Just one hour’s drive from Sydney’s city centre lies 1200 hectares of lush bushland known as Glenworth Valley. Here, over four days and three nights, the best of glamping, music, food and meditation will merge together for a sustainable, luxurious and enlightening experiential event.
Lost Paradise, now in its fifth year, will offer festivalgoers – referred to as Paradisians – an escape from the bustle of the city with an all-encompassing retreat over New Year’s Eve.
Festivals, but not like you know them
Music festivals have become far more elaborate than they were in the past and make for the ultimate experience for music lovers, foodies and yogis alike. Australia is known for its rural festival experiences, but unlike its counterparts, Lost Paradise strives to create an environment focused equally on music and people. Creators have implemented talks and workshops to educate, and massage therapists and healing artists to revitalise. The festival offers visitors a fully equipped music festival featuring artisan food installations, yoga sanctuaries and a star-studded line up. Not to mention the continuation of one of the festival’s biggest integrations – sustainable, luxury glamping for the stylish festivalgoer.
Environmentally friendly glamping
Hundreds of reusable and recyclable tents will create 16 eccentric glamping experiences for your choosing. Bespoke, high-quality packages are available with full use of exclusive facilities including a welcome reception and concierge service, luxury restroom areas, breakfast cafe, cocktail bar, grooming parlour, complimentary porter-trolley service for delivering bags to the campsite and furnished outdoor spaces to meet and mingle with neighbours. Stylish bedside tables and lanterns accent Avant-Garde bell tents with cosy blankets and rugs thrown about the spacious two-person hideaway. Other styles are just as lush and made from quality bug-screens and waterproof canvas tenting, some even with memory foam mattresses – now that’s camping.
These luxury campsites will ensure the revitalisation of visitors after long days at the iconic installations such as Holy Cow Chai Tent, Shambhala Fields and creative workshops. With seemingly endless events throughout the four days, we asked founder and director Simon Beckingham for the inside scoop on the importance of these experiential events and what to look forward to at this year’s Lost Paradise.
AT: Why do you think people are looking for more rural and nature-surrounded festivals?
Simon: Lost Paradise is inspired by, and woven through, the unbelievable landscape we call home. There is something magical that happens when you create a festival in nature. It becomes a true escape, an opportunity to disconnect from technology and day-to-day distractions. We see people slowly unwind and connect on a more human level which is absolutely needed in our hectic lifestyles.
AT: Why do you think people need to unwind?
Simon: In our fast-paced, technology-dependent world, it’s more important than ever to break away from the daily grind, recharge and reenergise. Lost Paradise encourages our revellers to forge deeper connections with nature, other people and themselves. Our goal is to provide a creative, inspiring and immersive environment that brings out the best in everyone.
AT: What kind of atmosphere are you striving to create?
Simon: A mind-blowing four day celebration of life, love and fun, feeding the soul through music, art, revelry, connection and discovery. A community of fun-loving, music-loving, earth-loving individuals, constant smiles and good times!
AT: Why is it important for music festivals to expand offerings outside of the music?
Simon: It’s those quirky moments that people take home and remember so we spend a lot of time really thinking about the ‘adult playground’. Music is amazing and the heartbeat of Lost Paradise, but the soul is the experiences and interactions people have with each other that can take place over delicious food, singing along to guilty pleasures at My Mums Disco, attending a beautiful meditation session, learning something new about the culture of the land on which we live, working and playing, experiencing the uplifting flow of a morning yoga class, sending a love letter from the love letter post office, sharing a moment down by the water, getting ready for the dusk fancy dress parade or being wowed by the fire breathing dragon art car… I could go on and on!
AT: How are the music acts and campsites in line with what Lost Paradise is trying to achieve?
Simon: We always push the boundaries with production, arts and theming and ensure they work hand in hand with our music line-up and curated content to bring our vision to life. We curate with an open heart, an experimental ear and an ambitious vision which drives us to evolve Lost Paradise each year.
AT: Can you tell us about the glamping offering provided to guests?
Simon: We dedicate an entire field to glamping, which we continue to expand on and evolve each year. We have a huge selection of plush glamping offerings for the more discerning Paradisians. This year we will have a bar, restaurant with reception and powder rooms overlooking the river.
We’re also really excited to offer the Eco-Tent Village, a convenient and affordable camping field filled with KarTents (revolutionary temporary festival tents made entirely out of cardboard which can be recycled), Rent-A-Tents and Wow-Tents (quality canvas pre-pitched tents that can be reused). Festivalgoers can pay to arrive to a tent already set up for them which will then be ethically dismantled when the festival ends: one of the many measures we are putting in place to reduce non-biodegradable landfill and combat the alarming global statistic that one in four tents being left behind at festivals worldwide.
AT: Many festivals now incorporate food, drink and campsites. Why implement talks, classes and workshops?
Simon: We’re passionate about them and it appears our attendees are too! Shambhala Fields is a crucial part of the Lost Paradise experience and is lovingly curated to be a space of deep connection to land, culture, tradition, self, others – talks, classes and workshops are a pretty cool way of facilitating those desires. They’re also a great opportunity to try something new and even challenge yourself – our classes are for everyone, inclusivity is key in everything we do.
AT: Does Lost Paradise aim to prepare everyone for the New Year, whether that is to help them become more centred or in touch with themselves?
Simon: Absolutely – we want everyone to leave the busy year behind them and start the New Year feeling fresh and reenergised by offering as many ways to feed the soul as we possibly can – whether that’s through the music, dancing, talks and workshops, forest bathing, hula hooping, yoga, meditation, massage and body work, psychic and tarot readings, reiki, or sound and crystal healing.
New Year’s Eve is always a fantastic experience at Lost Paradise, the energy around the site shifts into another gear. It starts in the campground where everyone prepares their fancy dress, full of excitement. This year we are planning a massive parade – led by the performers, teachers and explorers – joining all different elements of the festival together and coming together to ring in the New Year. Peking Duk is doing the countdown on the Arcadia stage this year, who we all know will bring the party!
AT: How does this year’s festival differ from last year’s?
Simon: Each year we grow, we learn, we implement our findings and refine our offering. We work year round to fine tune the experience and make sure everyone has the best possible time. The visuals on the Lost Disco stage will blow people’s minds. The Paradise Club is being totally transformed, with an entrance made out of bamboo and recycled wood, complete with a walkway over the DJ Booth. My Mums Disco is also having a huge revamp. Shambhala Fields – our festival within a festival – has its biggest and most brilliant program yet, hosted within a huge chai tent and mega shade structures. The entire site is going to look amazing!
AT: What do you hope visitors will get out of this experience?
Simon: A bloody good party! Cherished memories of an amazing experience, new friendships, and a renewed connection to our beautiful country.
This unique event is a secluded luxury experience in the heart of the NSW countryside that offers a bit of something for everyone, all while staying environmentally sound. Lost Paradise has been the ultimate experience to get in touch with Australian nature and oneself, and this year’s event is no different. In fact, it’s better than ever. New installations grace the fields alongside fan favourites, all to create a sustainable festival experience and your best New Year’s ever.