Deep in the serenity of Glenworth Valley, Lost Paradise, held from the 29th of December to the 2nd of January, made its fruitful debut, transforming the mountainous surrounds into a slice of festival heaven. Catering to the wild-at-heart, Lost Paradise provided an experiential smorgasbord of options, all adhering to a kind of spiritual extravagance and proving Lost Paradise to be much more than your average music festival …
Arriving at Lost Paradise was instantly an otherworldly experience, after descending down the hillside and into the valley. Greeted by a growing sea of teepees and tents, the ‘lost’ theme became quite apparent. But it didn’t take long for the ‘paradise’ side of things to arise, with the natural surrounding beauty of lush bushland and flowing river gently hugging the festival site and campground. With a strong focus on healing and well-being, music and arts, the festival grounds became a sanctuary for campers and glampers to both let loose and/or reconnect in one heck of a majestic location.
The Shambala Teepee provided a place of healing – a calming oasis to recharge the physical and emotional festival batteries through yoga, meditation and nurturing workshops.
The Shambala Spa bought a piece of 5-star luxury to the luscious confides of the valley; with massage, natural salon treatments and henna body art taking festival relaxation to the next level to both invigorate and cleanse the mind, body and soul.
Lost Kids and Lost Circus adhered to keeping the little ones entertained with ample workshops, shows, and activities.
Lost Disco and Paradise Club gave the more energetic of punters a place to cut shapes all through the wee hours.
Of course, no festival would be complete without the culinary fanfare … and Lost Paradise certainly provided the goods. From vegetarian food truck favourite The Veggie Patch to festival must have’s Gozleme and Fresh Coconuts. While pop up café The Tantric Turtle gave people a place to pull up a cushion next to the record player and kick back with a soulful cup of Chai.
But those looking for something a little more luxurious during the festival found culinary satisfaction with a 3-course meal at The Lost Feast by the kind folks at popular Bondi eatery The Cornerhouse.
With a tasty array of both international and homegrown acts, Lost Paradise continued to cater for everyone in their well-planned lineup …Here are my highlights:
BOB MOSES: Whiskey at the ready, Canadian-hearted/ Brooklyn-based duo Bob Moses cast an immediate illusory spell over Glenworth Valley. With dreamscape beats cleverly glazed with a sombre indie rock vibe, reverberating off the mountainside and straight into the hypnotized souls of a grooving swarm of punters.
ALL DAY: Bounding onto the stage, nonchalant yet humbled South Australian rapper All Day (Tom Gaynor) delivered a high-energy set that instantaneously had the crowd buzzing with his lyrical aphorism and lighthearted banter. The thing that makes All Day a cut above other rappers is the vein of credibility that runs through his rhymes, making it genuinely relatable. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it translated in a live setting – everything felt buoyant, and for someone who is admittedly not the biggest fan of hip hop, the vibes were nothing but good.
BOY & BEAR: As the Glenworth Valley moon soared high above the mountain side, Australian folk icons Boy & Bear wasted no time fondling with the hearts of a swooning Lost Paradise crowd. Delivering a plethora of favourites from ‘Lordy May’ to ‘Three Headed Woman’ with soulful grace, front-man Dave Hosking grinned contently to his band members as a sea of satisfied punters keenly chimed along.
TROPICAL ZOMBIE: Floating between garage and surf rock, Tropical Zombie proved aptly titled. Their infectious coastal melodies and howling vocals washed over the crowd like a wave of salty refreshment, causing hips to shake, feet to tap and smiles to widen – perfect for a simmering afternoon boogie.
POND: Whirling riffs and ear-bending reverb saw Perth-based rockers Pond use their eclectic mix of intricate sounds to take the Lost Paradise audience on a transcendental journey of psychedelic delight. The crowd visibly lost their minds and didn’t seem phased at all, as banging heads and abysmal dance moves became a widespread affliction within an instant.
THE PREATURES: Sydney five-piece The Preatures were welcomed by a swarming crowd, depicting the impressive following they’ve continued to develop since 2010. Every female within the confines of the crowd wished they had at least half the infinite sass of front-woman Isabella Manfredi, as she cart-wheeled across the stage during ‘Somebody’s Talking’. “You’ve been ponded, you’re about to get balled but right now … you’re gonna get preached”, says Manfredi before launching into ‘Better Than It Ever Could Be’. A soulful set that coherently illustrated why The Preatures are the band of the hour.
BALL PARK MUSIC: The NYE set is a pretty big deal and I cannot think of a more suitable band to welcome 2015 with. The Brisbane-based quintet caused good time vibes to sky rocket into a buzzing extravaganza. Blasting out favourites ‘Literally Baby’, ‘All I Wanted Was You’ and ‘IFLY’, we all lost track of time. The countdown interrupted and we swiftly prepared ourselves for the rise of a new year. After an eruption of cheers, the crowd became soaked in a champagne shower from guitarist Dean Hanson, as 2015 officially arrived. Continuing the energetic serenade, front-man Sam Cromack gave us a taste of his classic hip-thrusting with ‘It’s Nice To Be Alive’, creating a spine-tingling sing-along of epic proportions. While there might not have been fireworks to light up the sky, Ball Park Music surely sparked pyrotechnics in our hearts.