Sugar, spice and everything nice: the perfect music festival recipe

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Sugar, spice and everything nice: the perfect music festival recipe

What makes a music festival a success? These days you can find amazing line-ups in diverse locations all year round, so how does any one festival manage to stand out let alone sell out? In an effort to discover the chemical-X ingredient in the perfect music festival recipe, we reached out and managed to grab a hold of Nicholas Greco, festival director for Beyond the Valley, to ask a few questions about how the folks behind BTV manage to deliver such a successful festival each year.

Nick begins by stating that he largely credits BTV’s success to the folks behind the scenes. “We have a really great team with us working on Beyond the Valley, most who have grown with us since our very first event…we work to fine-tune every single detail and have a very strong focus on patron experience.”

This carefully tailored boutique-festival experience is catered to from several different angles, although food and accommodation seem to be a big focus for the BTV team in perfecting their festival delivery. “We’ve had a big focus on our luxury camping offering which is actually the biggest pop-up hotel in the southern hemisphere! It’s grown massively over the last 6 years and sold out instantly this year, it allows patrons to rock up to the event and have everything taken care of – beds, bedding, hampers, additional toilets/shower, etc. Our food offering is something we’ve carefully curated too, we didn’t want patrons to be living in our mini-city for four days and be stuck with bain-maries.”

It goes without saying that the line-up is also crucial to any serious festival success. “Ensuring our line-up leaves no stone unturned and caters to every pocket of the festival has also helped [the festival grow], we’ve built some great relationships with artists which has seen them want to come back and perform at BTV multiple times.” For the group of directors behind BTV the original gig involved organising club nights, notably the mega-club ‘Anyway’ at The Palace. “Coming from a nightclub background, we make sure we never lose our electronic element and it has always been extremely strong and our point of difference over New Year’s.” Being a New Years Eve festival adds an extra layer of competition and festivity for BTV as there is definitely a market for Australian NYE festivals; Lost Paradise, Falls & Origin Fields just to name a few. So as a NYE event, there is definitely a need to make BTV that extra bit special. For Nick and the other directors, this means having “a moment for the countdown… we’ve made it a focus of the event to have an Australian artist bring in the New Year every year.” Serving up a selection of up and comers is also important in diversifying the line-up, there’s “a strong element of discovery, acts that our punters will never have heard of but when they wander out of their campsites and into the arena they will find something we know they will love.”

Clearly their dedication has not been in vain considering this year’s event was an instant sell-out. Looking to the future, Nick hopes to maintain what has made BTV a smash hit among festival-goers. “It’s all about never forgetting where we came from and why we started this event initially, we feel we haven’t lost what made BTV special at any point along the way.” If this year is any indication of what’s to come, NYE punters for 2020 better be quick to snap up tickets before they sell out again.

BTV is now sold out, but you can find tickets via the official resale facility

Written by Jess Sercombe
Photo by Alex Drewniak