With the aim of being Australia’s leading festival for families, The Lost Lands promises to “ignite the festival lover in everyone” while enabling parents to share a wild and wonderful experience with their kids and friends, complete with music, art, installations, entertainment, food, and wine.
Chatting with festival organiser Simon Daly (Falls Festival founder), The Lost Lands, which is now in its second year, is a complete blank canvas, marking his first project since leaving Falls Festival.
“It is so refreshing putting this festival together. You are not bound by any demographic,” Daly says. “The first year was as good an event that I could imagine to do. Over time you see lots of things that inspire you; I started Falls at 21 years old, and to be programming a festival at 41 for something that you and your friends are all well past, well, it’s hard to do that.
“The programming for The Lost Lands however is for 2-year-olds to 62-year-olds; it talks to a current festival goer and an adult festival goer, but then it’s also something you’d be rapt to introduce the little ones too as well. All the creativity and the considerations and the experiences we want people to have are as families – with your children, as well as your mates.”
Upon crafting this festival alongside David Strong (The Peninsula Picnic creative director and former St Kilda festival director), Daly explains that The Lost Lands has a pretty simple but important remit: to be a truly family-friendly camping event that focuses on getting the young people in our lives to engage positively with the best in music and art. He hopes this space will instil a future appreciation of a shared festival culture in Australia, following international festival trends by “introducing arts, culture and music to kids and the festival concept at a very young age.”
This appreciation starts with giving festival-goers the option to camp as a family within the grounds of the Werribee Mansion, but it also filters through the stellar musical line-up of acts that can be appreciated and enjoyed by both adults and children – meaning smiles all round. This includes headlining acts Kiwi legend Tim Finn, Brisbane indie kids The Jungle Giants, Aussie rockers You Am I, and singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke. Other names also include Arnhem Land MC Baker Boy, The Teskey Brothers, Jess Locke, Boo Seeka, Didirri, Alice Ivy and Amaru Tribe, among many others, illustrating the festival’s dedication to showcasing diverse talents.
While the lineup may resonate with your usual festival-goers, it’s the vibe and the atmosphere that sets The Lost Lands apart; being a family-friendly event in ways that other festivals can’t even imagine.
“We don’t even have a punter barrier. You Am I would never have performed a festival without a punter barrier; Jungle Giants would never have performed without a punter barrier. You just don’t need it here, it’s just the type of festival that it is given that half our crowd are children. People aren’t going to be going crazy when there’s a five year old next to you on their dads shoulder, or a two year old dancing on the grass,” Daly says. “It really creates that intimacy, and all of that just makes it a beautiful event.”
As for the arts, The Lost Lands continues to inspire with a tremendous array of both kids entertainment and family services, with a number of installations, arts programs, comedy, performance, theatre and dedicated wonder ‘Lands’. The Little Big Top will feature some of the best kid’s comedy, theatre and circus performers, while also having lots of interactive activities for families to participate in that will have the little ones jumping around with excitement. Kids can check out Doctor Hubble’s Bubble Show, run the show with face painting by kids, and partake in Games of the World, as well as make their own Frankentoy, and see live entertainment from ABC TV’s green thumb Dirt Girl.
A few more highlights for families include a Sleeping Bag Cinema screening classic family films and special cinematic delights; Gymkhana which will feature all the games your grandparents played (think egg and spoon, sack races, pass the parcel) and Bed Sheet Ghost Parties which involves throwing on bed sheet and enjoying all sorts of spooktacular activities. There’s also the esteemed acrobatic ensemble Gravity and Other Myths, which will see seven world class acrobats push their physical limits in a simultaneously raw, frantic and delicate performance with their award-winning show A Simple Space, which Daly reveals is something that adults will enjoy just as much as the kids – if not more.
In line with its mission to reinvent the festival experience for the next generation alongside the inspiring aforementioned music and arts components, The Lost Lands are also well on their way to becoming one of the first single-use-plastic free music festivals in Australia by 2019 with the aim to achieve 95% of this target at this year’s two-day event.
“The Lost Lands is an event focused on family and fun. With that comes a responsibility to pass on environmentally-aware values and actions onto our young ones. The next generation is where it starts. This move will set a benchmark for how festivals can run successfully, whilst minimising their footprint,” he explains.
With a long-term commitment to the environment, Daly is already recognised as a pioneer in sustainability in the festival industry, winning multiple awards for Excellence in Sustainability (International Greener Festival Awards, Tourism Victoria and Event Australia Awards) for his Falls Festival events, and hopes to take sustainability all the way with The Lost Lands.
“For us, it’s an awakening just going through every part of the event, from cable ties to gaffer tape. We just went through every part and looked at what we could do differently and what we can change; and a lot of it was actually quite easy to find alternatives for. There’s no handbook, but there’s lots of solutions. Hopefully we’ll go the whole way, but I’m sure we’ll get caught out somewhere, and we want to get caught out so hopefully we can learn more.”
In its first move to becoming plastic-free, this year will see the removal of single-use plastic from main event site; meaning no plastic bags, no plastic water bottles, no plastic straws and plastic cutlery. Instead they will introduce recyclable food packaging, free water stations located throughout the main event site and campground for festival goers, and backstage for performing artists, waste stations with options for recycling bottles, containers, food scraps and packaging will be clearly marked and located throughout the festival main event site and campgrounds as well as recyclable waste bags will be supplied to campers and can be dropped off at an on-site recycling station.
With music, sustainability practices, installations, arts programs, comedy, performance, theatre and dedicated wonder ‘Lands’ to entertain festival-goers of all ages, The Lost Lands truly promises to “ignite the festival lover in everyone” and we can honestly say, they will deliver on this promise.
Grab your sleeping bag, your kids, parents, cousins or friends, and prepare for a weekend of wonder and adventure into the Lost Lands.
The Lost Lands comes alive on November 3 & 4 at Werribee Park & Mansion, Werribee. Tickets are available through thelostlands.com.au and are on sale now.