Paradise Music Festival 2014

Paradise Music Festival is easily one of the more cohesive and mouth dropping start-up festivals in Australia. With a lineup of just over twenty artists, two stages and one hell of a scenic backdrop, it is not hard to see why Paradise will have a largely successful run in the upcoming years. Vicious Children were fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to have a run around the festival. We hastily backed our belongings, borrowed camping gear off friends at the last minute, and tried to get our shit together as quickly as we could. See, the thing about us is, we are renowned last-minute festival-prep queens. The most important thing on the agenda: goon. That sweet, sweet Fruity Lexia. After all, what’s a BYO festival if you can’t take full advantage of it?

Arriving to Lake Mountain Alpine Resort, we were both gobsmacked and excited. The sheer beauty of that location – no photos, no amount of explanation could possibly do it justice. It was everything. The surrounding bare white trees – although telling a horrible story of bushfire disaster – surrounded the location, creating the perfect fencing-off. It’s almost as though we’d entered this mystical wonderland where every problem that we had in the real world would disappear.

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And that sunshine. Oof. Who needs a gym to sweat that profusely? The closer we got to the location, the more evident it was to us that Lake Alpine Mountain Resort was clearly three kilometres off the surface of the sun. It was filthy hot. But don’t let the day weather fool you, oh no. Come sundown, we were draped in leather and shearling. Once those harsh beams had disappeared and as the night progressed, every iota of our being was – both metaphorically and literally – shaken to the core. The only way to warm up, huddle up to some loved ones and/or dance your heart out. And that we did. Perfect beats, great company, and yeah – goon.

Having previously spoken to Festival Director, Andre Hillas, about the entire concept behind this Paradise brainchild: their unique take on alcohol and BYO policy, their nonchalant attitude towards camping structure, and even their intermingling of artists and festival goers, it was evident that the festival was to be a memorable experience for everyone involved. Hell, in any other context, any of the aforementioned could have been taken advantage of or led to complete and utter disarray – especially for a festival of such youth. But, somehow, they just made it work. Paradise took a leap of faith and accepted that the festival goers were responsible adults. There was none of that bratty behaviour or insidious stupidity that you tend to see at more larger scale festivals. Whether brought down to a stroke of luck or a mere mutual respect amongst punters, Paradise was a dickhead-free zone.

The first day graced us with a line-up that was on point. But much like many other festivals where there are often timetable clashes, or the need to trek from one stage to another, Paradise wasn’t having any of that. Rather, there was one main stage which was graced by the likes of ESCOscar Key Sung and Crooked Colours. Drinks in hand and dancing shoes on, the crème de la crème of local acts ensured that no one was bored. Everyone was on a level, everyone was having a great time. Having closed the main stage around 1am, UV Boi played a set that enticed the senses, and left everyone craving more. Good thing there was a the Clubland Stage, right? Busting out beat after beat, a plethora of DJs, producers and acts partied on with punters until sunrise and beyond.

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Few hours left for disco napping in between performance days, day two began before we knew it. We could say that waking up to the dawn at Lake Mountain was an ugly experience, but it was anything but. The sunshine surrounding the majestic forestry made for a perfect alarm clock, and the icy chill didn’t hurt either. Actually, it kinda did. To put it well, the crisp air up there got your tits up.

Low-fi outfit Femi opened the second day soulfully, slowly – something that we definitely welcomed. We were feeling a little too fragile, so an easier start to the day made for a smoother transition back into party mode. Day two’s lineup also saw Josh Mioșcu play with members of Good Morning (and friends) before transforming to a full band mid-set. Experiencing this live set, there was an evident Jeff Buckley-esque 90s essence; a very vivid sense of cool, further corroborating the notion that Melbourne sure do know how to make ‘em. Laying on a blanket under the sun, feeling those raw musical powers – well, there’s not much else you could top that with. We were oddly content with our hangovers, because the soulfulness made every stomach churn bearable.

Much like the first day, day two’s main stage oozed perfection. From the psych-lounge ambient goodness of Foreign/National to the rock-centric Sinking Teeth, rowdy garage dudes Drunk Mums, to the perfection back-to-back lineup of KloBanoffee, I’lls, Kirin J Callinan, Total Giovanni and Kirkis. Mouth-watering deliciousness that was hard to fault – that’s the perfect, and possibly only way that we could describe it. It was everything that we’d dreamed it would be and more.

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Where Paradise Music Festival is concerned, there is very little – if anything – to fault. It is revolutionary, exciting; it brings the loose 1969 Woodstock vibes to the 2014 technology-obsessed youth and makes them forget about the real world for just over 48 hours. Where most other festivals are trampled with rules and regulations, Paradise puts its faith in punters hands, and it just works.

From the team at Vicious Children, a big fucking kudos to the Andre and the Paradise team. Keep up the stellar work!

Photography:
© Simone Ziada

Words:
Simone Ziada & Marta Skrabacz

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