We talk to the Directors of the Lost Paradise New Years Festival, Wade Cawood and Simon Beckingham

Ahead of the return of one of Australia’s newest New Years Festivals – Lost Paradise in the Glenworth Valley, NSW – Larry Heath caught up with the event’s Directors (Wade Cawood and Simon Beckingham) to learn a little more about he origins of the event, the changes we can expect from their second year, the artists they’re most looking forward to and more. Read on:

Tell us a little bit about yourself – who are you, and how did you come to do what you do today?

Wade Cawood: It’s been a long and winding road to get where I am today. I’ve dabbled in all facets of the electronic music world from being a very below average DJ to dance floor enthusiast all the way to Love Parades, Full Moon Parties and now Lost Paradise… with many lost gaps in between… I’m sure they were good times though.

Simon Beckingham: I grew up in an exciting time in Manchester when the Hacienda / Stone Roses era was happening. To be part of what felt as much like a movement as it was a music scene which really inspired me for years to come. It was a very special time and the anything was possible. On my first trip to Glastonbury in the early 90’s I had an epiphany in the Greenfields as I’m sure a lot of people do. Anyway, the epiphany was that I wanted to put my own festival on. I’ve been fortunate to have had an incredible journey right up to now which has led to following my dream 25 years later on.

What are the origins of Lost Paradise?

SB: The origin of Lost Paradise is years of attending festivals all over the world. Being inspired by music, production, people, experience…

WC: This is really Simon’s baby which I’ve inherited to be honest .. Since partnering up with him about 10 years ago I’ve heard him banging on about his dream to run a festival just like this. We cut our teeth long enough in Australia to a point where we decided fuck it… let’s have a crack… it just happened to be that the perfect site became available and here we are now in our second year.

What were the original objectives of LP in terms of atmosphere, venue and music?

WC: The easy way to explain this is a no dickhead policy. We are trying to create an atmosphere that caters for like-minded people of all ages and all walks of life. Whether it’s food or techno you’re into, the common thread is decency and goodwill to one another. This was evident last year and we will strive to maintain that every year.

SB: Lost Paradise has to be somewhere beautiful. That is written in stone. We want to create something that is very different and unique in terms of production, content, curation of music and performance. Most importantly we want to grow a community around the festival that passes on a positive message each year.

What other festivals were you inspired by for Lost Paradise internationally?

WC: Secret Garden and Wilderness in the UK are the main ones, but I guess we have taken inspiration from a number of festivals… anything from Coachella in USA to Sonnenmondestern in Germany.

SB: Wilderness, Festival No 6, Unknown Festival, Electric Elephant and of course Glastonbury. I haven’t been to Burning Man but even the photos are inspiring.

How close did the final product reflect what you originally envisaged?

WC: It’s ever evolving. We were very happy with last year and delivered a great experience. But, as in most things you do, the first time is far from perfect and we took very careful notice of these things. We spoke to a lot of the attendees from last year and I think this year will surprise a lot of people at just how far we have come in such a short space of time.

SB: We did an amazing job for year one. Obviously there were teething problems but the event was a huge success and everyone got what we were trying to do.

What did you learn most from running the first event?

WC: Trust your gut, don’t take your eyes off the budget and you are nothing without your team.

SB: The team is really important and as we grow, we need to invest in that team as much as we do the event itself.

What has changed between your first event and the return this year? What new can we expect?

SB: The line up is better, the production will blow last year out of the water, lots more performers and the chef (Simon Sutcliffe from the Les Trois Garcons, London) will take the Lost Feast to the next level.

Who are you most excited to see perform at the event?

WC: AME on NYE and…. probably can’t say the other one yet!

SB: Jamie XX and MCDE

Who do you hope everyone discovers at the festival?

WC: New beginnings

SB: A new best mate!

What is your advice for anyone looking to run their own festival?

SB: Do you homework, believe in what you are doing and make sure you have the money to see it through.

WC: Don’t…


Lost Paradise will be held in beautiful Glenworth Valley from the 29th to the 31st of December 2015. For tickets and more details, head to their official website: http://www.lostparadise.com.au


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.