We Spoke To A Festival Big-Wig About How Hard It Is To Get Them Off The Ground

music festival

How are we already four episodes deep into Sneak Up? The PEDESTRIAN.TV X Platypus Shoes podcast has been picking up some serious steam and this week is no exception.

Last week, Sneak Up punters would’ve heard our deep-dive into the state of music festivals in the wake of the NSW election, so for this ep we’re taking it behind the scenes to chat to some legends who make our beloved events happen.

First cab off the rank is the mind, body and soul behind the iconic Secret Garden festival, co-founder Claire Downes.

After wrapping up their 11th and final Secret Garden earlier this year, Downes reflects on the success of what started out to be a relatively tiny gathering of mates and music-lovers on a farm, before it eventually blew up to a 6000-capacity romp.

With a crowd of 5000, you’d expect some level of mayhem or conflict but apparently, the costumes are the main reason Secret Garden never had a single fight during its entire run.

Or, as Downes puts it, “You can never punch a guy in a banana costume…”

Downes also drops some A-grade advice for anyone looking to get involved in the event industry so keep those ears at the ready.

Next up we chat to one of the directors of Untitled Group, Tom Caw, who has spearheaded a ridic number of successful festivals like Beyond The Valley, Ability Fest and Pitch.

Caw gets into the nitty-gritty around establishing a festival like BTV, admitting that the entire venture was almost scrapped because Mother Nature was being a vengeful POS. It went ahead, luckily, otherwise we probs wouldn’t have the BTV we now know and love.

Like Downes, Caw also has some wise words for anyone who’s looking to start a festival from scratch (you listening, Fyre?) and he also has some strong opinions on the current state of live music as well as its future.

Get ya ears around all of the episodes of Sneak Up this very second (or you know, whenever):