Paradise Music Festival 2015

Boutique festivals have become all the rage these days, and some with good reason. There’s not much else I love more than escaping reality for a few days with likeminded friends, loved ones and strangers; especially at a festival that I hold very close to my heart. That festival is Paradise.

After having attended last year’s festival, there was no doubt that I would do the same for this year’s. The location, the acts, the organisers, the punters – the overall style of it, it spoke to my soul. There, you’ll find people from all walks of life. They all just want to have a good time.

One thing I will mention, though – it gets cold. Like, very fucking cold. Another mentionable is the altitude – that air is thin. I’d make sure that you do some breathing exercises before making the trek up to Lake Mountain Alpine Resort where the festival has been held since its inception.


Altitude aside, if you’ve never been to this destination, please go. It’s pure magic. Located just passed Marysville, the drive up to Lake Mountain provides impeccable green scenery. So beautiful, in fact, that you disregard your motion sickness completely. Drive a little bit further in and you start to see the fog over the white leaf-less trees. It’s all too beautiful. No picture will ever do it justice.

From merely arriving at the gates of the festival, there is a notable relaxation that floats through the surroundings. Punters, volunteers, staff and acts are all hanging together; everyone is comfortable and everyone’s having a good time. Even in the car queue to get into the resort, people are downing ciggies, playing tunes, going for a wander, talking to each other. The volunteers approach each car, providing them with information, garbage bags for litter, and apologies for the delay. But it’s obvious that no one really minds – well, at least I didn’t.

Paradise Music Festival

Fitness levels and lung capacities were tested as we drove in, parked and found the ideal camping spot. But first things first, coffee. A really big, really fucking strong coffee. And as I devoured my double-shot latte, I looked at the barista with hearts in my eyes and said “You’re a fucking angel.” That was the start to what was bound to be a beautiful festival.

A few trips back and forth to the car – collecting camping gear, pumping up beds, having them fly away, chasing after them – look, it tested some patience. But when you’re giggling like a little school girl the whole time with one of your closest mates – both struggling to breathe properly, it wasn’t too bad. All while this was going on, the music started. Devastated that I wasn’t standing at the main stage for ALTA and Tiny Little Houses, I found solace in the fact that I could hear them from where I was setting up camp. That’s the beauty about this place – isolated enough that you can hear the music from wherever you might be camping, and spacious enough so that you don’t feel overcrowded amongst other punters.

Camp set up. Pyjamas ready for when the day comes to an end. Time to drink.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a good goon sack. Call me pure filth – I’ve heard it all. I don’t understand what it is, but having been one of the first alcoholic beverages that I started consuming as a mid-teen, that silver aluminium bag of joy has always held a very special place in my heart. Combine that with a few tinnies and some beats at the campsite before heading down to the Paradise stage to catch Leisure Suite, and I’d say that the festival was very much off to a solid start.

Quirky and fun – Leisure Suite brought the boogie to the Paradise stage. Actually, all the acts really did. I can’t stress it enough – there was this undeniable sense of love and funk that filled the air at this festival. Everyone seemed like they were on cloud nine. And so they should – we were that high up in altitude that we were probably very, very close.

Paradise Music Festival

Broadway Sounds and The Infants continued on the dance party, and as the sun started setting – and you didn’t think that it could get any colder – yeah, it got a lot colder. Straight back to the tent for a refresher and a few thousand extra layers. And as I wittingly utilised The Weeknd’s lyrics to describe my feelings to mates – “I can’t feel my face when I’m with you,” we danced ourselves back to warmth with the bloody good time that is Lurch & Chief. Despite having broken his vocal pedal, frontman Hayden held the fort down as the Melbourne outfit persevered through the cold to party with their fans. Black Cab and Roland Tings closed up the main stage as punters either hung out, went back to their campsites, or – did what most of the party kids did – and headed straight to the Clubland Stage. DJ after DJ pounded through their sets as the crowd sardined into the venue and boogied their little hearts out. And that cold outside? There was no way you could feel it in there. Slowly but surely layers were shed and we were down to the bare-minimums.

Late Saturday evening/early Sunday morning – whichever way you look at it – rolled around, and slowly but surely we all started to pile into our tents. I’d say it was for a “sleep” but I feel like that would be an exaggeration. Probably more of a disco nap. A revitalising snooze. 40 winks? You get the hint. Just need a bit of time to recoup before we did it all again.


Despite falling asleep in the freezing cold, I woke up in a pool of sweat. The tent became my own personal sauna, and the toxins sweat themselves out. Up, baby wipe shower, fresh clothes, makeshift face wash and a tooth brush; I felt as good as gold, ready for the day.

The one thing Saturday had that the Friday neglected was pure sunshine. It graced our presence for the duration of the day which made getting down to The Harpoons, Dorsal Fins, Flyying Colours and Tired Lion all the more sweeter. On that note, massive shout out to the Dorsal Fins babes for reliving their rendition of 90s classic Pash by Kate Ceberano; a guilty pleasure of mine for a very long time. Thank you for allowing me to live out my inner diva.

Paradise Music Festival

And just like that, day began to turn into night. And as we drank to the sun setting over the beautiful scenery, as per the day prior, the cold hit the festival like a tonne of bricks – albeit it nowhere near as nippy as the day prior. In true Paradise style, the partying continued way into the night before retreating to the campsite for a pre-bed hang.

Then Sunday was here. Time to leave. Time to shake off the grittiness that had accumulated over the last couple of days. I hadn’t showered. Had barely slept. And food? Yeah, well that didn’t really happen much either. What I did have, however, was a solid weekend with mates both new and old.

What a weekend, Paradise. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart.

And while I’ve still got you, a shout- out to the massive babe at the Toasta truck for the insane toasties. You made the pain of my body that little bit more bearable.

© Sam Clark

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