Paradise Music Festival

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Paradise Music Festival

Q&A with Andre Hillas
Chances are your head is spinning with the endless list of festivals, both new and old, to spend your cash on this summer. But there’s one that might have slipped past your radar and it’s paramount that you check it out. We had a talk to Andre from Paradise Music Festival, on their beautiful location, how they survive and their knack for picking the next best thing in Australian music.
Hi Andre, thanks for taking the time out to chat to Forte magazine. How are you and what are you up to at the moment?
Hey! I’m great thanks, have just spent the last four nights up in Brisbane for BigSound – this amazing music conference. My stomach is feeling the effects of it all though…
For those not familiar with the ins and outs of festival organisation, can you give us a brief run-down of what your role involves?
I direct and oversee all the operations, band bookings and planning of the festival. Because we’re a tiny team of less than 10, it means it’s a pretty involved role. I get caught up in the nitty gritty details as well as the larger-picture stuff.
The Lake Mountain Alpine Resort is a really interesting spot for a music festival, what made you decide on that location?
Lake Mountain is ridiculously cool! The decision kind of made itself when we went up there to have a look at the place – there’s no festival location like it in Australia. The striking trees and sloping hills have an aura that is so dissimilar to the hot, unforgiving paddocks that are at most other festivals.
It seems there are a heap of festivals popping up around the place, what makes Paradise stand out?
The location and the lineup. If you have a look at a photo of our stage in the amphitheatre, I think you’ll get what I mean. The lineup is the thing we’re most proud of though – it’s a selection of the strongest performers and musicians we’ve seen in this country. Each one of them has been booked because they have absolutely inspired us at a gig and we’ve been like, ‘Yep, we’ve gotta book THEM!’
While there have been a lot of new festivals starting, there’s been quite a few ending as well. Does the state of the live music industry worry you at all?
Not too much to be honest. I really believe that we are putting on a festival that represents our ethics, and for that reason I think we’ll be OK. We really care about having quality acts that are booked on merit, not hype. We also believe that you don’t need to be ripped off on every little thing to do with a festival. We care so much about your experience that we do cool things like run an indoor club till 8am because we want to.
You seem to feature a lot of anticipated and emerging musical acts, is it quite a process to find the artists to feature on your lineup?
Yep – it’s just about being in band rooms a few nights every week and keeping an eye and ear on what’s new. It’s a dedicated job, but fun, so it’s not too hard!
What does a band have to encompass to make the cut?
They’ve got to have a unique quality to their sound and show. We don’t want to see bands that look and sound the same as each other, so why would you?
A few bands from your lineup last year, in particular Millions and Glass Towers, have gone on to really successful careers in the industry. Is it rewarding seeing the bands grow?
100%! It makes you feel pretty good when you see their hard work paying off and getting the attention they deserve.
Who are you looking forward to seeing play this year?
Friendships and LUCIANBLOKAMP. Those guys provided me my best two hours at Paradise last year and we HAD to have them back again for a full encore.
Paradise is an experience unto its own, what can punters expect from the festival?
Relaxed vibe, fun acts in the sun by day, hectic club experience at night.
Do you have any advice for first time attendees?
Have an open mind to the music and I promise you you’re gonna like it.
Thanks again for taking the time out to talk to us, is there anything you’d like to add before we finish up?
Bring a few beers, bring a few mates, bring your tent and have a sick one!
When&Where: Paradise Music Festival, Lake Mountain Alpine Resort – November 28-30