Situated at Lardner Park, Victoria, Beyond The Valley is a four-day music festival leading up to New Year’s Day, and this year rounded out 2017 with a bang! With an eclectic range of music, various camping and ticketing options, and an array of food, coffee and drinks on offer, BTV has come in leaps and bounds since its inauguration in 2014.
With a 60 metre wide Main Stage, a huge Dance Tent equipped with the exquisite Funktion-One sound system, a Central Park Stage (Thursday only), and the Little Green House & Silent Disco Stage, there was no shortage of options for patrons to enjoy the wide-encompassing acts on offer.
The range of food at BTV took into account all forms of dietary requirements and included Indian, gourmet burgers, toasted sandwiches, Mexican, paella, pulled pork and Taiwanese, as well as superfood smoothies, coffee and a variety of cocktails.
With ticketing available to purchase as either a one ($169), two ($320), three ($380) or four ($420) day pass, the momentum and crowd continued to grow as the festival progressed (general camping included). For those that wanted a little extra, there was the option of a powered site ($200 for a maximum of five people). BTV also offered the ultimate festival experience – Lux Camping. It included, ready-made canvas bell tents, beds with all the comforts, towels, bedside lanterns, rugs, a mirror and welcome packs (starting at $325PP). There was also access to two above-ground pools, VIP bars, toilets, showers and DJ Nige, with his solar powered mobile Kombi van complete with beats.
I asked some of the Lux Campers how their experience had been while at BTV, “The Lux Camping has been seriously unreal! Our tent was setup when we arrived; we have been waking up each day, having a swim with some expresso martinis or some Pimm’s, and then checking out the acts in the afternoon…the Lux Camping and BTV has basically killed every other festival for us”.
The festival kicked off on Thursday 28 December, with local Melbourne heavy hitters Sunshine the DJ and Spacey Space warming up the Central Park Stage, and getting revellers in the mood for the days ahead.
Although it rained on and off throughout the afternoon on Friday, it didn’t deter the crowd from the Main Stage. As always Late Nite Tuff Guy brought the happy vibes, with his nu-disco flavour, infused with funk, house and techno. He closed with his remix of DJ Le Roi feat. Roland Clark “I Get Deep”, which had the crowd begging for more.
Straight after was electro-pop group PNAU, playing songs from their new album Changa, as well as the beautifully charged track “Embrace”.
Next up and towering at 1.96 metres was Stormzy – though his powerful onstage presence makes him appear even bigger. His influential grime and hip hop lyrics whipped the crowd into a heaving frenzy – he was undoubtedly one of the most commanding acts of the festival.
After Stormzy we decided to wander down to the Little Green House & Silent Disco Stage and ended up staying the rest of the night. It appeared that the aesthetics of the Glass House had been drawn from an Amnesia-esque club – perfect for a day or late night party. A young group of Melbourne up-and-comers were mixing some groovy, funky, tech house beats well into the morning. From onstage all you could see was several hundred glowing headphones, bopping to the beat; take the headphones off and it was basically silent.
Saturday afternoon on the Main Stage was dedicated to the Aussies, with Cub Sport, Meg Mac, Hayden James and Cut Copy. Only hours before his set Hayden James and owner of Nana Judy, Glenn Coleman landed in a private chopper – talk about doing BTV in style. James served up a perfectly manicured house set as the sun dipped beyond the hill.
Meanwhile, in the Dance Tent, young gun Jordan Brando delivered a punchy and club-like tech house set. Afterwards, things really heated up with Mura Masa and SchoolBoy Q, getting the crowd heated with his bass heavy songs “Dope Dealer” and “Man Of The Year”.
The final day of 2017 was filled with sunshine and good vibes and the dress up theme for the day was pink. As the sunset on the Main Stage, San Cisco got everyone dancing in a sea of pink, with their fun-loving indie, pop rock classics.
Straight after was Andhim, the German Superhouse duo who bring the heat to every party they play at – and BTV was no exception. Their jiving and upbeat energy got the crowd jigging and shaking.
It was the Presets who sent off 2017 and rang in the New Year on the Main Stage, and it appeared that the 15,000 strong sold-out crowd were all there to witness it. Chatting to several festival-goers prior to their set they said, “It’s 2017 and not 2007, why are The Presets ringing in the New Year?” Others were more inclined, “I have seen them several times…they are truly unbelievable”. When the electronic duo took to The Stage, it’s axiomatic as to why they were the chosen act to welcome 2018. The ferocity and erupting live show that they deliver needs to be felt, to be properly described. As they counted down from 20 and the clock struck midnight, they dropped “My People” and Lardner Park erupted.
It was the live techno show of German heavyweight Stephan Bodzin, followed by Dom Dolla who rounded out BTV in the Dance Tent, as weary heads began to head back to their campsites.
Now in its fourth year, there is no doubt that Beyond The Valley will continue to evolve to give partygoers the ultimate in a festival experience. New Year’s Eve 2018 will be here before we know it – I can’t wait to see what’s on offer at the next instalment.
*A full list of the Beyond The Valley line-up can be found here.