As a Sydneysider, I have a complicated relationship with New Year’s Eve.
On the one hand, the fireworks are spectacular and for one night a year, the city comes alive from its government-induced slumber.
But on the other hand, NYE is without doubt…the absolute worst.
There’s so much pressure to organise something good, the CBD is a living nightmare with its droves of people and insufficient public transport, and the whole night is just never as good as you think it’s going to be.
My advice: get the hell out of here.
Go to a place tucked away from the city, where the lockout laws can’t touch you, and great tunes and vibes reign supreme.
Queue: Lost Paradise.
Since crashing onto the scene in 2014, Lost has built a reputation as one of the finest festivals in the country – even dubbed as “Australia’s answer to Coachella”.
Against the stunning backdrop of the Glenworth Valley, more than 10,000 punters make the pilgrimage over New Year’s to experience much more than just a music festival.
We’ll be heading down there to see what all the fuss is about, and so we thought we’d put together a mini-guide to the very best bits:
The starting point of course, is the music.
Aussie dance gods RÜFÜS headline the deeeeeep bill (76 local and international artists).
Their enormous and euphoric sound is tailor-made for a New Year’s festival and it sounds like the boys have a few surprises planned.
While we’re on the topic of EDM, the organisers have also managed to pull two of the most respected names in dance music today: the godfather of techno, Stephen Bodzin, and British electro wizard, Jon Hopkins.
Matt Corby will be melting hearts with his howling vocals, as will fellow Triple J darlings Meg Mac, DMA’s and Client Liason.
But it’s not just the big names, the line-up has some hidden gems as well.
Hip-hop seven-piece Koi Child are bringing their infectious grooves across the Nullaboor, and are my prediction for biggest surprise packet of the festival.
When the munchies inevitably kick in, you’ll be spoiled for choice in the Lost Village which will take you on a culinary journal across the globe.
Bondi’s to-die-for burger joint ‘Milky Lane will be setting up shop, as will Australia’s largest organic restaurant ‘Agape’ so you can get your mits on everything from the super naughty to the super nice.
If you’re after something in between, ‘Maverick Wings’ will be slinging out some ripper Japanese fusion dishes like kimchi colesaw and crispy chicken wings.
Oh, and there’s also Cuban, southern-Indian, wood-fired pizza, and vegan food trucks – so yeah, this isn’t your typical festival.
I wasn’t falling back onto cliches when I said it’s so much more than a music festival.
Kamp Kraken is one of the interactive, communal hubs waiting to be explored.
It’s a steampunk submarine installation featuring three DJ takeovers who’ll be turning the river into a giant rave.
The other pop-up, The Love Post Office, is a romantic micro-festival for lovebirds to hang out in.
Filled with beautiful stationary, old-school typewriters and real-life Love Gurus, it’s the perfect place to unwind and fall in love.
(And just quietly, there’s even a lover’s masterclass to take your bedroom game to the next level.)
There are far too many other experiences for us to cover here, (I highly recommend having a squiz at the website) – but nonetheless here are some amazing initiatives to nourish your mind, body and soul:
A NYE fancy dress parade, a deep house yoga project, weaving with Aboriginal women, belly dancing workshops, and perhaps most crucially, a range of professional massages.
Lost Paradise takes place 28th December – 1st January in the gorgeous Glenmore Valley. Final release, 3 and 4-day passes are still available but you better get your ass in quick because they’re selling like hotcakes!