I’m sure a lot of your uni assignments were extremely similar to mine – fleeting moments of creativity fuelled by plenty of late-nights and an extensive dependency on coffee, to have it turned in three seconds before deadline and never thought of again.
For Adam Masters, his uni assignment grew into a fully-fledged boutique festival on NSW‘s Central Coast – but you’d know it best as Mountain Sounds.
PEDESTRIAN.TV spoke to Adam about how Mountain Sounds went from a concept he had for a university assignment to a fully-fledged festival.
The name was actually derived from my final assignment for uni funnily enough! It was purely a coincidence that the site is on a mountain. It all started back in 2013; I was working in music venues in Sydney whilst throwing a few of my own parties on the side.
The only way I can describe it is a ‘light bulb’ moment when I was at home one night – “what about a festival in my home town”? Having grown up on the Central Coast, I knew the demand existed as there wasn’t much going on at the time so I wrangled a crew together and we went for it.
The festival prides itself on being sustainable and providing for the Central Coast, instead of just being a big wild party that happens and doesn’t give back to the community.
Adam and his team work to incorporate local community initiatives and organisations to have a presence at the festival, usually through food stalls and trucks, taking the opportunity to showcase to the public what the Central Coast has to offer.
The concept and objectives of the festival from my assignment were literally translated into the real thing; promote and showcase the Central Coast as a tourist destination and provide a platform for local acts/artists, businesses and the community to be involved plus ensure all event operations are driven by sustainable initiatives and procedures.
The beauty of smaller-scaled festivals is that you can be hard-line with who you do – and don’t – want attending. In the case of events like Mountain Sounds and Secret Garden that encourage punters to dress up in wild costumes, Adam notes it’s important to make sure you have a solid ‘no dickheads’ ruling in place.
I think we’re lucky that the festival naturally attracts well-behaved punters BUT we usually create a tongue-in-cheek art installation on site to really hit home about our stance.
For example, we have had a ‘Don’t Be A Dick’ installation (a giant penis) and a ‘Don’t Be An Arsehole’ installation of Tony Abbott. Overall, we still firmly believe that the experience is the most important part so we try to maintain that each and every year.
Almost like a subliminal, inoffensive way to communicate to punters to be kind to each other while they dance the weekend away.
Although the festival has grown a whole lot since its birth in 2013, Adam says that the team still sticks to its DIY ethics, and spends the year putting on local shows in Terrigal through the Mountain Sounds Presents arm of the business, as well as some new projects he’s yet to let loose into the world.Image: Mitch Lowe