The Pleasure Garden is a delight to the senses and a treat for the soul

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The Pleasure Garden is a delight to the senses and a treat for the soul

The Pleasure Garden should be at the top of your festival list this December. Coined as an immersive, creative arts and music feast set in a picturesque parkland, this one will be a delight for the senses and a treat for the soul – so to speak.

Inspired by their work at festivals across Europe — Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party and BoomTown Fair — festival directors Geordie Baker and Glenn McGrath wanted to bring Europe’s varied approach to the Australian festival circuit, bringing the values of community, liberation and escapism that exist in the UK, focusing just as much on its art, food and drink as it does its music.

“I think the biggest thing in the UK is really people’s community engagement and the ability to let go of the inhibitions and cover yourself in glitter and get dressed up and be happy to meet new people and engage with new concepts,” Baker explains. “We’re really excited to bring a whole bunch of our experiences from over there into festivals here and make it more than just a lineup, and really make sure that we’re engaging and giving platforms for the arts and performers to be able to perform and engage,” he says.

The music lineup features New Zealand dub virtousos Fat Freddy’s Drop, REMI and Montaigne, alongside producer Stickybuds, L-Fresh The Lion, as well as Chant Down Sound, MoodMachine, Thankyou City, JPS, Willaris. K, 8 Foot Felix – just to name a few, and there’s still more announcements to come.

With an increased focus on inclusion, affordability and becoming family friendly this year, 2017 will also see the addition of two new stages – Bass Station, featuring bass, dub and more, as well as The House Party stage which will be heaving with all the best electronica.

“We are also engaging a lot more into the LGBTI community as well, working with The Unicorns, who are a group that run LGBTI parties in Melbourne,” Baker explains, “It’s exciting we’ve got them on board this year to increase the inclusion into that community, and exposing the wider community to some really interesting elements to how those parties occur.”

Set in Catani Gardens on the St Kilda foreshore in December, the heritage-listed site was chosen not only for its beauty and space, but for also what used to be the central meeting place during the Gold Rush era.

“It’s about re-creating that idea of a meeting place and a melting pot of arts and community and all of those things,” Baker says. “It’s a nice part of the world to be in for 10 hours and the feedback we got last year was that it was a total escape and people didn’t feel like they were right in the middle of the city. It’s so much more than a lineup, it really is an adult playground of music, arts and culture and it will be whatever you want to make it be.”

When & Where: The Pleasure Garden @ St Kilda’s Catani Gardens – December 9. Tickets are available via the festival’s website.

Written by Talia Rinaldo