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Event recap: Paradise 2016

School camp for club kids

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In the days leading up to this year’s Paradise all I heard where questions about “my look”. What was I wearing? What about the second day? Were my friends and I having a group look?

I didn’t have any looks planned. I had hoped that the planned temperature of zero degrees celsius would ruin everyone else’s looks. Then we could all happily dance while wearing bulky but practical layers, desperately trying to stay warm. Of course I was wrong. If there’s one thing the fashionable club kids of Melbourne are used to working around—it’s shit weather.

The stylish set is just one element of what Paradise has become infamous for. It’s as well known for its fashionable crowd as it is its well curated lineup, picturesque location, and inclusivity of all people. It’s these things that often has the event labelled as one of the best “boutique” festivals in the country.

Attendance at this years Paradise felt lower than the previous year. No doubt the weather had something to do with that. But the crowd that did show was dedicated. If anything the cold made them more intent on making the best of the weekend. The crowd were loving as they got down to highlights like GL, Fortunes, Hi-Tec Emotions, Rainbow Chan, Gold Class, Sal, Infinity Blade, and DJ Kiti. A couple of times technical difficulties threatened to dampen the mood but quick thinking and good times prevailed.

New to Paradise this year was the addition of a third venue, Vince Pham, a late-night bunker. The room played host to some killer sets—particularly on Saturday night when the room was full of sweaty and shirtless revellers, no small feat considering outside required thermals and down jackets. However the addition of the third space wasn’t all golden. The crowd to fill a third stage has to come from somewhere and it was the Clubland stage that paid this sacrifice. While Vince Pham might have been pumping all night it left Clubland, the traditional late-night Paradise venue, vastly empty. Teething issue that I’m confident will be addressed before next year.

Paradise is without a doubt one of the most interesting festivals happening in Australia. It’s dedication to local music and inclusivity of all people are to be commended and supported. While it might be these features that mean outsiders label it boutique, it’ll be those same features that bigger festivals will slowly take notice of and hopefully implement. Imagine a world full of festivals that are dickhead free. Sounds like Paradise to me.

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