By Lachlan Wicks
Over the new year period, thousands of revellers made the pilgrimage to Glenworth Valley for the latest edition of Lost Paradise festival, myself included. It was my first time at the annual event, and I was looking forward to a promising lineup of music and festival frolics.
We arrived on the Friday lunchtime - being keen as beans paid off as we managed to pitch our tents in a prime location close to the main stage. The first thing we noticed as we wandered around in the day was the brutal heat. With temperatures reaching the 40s and the valley providing little shade, daylight hours under the blazing sun were a challenge. Thank God for the waterspray bottles and ice we packed and kept dousing ourselves in.
As the sun went down and the cool night set in, the Paradisians ventured out and the festival came alive. Only having the Lost Disco stage open on the first night meant we were all in it together, with an atmosphere to match. We were treated to sets by DJ Boring, Peggy Gou and Toni Yotzi, all three of whom commanded the crowd from behind the decks in the heart of the stage’s pyramid. But it was Peggy who stood out, the crowd erupting when she dropped her remix of Shakedown’s ’At night’. Satisfied with a nice warm up for the days to come, we turned in for the night to catch some sleep before the bastard sun came up.
Just as expected, within an hour of sunrise the tents were too hot to sleep in, so we all got up and sat around our table, passing around the waterspray bottles, playing cards and reliving last night’s antics. As the afternoon kicked in so did the drinks, and we donned weird and wonderful items of clothing from our mystery bag of outfits before setting off.
We spent some time at Conspiracy’s Lost World’s stage where the production, set design and cracking minimal tunes really did make us feel like we were on another planet. Credit to the Conspiracy crew for creating a truly immersive experience.
We then ran across the festival to catch Flava D at the impressive Paradise Club stage. The ravers had packed out the dance arena and the the towering bamboo platforms around the circumference for her banging bassline and UKG performance.
The night got a bit loose as this point, as I lost all my mates and found myself at the the front of the Lost Disco stage all by myself. But you kinda have to get lost at Lost Paradise, it’s all part of the fun, and I made a bunch of friends over the next few hours as I witnessed some mind-blowing house & techno.
For starters, Yotto gave us his signature deep/progressive offerings, including a weapon remix of ‘What’s a girl to do' by Fatima Yamaha (one of my faves) and Zanzibar by Olander:
For the main course, Bicep provided a mesmerising masterclass. When they dropped their classic Glue (below), I looked around and saw people in tears on the dance floor. I like Glue, it isn’t my favourite Bicep track, but you can’t argue with the emotions it evokes.
For the heavy-hitting dessert, Anna gave us a monster techno set, with her hit Hidden Beauties setting the crowd alight...
After her set, I stumbled back to the camp and passed out a happy man.
The next day, we wandered around the festival site and filled up on the surprisingly varied food on offer. The shocking news started to spread that tragically, a young man had died the night before. I couldn’t help think that if pill testing facilities had been allowed at the festival, maybe he would also be hanging out with his mates looking forward to the night ahead. We live in hope.
When the heat died down, we set up shop at the back of the Lost Disco stage again, where we had plenty of room to dance. There were some amazing outfits and doof sticks out too, which added to the euphoric vibe.
On the decks that night, Bontan, Cut Snake and Dom Dolla transitioned perfectly from one set to the next, providing hours of high calibre music for the house music faithful.
The next day we realised that New Years Eve had arrived and we had no real plan on who to see, so we studied the set times and decided to spend most of our time up on the Conspiracy stage under the shade of the trees. We enjoyed some quality sets, with Jackson Winter deserving a special mention for taking us on a groovy journey.
I then once again found myself separated from the group, front and centre at the Paradise Club for Conspiracy’s very own Elijah Something and Nate S.U’s B2B, filling the crowd with energy. As I glanced at my phone, the New year’s countdown was around the corner and I had a bunch of missed calls and texts from my friends telling me to meet at the back of the main stage for the New Years countdown with Peking Duk.
We did exactly that and brought 2019 in with thousands of like-minded ravers, spectacular fireworks and hugs all round - a moment I won’t forget. We stayed there for an hour before finishing off our Lost Paradise experience with the wizardry of Kink - whose live set left me inspired, (below).
All in all, some incredible music and fun times in savagely hot conditions. A word to the wise if you’re planning to attend next year - bring lots of water, a spray bottle and plenty of sunscreen and expect loads of great music. Being of the house & techno persuasion, I spent most of my time checking out the DJs spinning my genre but it’s worth mentioning that there are plenty of mainstream acts on offer too. And most of all... don’t be afraid to get lost at Lost Paradise.