New Years is a really big deal for many of the world’s 7.4 billion people, the apex of a holiday season defined by celebration. This social phenomenon of coming together at the peak of the solar calendar is a form of cultural expression, and just like any other exciting cultural assembly, the outcome can be as perfectly executed as a Shakespearian play or as disappointing as an episode of Geordie Shore.
Finding the ultimate way to celebrate New Years Eve gets harder every year as the hunt for the ultimate party leaves a wake of chaotic preparation and inflated expectation.
Living in Sydney I’ve been spoilt with some of the best fireworks and boat parties the world over, but the mad rush of people getting into position for half an hour of spectacle is just way too much of a battle to endure year after year.
So, where to for New Years in Aus?
Thankfully this year that decision was made so much easier given the fact that half my friends – a crew well versed in festival revelry – were heading somewhere really exciting. Somewhere you didn’t have to worry about running from after party to after party for the Uber price of a holiday in Bali.
The Lost Paradise Festival is a well-cast stone’s throw from Sydney, promising an amazing international line-up of DJ’s and artists as well as a full 3 day dance card of rad activities. And with 7,000 party legends descending on Glenworth Valley to make it a reality, it literally became a no brainer.
We were suitably blessed with incredible summer sunshine and a plush setup of tents and teepees along a meandering creek. The festival organisers and crew did an amazing job of ushering in all the revellers with barely a queue in sight so we could make straight for day-beds by the swimming hole, or the Massage and Jacuzzi parlour, which honestly has a ‘Party for 4’ on the menu. Decadent way to get festivities underway, but a more spiritual entrance wasn’t far away either. The Shambala tent hosted to many an awakening experience throughout the 3-day event, be it laughing yoga or tantric communion.
The dancefloor, rocked. Every hand was in the air when Anna Lunoe took to the stage, every foot stomped to Jon Hopkins and Daniel Avery, and the hardest part of the New Year at Lost was keeping up with all 3 stages of epic performers. Our thanks go out to Jamie XX, Angus & Julia Stone, Four Tet, Sam Arrellano, Made In Paris Saskwatch and so many more incredible acts.
Unlike a Shakespearean experience in which you are only a spectator, great music festivals create a platform for their attendees to be involved and exchange moments of magic that last for years to come. It’s the people & energy that create the cultural fabric that keeps you coming year after year, a feeling of being ‘home’. Lost Paradise knew exactly who they were catering for, and they threw a ‘homecoming’ party this NYE that caused warm fuzzies in everyone we met. It was like a lucid ‘choose your own adventure’ book, filled with giant kaleidoscopes, wrist bands full of money, Lost Feasts and dancing pigtailed men in summer dresses.
You never know what you’re going to get, and although things never go exactly according to plan – the people you want to see always magically appear, and the connection with people and music is more powerful than you could have imagined. My philosophy in life as in festival is to pay attention to the small signs that always lead you in the right direction.
One of our favourite things about Lost Paradise is everyone’s in their element, open to all the many chance encounters, wonders and random acts of hilarity and thrivality.
There’s no better way to discover some of the coolest cats around, and to connect in a way that a city celebration rarely allows… If you’re open to it.
Great festivals are about people bringing their best game and all their positive vibes, and that was the beating heart of Lost Paradise. A beautiful celebration of music, nature and culture that just makes us happy.
Coming at a time when the NSW Premier Mike Baird is considering banning music festivals, it’s high time to point out how festivals like Lost Paradise are cut from a different cloth. Perhaps there is something to learn from the organisers of this event as to how to run a successful 3 day event that undeniably brings so much value to the lives of so many Australians and those travelling through our country enjoying its rich cultural celebrations.