, bright colours, delicious food, creativity and fantastic music in the magical surrounds of Glenworth Valley. Morning mist, fresh, cold water creeks, running horses and smiling faces. What more could you ask for?
Despite Australia being spoilt for choice with music festivals, you are yet to find anything quite like the Lost Paradise festival. One of the key objectives of the Lost Paradise organisers was to establish a festival that was not just focussed on the great music, but also featured fantastic food, creative set designers, yoga teachers, hot spa baths and more to give it a boutique getaway feel. It’s one-of-a-kind event which is so much more than just a music festival and it’s just as satisfying relaxing on the day beds, or up on the grassy hills in the shade, as spending your time in the mosh pit.
Let’s dive in and see what makes this festival a stand out event.
Pampering: With the luxuries of a hot spa on site, The ‘Lost Spa’ also offered hair styling as well as sweat-proof makeup. You could also have some beautiful henna tattoos done at the festival.
Camping: Anyone who’s ever been to a camping festival knows that 7000 plus punters descending on a campsite all at once can be chaos, but entry into the site was a smooth and relatively fast process. The campsites lived up to expectations too. They were well organised and filled to the brim with revellers ready to have a good time. For a few extra dollars you could upgrade to ‘glamping’, from Lotus Belle tents, to Rainbow Tipis. A concluding highlight for me was leaving – we simply packed our stuff, cleaned a little and headed on our way.
Peace: Finding stillness in all the madness wasn’t hard. You just had to wander over to the yoga oasis ‘Shambala’, offering yoga, belly dancing workshops and many more activities to recharge the body, mind and soul. The day beds provided and the beautiful restful valley also provided ample quiet moments.
Music: Both live bands and DJs featured. Popular acts included Angus & Julia Stone, Anna Lunoe and The Jungle Giants on Day One, with Tkay Maidza, Four Tet and Jamie XX getting the crowd jumping on Day Two. On the final day, the ultimate New Year countdown was to catchy tunes from the 60s all the way through to now thanks to Hot Dub Time Machine’s DJ Loud. With three main stages, the music started playing each day around midday and kept on until late. The main stage, Arcadia, with decent sound quality, housed all the live acts. Around the corner you could discover the Lost Disco, a psychedelic club under the stars with the verdant green valley as the backdrop. DJs played from a pyramid that had kaleidoscopic patterns projected across it after dark and rainbow banners draped overhead for a splash of colour. The third music stage was the Paradise Club. A chill zone with bush doof. A place to recharge without losing the beat in your stride.
Spectacle: For the wanting a bit of colour there was ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’, Lost Paradise’s own circus by day and cabaret show by night. You could let your imagination run wild when the circus folk and burlesque dancers came out to play.
Food: For all the foodies, UK chef Simon Sutcliffe came on board to bring the ‘Lost Feast’ to life – a nightly, lavish three course dining experience that brought fresh farm produce to the table via an exotic menu. Additional to the Lost Feast tent, the food vendors offered a wide variety of cuisines like pizza, pancakes, tacos, vegetarian, Mexican, Yemeni, German … just to name a few. And let’s not forget decent coffee, a necessity for many festival goers. Sensational!
Fancy dress: Glitter, feathers, body jewels … and more glitter. The Lost Paradise tribe went all out with their outfits. From emus to Santas, sparkly suits and squirrel onesies!
Going cashless: With the ‘cashless’ wristband system you deposited the credit of your choice which was then accessible through a little microchip in your wristband. At the end of the festival, if you had a few pennies left on the microchip and wanted cash it out, you just stopped at the refund station or processed it online when you got home.
Overall it was a stack of fun. See you next year!
Where: Glenworth Valley, Peats Ridge
When: Annually, end of December – 29 | 30 | 31 DEC 2015